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Carts VS Flower: What’s Better?

Having worked at a dispensary for five years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the shift from the classic art of rolling joints to the modern convenience of vape carts.

This experience has given me a deep appreciation for both methods—from the traditional ritual of grinding and rolling flower to the quick, discreet enjoyment of a vape cart.

I’m here to share everything I’ve learned about these contrasting ways to enjoy weed. Sit back while I guide you to discover which cannabis consumption method truly resonates with you.

cartridges vs flower

Key Takeaways

  • Vaping cannabis with a vape pen is an alternative to flower, as the vape pen offers increased control over THC intake, stronger flavor and intense effects.
  • Cannabis carts can be more cost-effective compared the smoking cost of flower. 
  • Vaping cannabis is generally considered to be healthier than smoking flower, although vape carts aren’t without potential health risks.

What is Vaping and How Does it Work?

Vaping involves heating cannabis flower or oil concentrate in a device known as a vape pen. In this case, as we’re talking about vape cartridges we will stick to talking about concentrates.

The oil itself is in the vape cart, which attaches to the vape pen. This could consist of cannabis distillate, live resin, liquid diamonds or another concentrate.

The oil in the cart is heated to temps ranging from 250-400 °F, which produces a vapor. This vapor is then inhaled, delivering THC straight to the lungs. 

Like a flower high, the effects of vaping THC can be felt almost instantly.

Vaping is widely considered a safer alternative to smoking, as you’re not inhaling the same volume of carcinogens or smoke.

One of the biggest benefits of vaping, however, is the intense flavor profile vape carts tend to contain. With vaping, the terpene profile is way more pronounced compared to smoking flower as terpenes are destroyed during combustion. 

Vape carts last longer than smoking flower, meaning a one gram vape cart should last longer than one gram of flower. 

Vape carts are one of the most rapidly growing products in the cannabis industry. This increased popularity due to their potency, flavor and convenience.

The Difference Between Smoking Weed and Vaping Carts

Smoking marijuana involves combusting plant material and inhaling the smoke. 

Vaping carts involves heating the concentrate to a temperature that releases the cannabinoids and terpenes into a vapor that can be inhaled.

Vaping is a smokeless, carcinogen reduced option that offers a more robust flavor, greater control over THC intake, and increased convenience.

Vaping might also offer a more intense and longer-lasting high, although it’s commonly debated amongst veteran consumers. 

Basically, the biggest difference between smoking weed and vaping carts is the product being used and if it’s vapor or smoke that’s being inhaled.


Smoke free cannabis consumption is where it’s at if you’re interested in protecting your health.  

Vape carts are much gentler on the throat than flower and can help prevent the crazy coughing fits common when smoking pre rolls or taking bong hits. 

Vaping is also a lot better for your lungs. 



Carcinogens are cancer-causing compounds that can be detrimental to your health. 

Research shows that smoke contains a variety of carcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines and more than 70 other chemicals.

Unfortunately, cannabis smoke shows to contain carcinogens. 

Vaping, on the other hand, doesn’t produce carcinogenic compounds because it’s not combusted. That is, unless the vape contains additives that can be carcinogenic.

Vaping simply heats cannabis oil to a temperature that vaporizes active compounds without combustion, making vape carts a carcinogen-reduced option for those who prefer inhalation over consuming edibles or oil. 

Stronger Flavor

When it comes to flavor, the difference between vaping and smoking is real.

Vape carts also contain a more pronounced flavor than flower. This is because cannabis terpenes in vape carts aren’t lost during combustion like they are when smoking bud. 

Vaping at a lower temperature will produce a more subtle flavor as terpenes are released gently, while higher temperatures produce a more intense flavor. 

marijuana flower

More Control Over THC Intake

Vaping offers increased control over how much THC is consumed, as THC levels can be more accurately measured with a vape cart opposed to a bud. 

This allows consumers to more accurately calculate their intake, which can be especially beneficial for medical patients who need to carefully monitor their dosage.

Some vapes, on the other hand, might not be able to maintain a consistent temperature, which can result in inconsistent THC intake.

