Vaping or vaporizing cannabis has become exceedingly popular over the last number of years, as have e-cigarettes. But what is vaping exactly? And what is safer, vaping vs smoking? We'll weigh the pros and cons of both here.
What is Vaping?
Basically, vaping is when you heat cannabis without burning it. The heat activates the cannabis compounds into a vapor mist by the vaporizer device. Given that combustion does not occur, there is no smoke.
Is Vaping Safe?
According to recent research, people who vape cannabis believe it has health advantages and that it is less hazardous to their health than cigarette smoking. In addition, cannabis vaporizers are designed specifically for inhalation without the harmful toxins in smoke.
Although there is minimal research on vaporizing cannabis, studies have shown that vaping produces fewer carcinogenic compounds than smoking cannabis since it is heated, not combusted.
While cigarette smoke is more toxic than cannabis smoke, inhaling any combustion product is not desirable. Any kind of smoke contains particulates and gasses that can irritate the lungs and cause breathing problems. When cannabis is burned, over 100 toxins and other compounds are released.
The Pros of Vaping Cannabis
Some people say that vaporizers create a high that is more clear-headed because no smoke is inhaled; however, there are few studies to validate whether vaping and smoking create different kinds of highs.
In one study that included 18 subjects, each individual either vaped or smoked THC strengths of 1.7%, 3.4%, and 6.8%. This was followed by measuring THC blood levels and carbon monoxide in exhaled air. Although blood levels were not considerably different, expelled carbon monoxide was significantly lower with vaping.
In a 2014 study of experiences of cannabis vaporizer users that included 100 subjects who vaporized AND smoked, subjects noted a number of benefits of vaping over smoking, namely better taste and the absence of smoke odor. They likewise noted that with vaping, the same amount of cannabis produced more effect.
Another study was among the very first to examine variable temperature levels and vaping. Like earlier research, this study not only demonstrated fewer harmful byproducts with vaping versus smoking, it also showed that temperature makes a difference. Cannabis was vaporized at temperatures of 338, 392, and 446 degrees Fahrenheit, measuring the cannabinoid to byproduct ratio using liquid chromatography. The ratio was significantly higher at 392 and 446 degrees F than smoke, revealing less harmful toxins when vaping.
Because the vapor does not have to be inhaled in deep breaths but can be inhaled as short puffs, newbies often prefer vaporizing. Additionally, people think that using a vape is more discreet than smoking.
The Cons of Vaping Cannabis
The cons specifically relate to setting up the vaporizer, preparing the cannabis by grinding it, heating up the vaporizer, and cleaning the vaporizer after each session. In addition to a process that is somewhat of a hassle, many portable and desktop vaporizers are too pricey for the most casual users. However, vaporizers can help you save money on cannabis in the long run. Check out the amazing selection of vaporizers at all price points online at Headshop.
As cannabis legalization continues across the U.S. and around the world, more studies are being conducted. Scientists would like to study cannabis consumers to research their perceptions and prevalence of vaping. Because more cannabis users perceive vaporizers as offering benefits and being less harmful, it's important that experimental research continues about vaporizing vs smoking cannabis.