The Brief: Marijuana and nicotine vapes can look the same and even produce similar-smelling vapor. Here's a breakdown of the differences between them.


As they are more portable and discreet, vapes have become increasingly popular tools for consuming nicotine and THC. Although these devices are similar in looks and how they are used, they have very different effects. Telling the difference can be confusing, especially because some models can be used for weed, nicotine, or both.  Here’s a breakdown of the main differences in appearance and use.

Nicotine Vapes:

Nicotine vapes are also known as E-Cigarettes or E-Cigs. They were originally designed to be used by cigarette smokers looking for a safer alternative and way to wean themselves off cigarettes. However, vapes are becoming popular among non-smokers, including many teenagers. With the availability of discreet, easy to use vapes like the Juul, vaping is becoming more widespread.

Characteristics of nicotine vapes:

  • Bigger clouds – except in the case of the Juul
  • Smells include fruit, sweet, and minty aromas
  • Juul or larger mods are popular

Weed Vapes:

Marijuana vapes come in many shapes and sizes, with varying amounts of portability, strength, and vapor emitted. Popular models include vapes that look like pens, the Pax Era, and the Stiiizy. They are available in states where recreational and/or medical marijuana is legal.

  • Smaller clouds
  • Smells like weed, with some fruity aromas mixed in
  • Many different kinds, usually on the small side

Vape Tricks

Vape tricks can be performed on all types of vapes, but are most popular with larger nicotine vapes because of the “fat clouds” of vapor that they produce. On YouTube and other social media platforms, vapers show off their tricks, giving tutorials and competing with each other for the coolest tricks.

Accessibility, discretion, and fewer health risks have made vaping of both nicotine and THC popular, especially for young people. However, there are still many risks associated with vaping and it is illegal for those under the age of 18. Notably, studies show that vaping nicotine can lead to cigarette smoking for teens.

There are serious health risks associated with vaping and since the technology is relatively new, the extent of these risks is not fully known.