Cost Comparison of Carts and Flower

Which is more expensive, vape carts or flower? 

Vape carts are typically more expensive than flower, but they tend to be more cost-effective after the initial investment. 

Not only do carts tend to be more potent than flower, but there’s also less product waste. 

Flower might cost less, but you typically end up with some product waste. And while some say the effects of vape carts and flower are the same, carts tend to offer a more intense high.

If you’re interested in a more consistent and potent hit than flower, carts are the way to go. Especially if you’re looking to get the most out of your experience.

Because bud potency varies, it can be easy to overconsume. You might also pack a bowl only to find you only needed a couple hits to get high, then cash it out with smokable marijuana still left inside. Talk about precious product waste! 

When you’re looking at the price of carts compared to flower, consider the savings associated with carts. They can definitely be the more economical option of the two.

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Effects of Vaping Cartridges and Flower on Lungs

Let’s just say that smoking anything isn’t good for the lungs. 

But which is the better option for your lungs, carts or bud? 

Inhaling smoke from cannabis flower can be as harmful to the respiratory system as tobacco smoke, as cannabis smoke actually contains some of the same carcinogens as cigarette smoke! 

According to research, vaping weed effects should be more gentle on the lungs than when you ingest cannabis smoke. That said, the long-term effects of vape pens aren’t yet understood. 

While vaping is preferable to smoking flower, it’s not without risk.

Are Carts Or Flower More Convenient?

If you’re going for convenience, carts are the clear winner. Vape pens are portable, discreet and super easy to use. 

Much like eating edibles, carts are much easier to take on the go. 

They also don’t emit such a strong odor, making vape pens perfect for puffing on when out in public. 


Are carts really more potent? Do vape pens offer more intense effects?

Generally, yes.

Vaping tends to offer a more intense experience than smoking weed due to higher concentrations of cannabinoids like THC. 

If you’re new to vape carts, it’s important to start low and go slow. The difference between a vape high and flower high is real, and vaping tends to be far more potent. 

If you’re considering the potency of the two, the vape cartridge will typically offer a more intense and powerful experience. 

thch vape cartridges

Durability: Carts vs Flower

When it comes to durability, vape carts win again. 

Carts tend to have a longer lifespan than cannabis flowers, typically retaining their potency and effects for up to a year or longer when stored correctly. 

Flower, even when stored correctly, typically will last six months to a year. 

Think about it like this. 

The minute you open the bag or jar your cannabis flower is packaged in, your buds are exposed to air. If you’ve ever smoked fresh weed, you know it’s much different than consuming dried out, old weed. 

Vape carts retain their flavor and potency. The first hit out of your vape cart will usually taste exactly the same as the last hit out of your vape cart. You definitely can’t say that when smoking a bowl. 

No matter what type of product you prefer, it’s important to store both a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight and heat. This ensures optimal potency and the best possible effects. 

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Are Carts Healthier?

When you vape, you’re inhaling vaporized oil, not combusted plant material.

This means if you’re looking for an alternative to smoking joints or blunts, vape carts allow you to reap the same benefits without the health risks associated with smoking. 

Vaping doesn’t contain the same carcinogens that are in smoke, making it a much healthier option for those who prefer to inhale but want to reduce their exposure to toxins. 

There are several vape carts available made without additives and other potentially harmful ingredients. 

There are, however, many carts that contain cutting agents like propylene glycol (PG) or polyethylene glycol (PEG) which could pose health risks. 

This is why it’s important to do your research before you commit to a purchase, ensuring that your vape cart only contains pure cannabis oil. 

Wrapping Up

Vaping and smoking flower are two of the most popular ways to consume cannabis. The effects of both can be felt almost instantly, but a lot of people prefer vaping weed oil. 

Vape carts are a smoke-free alternative to the smoking marijuana flower.

Carts also tend to be more cost-effective than flower and are far more discreet than lighting up a joint or hitting the pipe or bong. 

In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference. Some consumers prefer a flower high to the cannabis vape high. 

No matter what you decide is best for you, always insist on high-quality products from transparent, trustworthy brands.