Vaping Whole Flower vs. Vaping Oil: Which is Superior?

von Rowan Bailey

Vaping Whole Flower vs. Vaping Oil: Which is Superior?

Vaping flower vs oil medical cannabis uk

Vaping is a popular way of consuming cannabis, as it offers a smoke-free alternative. When it comes to vaping, you can go with whole flower or oil. So which one is better and why? Let’s take a look at the differences between whole flower and oil, the benefits of each type of vape; as well as the drawbacks. Additionally, for those interested in CBD vape juice, understanding these differences can help in making an informed choice.

Understanding the Basics

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What is Vaping Whole Flower?

In whole flower vaping, you heat real cannabis flowers. The flower is ground up and placed into a vaporizer . The heat releases vapour containing cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant.

What is Vaping Oil?

Vaping oil means you are using a concentrate that contains cannabis. This oil is usually made by extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from the flower using solvents like CO2 or ethanol. This oil is then placed in a cartridge which is used as a vaporizer. With medical cannabis in the UK, this is typically provided in 'Carts' of 0.5ml or 1ml size. 

The Experience

Flavour and Aroma

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Whole Flower:

Whole flower vaping tends to provide a more robust and natural flavour, because you are inhaling vapour from the actual plant which comes with a wide range of terpenes. These terpenes contribute to distinct aromas and tastes for each strain and you'll also have a much richer range of other cannabinoids that were naturally found in the plant.


Sometimes when you vape oil some of the subtle flavours are lost as compared to whole flower depending on the extraction type and technique. Terpenes are well preserved in many high quality oils, but in some cases the process used to extract them causes the terpenes to be stripped away or muted. Alternatively some places will use THC distillate that is relatively low or without terpenes and then introduce a terpene profile after the fact. 


Whole Flower:

The effects from vaping whole flower are also said to be more well-rounded and balanced. This is because you are getting all of the cannabinoids and terpenes in their natural ratios. Some feel this provides a more holistic experience.


Vaping oil can be pretty potent, as the oil is a concentrated form of cannabis. So if you need strong relief from symptoms like chronic pain or severe anxiety, oil can be helpful. But sometimes these effects can be more intense and less balanced than vaping whole flower.

Convenience and Ease of Use

Whole Flower:

Vaping whole flower definitely requires a bit more work—you need to grind the flower, stuff it in the vaporizer, and then clean out the vaporizer somewhat frequently. This can get messy and takes time, but people often think it’s worth it because of the superior flavour/experience.


Vaping oil is very easy. The oil comes in pre-filled cartridges that you just simply attach onto your vaporiser. There’s no grinding, loading or cleaning involved. For those who are looking for a quick and easy way to vape, it’s a great choice. Plus there's typically no heat up time. So you can have two potent hits on the go in a matter of seconds and maintain a baseline rather than setting up for an entire dosage. 

Health Considerations

Whole flower and vaping oil are both generally considered healthier than smoking, but there are some important differences to consider.

Whole Flower:

When vaping whole flower, you are literally inhaling vapour that contains all of the natural compounds found in the plant. This can include some potentially harmful substances, but the risk is obviously much lower than smoking with the byproducts that combustion has. 


Vaping oil can sometimes pose additional risks. Some oils contain additives to make it work better in the device, so it's important to know that the manufacturer has used safe ingredients.. Additionally, some low-quality oils may contain residual solvents or contaminants from the extraction process. It’s important to use high-quality, lab-tested oils to minimise these risks. Thankfully as much as it can be a pain with slow processing times and other restrictions, the UK medical cannabis industry is held to a very high standard with these things giving legal medical cannabis carts a big safety advantage over black market. 


Whole Flower:

Vaping whole flower can be more expensive in the long run. You need to purchase the flower itself, which can be costly, especially if you prefer high-quality strains. Additionally, vaporizers designed for whole flower can be more expensive than those designed for oil cartridges.


Vaping oil can be more cost-effective, especially if you use it sparingly. Oil cartridges are often priced similarly to or slightly higher than whole flower, but because they are concentrated, you may use less product overall. Additionally, vaporizers designed for oil cartridges tend to be less expensive.


Whole Flower:

Depending on where you live, accessing high-quality whole flower can be challenging. Some areas have more limited selections or higher prices, and not everyone has a local dispensary that carries a wide variety of strains.


Oil cartridges are widely available and come in a variety of strains and potencies. The fact you don't have to grind material, load it or juggle multiple things on the go make these a great accessible option. Furthermore how quick you can use these for a dose makes them ideal for out and about. 

Environmental Impact

Whole Flower:

Vaping whole flower can be more environmentally friendly. The flower itself is a natural product with minimal processing. However, it does require more packaging and can produce more waste if not properly managed.


Oil cartridges are often made of plastic and metal, which can contribute to environmental waste. Additionally, the extraction process can be resource-intensive. Some companies are working to make more sustainable and recyclable cartridges, but this is not yet standard practice.

Final Thoughts

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So, which is better: vaping whole flower or vaping oil? The answer depends on your personal preferences and priorities.

Flavour and Experience: If you value a natural, full-flavour experience and don’t mind a bit of extra effort, whole flower might be the better choice for you. The terpene profiles are as nature intended as well as the other cannabinoids present. 

Convenience and Ease of Use: If you prefer something quick, easy, and portable, oil cartridges are likely the way to go as there is no denying they are more efficient at delivering a dose and take less setup. 

Health Considerations: Both options are generally safer than smoking, but be sure to choose high-quality, lab-tested products to minimise risks. Smoking is one risk factor, soil contaminations or residual solvents are another. So using a reputable place which takes these things serious is vital for your health. Hence why legal medical cannabis is the way to go here in the UK. 

Cost and Accessibility: Think about your budget and what is more easily available for you. Whole flower can be more expensive and harder to come by, while oil cartridges are usually easier to get that could also save you some in the long run.

Environmental Impact: Think about your environmental footprint. Whole flower is the more sustainable option , but there’s research being done on ways to improve the sustainability of oil cartridges.

In the end, there are advantages and disadvantages to either method. By understanding what they are, you can choose which one is best for you. Whether you go with whole flower or oil, the most important thing is to like doing it your way.