The simple answer is that a vaporizer is probably safer than a bubbler. The primary reason is that with a bubbler, you’re combusting the plant material which increases harmful chemical exposure. A vaporizer, on the other hand, doesn’t require complete combustion of the plant, thereby limiting chemical exposure. Further, with a bubbler, you generally have to use more product than you would for a vaporizer to achieve the wanted effect. That would additionally lead to a greater consumption of potentially harmful chemicals. So given these two reason, 1) no complete combustion with a vaporizer, and 2) less product, I’d say that a vaporizer is better. At least it’s hard to see how it would be worse than using a bubbler.
But here are the caveats:
– The vaporizer technology is relatively new, so if you’re wondering what the effects of vaping will be in 10 years, we just don’t have the answer to that.
– When scientists study the health risks of different methods of marijuana consumption, they’re comparing smoked (via a pipe), vaped, or eaten. Long-term vaping versus bubbler safety profiles haven’t been empirically tested, at least from what I can find.
– Because of the ease of “vaping” compared to setting up and cleaning a bubbler, studies show that those who vape end up consuming more THC over time than those with a bubbler (it’s easier so there’s less of an energy barrier to start). This could come with it’s own problems. But if you just compare the same amount of marijuana consumed by bubbling versus vaping, I’d side vaping.
– Vaping or dabbing with synthetic cannabis is especially dangerous. It basically turns into poison (check out my article on synthetic cannabis for more info), so just go with the real stuff.