As marijuana becomes a part of the mainstream culture of many different countries around the world the health benefits are becoming more and more pronounced.
There are three main ways of ingesting marijuana, which are being smoked, eaten, and/or vaped. As a customer you might be interested in some of these options. All carry risks, but let’s sort through the rumors and myths to figure out what exactly is the safest option when it comes to ingestion through smoking or vaping.
According to the American Lung Association, inhaling any type of smoke, whether it’s cannabis, tobacco, CBD, or another substance, is bad for overall lung health. That has never really been disputed by smokers or vapors of any variety.
The difference between most tobacco user’s intake compared to a typical marijuana smoker is the length each hit is held. For most marijuana users, a typical hit is held in longer than that of a tobacco user’s hit. Simply holding a hit in longer puts the user at a greater risk of tar forming in the lungs. We’ve all been there, holding that final hit of the night long enough to cough through clenched teeth.
There are a number of negative health effects associated with the consumption of marijuana that include air pockets between lungs, chronic bronchitis, cough, excessive mucus production, possible increased risk of infection, and wheezing just to touch on a few.
So, with all the sad news of smoking being laid out, what about vaping? Is it a safer alternative? Let’s take a look.
The act of vaping marijuana involves a number of different methods. The main two being inhaling heated oil through a device that vaporizes the product for you or using dry herb and heating with a device designed to get the most out of it. Hot air or an oven is used to heat the product and release all the beneficial portions the user is looking for. It’s considered a cleaner method of ingesting cannabis products. It eliminates the use of a lighter, which can add harmful chemicals to the process. It also gives the user just the part of the plant they want to get the benefits. There are a number of different devices when it comes to vaporizing marijuana.
Vaping itself has been around for a long time, but heating THC or CBD oil is relatively new to the marijuana scene, which makes the long-term use of those types of vaping devices unclear. Some research has shown that the effects to lung health could be significantly harmful, especially in the form of oils that are heated.
One of the main concerns when it comes to vaping is the effects from inhaling vitamin E acetate when in the oil form. Unfortunately, this chemical has been proven to be an additive and is found in many different THC vaping products around the world. Growers have started to post solvent free solutions on their products. This is a good sign for patients and recreational users as the industry was quick to react. Inhalation of vitamin E acetate has been known to injure lungs, causing “popcorn lung” in some instances.
Carcinogens are high in smoking, especially tobacco products. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes and more than 70 of those chemicals are known to cause or contribute to cancer. Vaping, especially using devices like a Volcano from Storz and Bickel or a Pax pen, have been known to help reduce or even eliminate those chemicals. Cannabis can be vaporized with several different temperature settings. Most devices allow the user to select a setting that works for them.
Low temperatures won’t produce as much vapor for those looking to impress friends with big clouds. What a low temp will do is produce a smooth flavourful hit. It will also make the product last a little longer as it’s not being burned up as quickly.
Vapour is far less stressful than smoke from a cigarette, joint or even a blunt when it comes to the body. Vaping is easier on the lungs and throat and will offer relief for heavy users. Just a week of use strictly with a vapourizer will show the user the benefits. A number of vapourizers can even handle both concentrates and dry flower.
Burning marijuana with a lighter can also burn off important parts of the product that could be beneficial to the user. The right temperature will result in all the meaningful parts of the plant being used. Vape pens and concentrates can also produce much stronger flavours in the product whereas a lighter will burn most of it off. It will also hit the pocket hard. Lighters aren’t cheap and a heavy smoker will be buying them like an amped up kid at an arcade.
The difference between the two comes down to the product and the way it’s ingested. Smoking is typically done with dried flower or concentrates. That can be done in several different ways that include rolled up dried portions of flower into a joint, cigar, or cone, using a bong or pipe to smoke, or burning concentrates that include kief or hash.
Vaping uses concentrated extracts or ground dry herb and is oftentimes considered more potent than smoking. The reason is the concentrated levels of THC and the focus on giving the user just the parts of the plant they want to enjoy. Basically, the user will get more of the plant to make them high. This can lead to intense reactions for users who have not built up a high tolerance.
Smoking is almost a thing of the past for certain types of marijuana. When using devices with dry herb it seems to produce a cleaner vapour that is easier on the user. Oils being heated seems to lead to health issues, but it’s early in the process. Vaping is a clean alternative to using a lighter with dry herb. When possible try vaping instead as it is a much cleaner way to ingest dry herbs and concentrates compared to smoking.
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