It has been just a little over a decade since the invention of the e-cigarette. Since then thousands have made the switch from conventional cigarettes to vaporizers because of the many potential benefits they offer over traditional smoking. With the expanding legalization of cannabis, many different vaporizers have come onto the market. Cannabis is gaining recognition for its various medicinal uses (fda.gov) stimulating users to seek a healthier alternative to smoking the herb without compromising efficacy and convenience. That’s where vaping comes into play.
Cannabis contains many different cannabinoids. Smoking a joint activates the cannabinoids by using high heat, but burning the herb can have some undesirable side effects: releasing undesirable toxins as well as destroying some of the active ingredients. Cannabis smoke contains many of the same unhealthy chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke. Vaping offers a smokeless solution.
Vaporizers use microprocessor controlled heating to heat either the raw herb or an extract just enough to vaporize the THC and other active ingredients. This significantly reduces the toxins involved in traditional smoking and preserves much more of the active ingredients in the herb.
Cannabinoids are released through combustion at around 446° F while they vaporize at merely 284° F. Vaporizers maintain the herb at a temperature in between those extremes via one of two different heating methods: conduction (directly heating the herb) or convection (forcing heated air through the herb). There are many vaporizers on the market that give the user control over the vaporization temperature, which also gives them control over the amount of cannabinoids being released.
Some users might initially be turned off by having to invest in purchasing a quality vaporizer, but most find the variety of options and customizations available, highly appealing. Also, switching to vaping could save you money in the long run. Since vaping extracts more active ingredients from the cannabis, you’ll be consuming less product to get the same effects. Unlike burning cannabis, the product left over after vaping, the AVB (already vaped bud), is consumable and can further be used in various forms of edibles.
Since vaporizing cannabis is rather new there hasn’t been much research into its long-term effects on human health. However, you can simply take a look at the pros and cons involved with smoking vs. vaping and make an educated decision for yourself:
A Look at the Pros and Cons of Cannabis Vaping:
- Smoke-free solution—Reduces carcinogens and other toxins such as tar, and reduces the side effects of second-hand inhalation
- Reduced odor—It’s more environmentally friendly and less detectable on clothing and furniture.
- Cost effective—Preserves more active ingredients and the AVB is consumable extending the use of your herb.
- Cleaner—extracts provide a reduced risk of obtaining a tainted product.
- Customizable—There are many types of vaporizers and many different varieties and flavors of extracts that can be used in them.
- Initial Cost—While the herb itself isn’t any more expensive, the vaping unit and materials can be costly.
- More complex—There is a bit of a learning curve for new users: finding the vaporizer that’s right for you, setting the right temperature and choosing the best product.
- Maintenance—You need to clean your vaporizer regularly, and maintain the battery of the system.
- It feels different—vaping is a slightly different delivery method than smoking. So, the body will respond to it differently. This can take some getting used to.
- Side effects—while smoking cannabis poses many health risks that vaping does not, there are some known potential risks involved in vaping such as popcorn lung.
Potential Dangers of Smoking
When looking over the pros of switching to vaping what stands out to most individuals is eliminating the health issues that come with inhaling smoke:
“Frequent marijuana[cannabis] smokers can have many of the same problems as tobacco smokers, such as a daily cough, mucus, more chest colds and a higher risk of lung infection“ (colorado.gov).
“Frequent smokers of cannabis often report respiratory problems. Many users experience symptoms of bronchitis including coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest” (Loflin 1).
While more studies are needed to determine whether or not cannabis smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer, cannabis smoke does contain many of the same chemicals that have linked tobacco smoke to lung cancer (colorado.gov). Despite the fact that tobacco smoke and cannabis smoke are chemically similar “it has not been causally linked with tobacco-related cancers” (Melamede 1). However, studies have shown that vaporizing does lower the amount of harmful tars inhaled by the user and also has a significantly lower risk of respiratory problems (colorado.gov).
Switching to Vaping is a Smart Decision
Switching to vaping not only reduces potential health risks associated with smoking, it can also increase your quality of life in a social context. Vaporized cannabis doesn’t carry with it the strong odor associated with smoking (it does still smell, but the odor is less poignant, less clingy, less conspicuous and described by many as more pleasant).
The benefits of vaping instead of smoking far outweigh the costs. Vaping is a more effective way to use cannabis, and it gives the user far more control over their experience. Making the switch to vaping is not only a smart choice for your health, it will also greatly improve the quality of life for you and those around you.
Originally posted 2017-10-11 04:20:30.