vaporizing vs. smoking cannabis
The Benefits of Vaporizing Cannabis Vs Smoking Cannabis written by: FMS
The idea of cannabis consumption is always accompanied by the image of smoking a joint in my option. In addition, depending on personal experience, a consumer could consider it to be the only method for consuming cannabis. Needless to say, that is an extreme case. However, lacking proper wisdom, even experienced users sometimes consider methods like vaporizing as just a fancy way of getting high. The reality is anything but. Otherwise, it would not be the “trend on the rise”. The benefits of vaporizing (or, “vaping”) cannabis instead of smoking are downright practical and drastically efficient. Empirical data shows that the majority of people who tried out vaporizing insisted on its benefits based on personal experience and easily resisted from diverting back to smoking.
Aside from the fundamental health benefits, vaporizing cannabis also provides other “external” advantages like discretion and milder odor. It has also proven to be more effective at emitting refined and stronger taste in addition to superior effects. Let us now take a more detailed view into the reasons for shifting to vaporizing from smoking cannabis.
1. The Basic Health Benefits
Smoking anything is bad for our lungs. While consuming cannabis through combustion and smoking does not cause cancer or such health condition yet proven and in fact, is now being used in developing treatments to fight against that condition, any kind of smoke is capable of initiating various lung irritations and continuous such exposure to smoke often make the simplest irritations more resilient to basic treatments. Vaporizing, however, bypasses this whole possibility of developing irritations and inflammations by cutting the whole “smoke” portion out of the consumption process. The basic idea behind developing the instrument called a “vaporizer” is to eliminate the mass variety of carcinogens produced during the combustion required to smoke. In addition to the various carcinogens, tar is also produced as a natural byproduct of the combustion process. The side effects of smoking range from mild irritations to chronic bronchitis, depending on exposure and usage. A vaporizer, on the other hand, does not ignite the substance but simply heats it to the point where it is just below the combustion level. Thus, it substitutes the smoke by 95% with cannabinoids, the active ingredients of cannabis, and almost completely eliminates the potential damages. The increased level of cannabinoids also increases the emission of anti-inflammatory terpenoids that keep the lungs protected from various irritations and inflammations.
2. The Immediate Effects
While the health benefits become apparent in the long run, the immediate benefits are much easier to spot. Surprisingly, there are not that many big studies available for public uses that were carried out in controlled environments in laboratories. Most of the available studies are based on empirical data; in other words, the studies were made based on the personal experiences of actual consumers. However, since empiricism is currently the core for theoretical and practical analysis of scientific claims, these studies are more credible than most would think. The simplest immediate claim, by the users, that can easily be derived from any one of these studies is that it simply feels good. Smoking cannabis is often accompanied by immediate and sudden dizziness due to the tradition of holding the smoke in to let the effects take root. However, it is a completely baseless claim and does nothing but increasing the potential for physical hangover. The most immediate benefit of vaporizing is not feeling that dizziness and that the whole process is downright clean.
3. Stronger Flavors
As mentioned earlier, vaporizers are capable of extracting 95% of cannabinoids without burning marijuana, which is a rate far higher than that of smoking which is only about 50% of the cannabinoids. In doing so, they also make it much easier to taste the flavors. Users sometimes claim that vaporizing makes cannabis taste like burnt popcorn, which is only possible is the substance is literally burnt to a crisp (over 402 Degrees). While heating cannabis to the point of crispness would still not cause the side effects of smoking, it does defeat the purpose somewhat since the malpractice makes the whole experience undesirable and poses the possibility of diverting back to smoking. If done properly, by pushing the substance only to the point of least usability, vaporizing will always provide a stronger experience of flavors of marijuana.
4. Cost Effective in the Long Run
Vaporizers can be costly, that is true. The cheapest ones cost somewhere around $40 whereas the more costly ones go past several hundred. By no means is the initial investment small. However, its cost effectiveness comes out in the long run. Vaporizers can convert 46% of cannabis’ THC, which is the active intoxicant of the substance, to vapor whereas combustion converts only up to about 25%. This ratio means that vaporizers can produce much stronger effect without using the same amount of cannabis. In other words, less is used to gain more. This means the same amount of substance can be used for twice the amount of times. A few other studies show that patients who have been prescribed cannabis for medicinal purposes prefer vaporizing over any other form of consumption – smoking, tea and edibles – since it requires smaller dosage compared to the other methods. To make it more environmentally friendly and to facilitate recycling initiatives, there are many recipes available on the internet to turn the leftovers from vaporizing consumables. While the consumables produced from these leftovers are never as much enjoyable as when they are made from fresh cannabis, they do put the whole substance to use. Simply put, while the initial investment is quite considerable, it pays off in the long run by using cannabis in the best possible way.
5. Discreet Way to Use Cannabis in Public
Depending on their designs, vaporizers make public usage of cannabis extremely simple. While the odor and vapor are still there, the amount and noticeability are extremely low. While vapor and smoke will always draw some amount of attention, vaporizers simply make the whole method much more discreet than smoking. Most users do not like all the attention when they do it in public even though they do not prefer their freedom of cannabis consumption be restricted within private environments. For those users, vaporizers are especially beneficial since they do not need to pay extra attention to avoid attracting too much attention. However, the user should also be cautious about using them in public because the effects of intoxicants are much stronger when consumed through a vaporizer. While it is true that it takes a bit longer for the effects to get hold of the user’s senses, they do so much strongly and for much longer when they indeed do. Public users are hence often advised to take in small puffs instead of long ones. In addition to restricting the exposure of vapor and odor certain vaporizers, like a pen vaporizer, are very easy to carry without attracting much attention.
Vaporizing Vs. Smoking: A Precise Perspective
Now that we have an overall understanding about the obvious benefit of vaporizing cannabis instead of smoking it, let us now consider a more precise view of the scenario. While vaporizing is the obvious and superior choice, keep in mind that smoking a joint is not necessarily alarmingly disastrous to the user’s health. Let us continue with the comparison.
1. Combustion Vs Heating: As we know, a vaporizer heats the cannabis to vaporize its cannabinoids instead of burning it. The cannabinoids start to vaporize when the temperature reaches around 285 degrees Fahrenheit (about 140 degrees Celsius) and cannabis starts to combust when the temperature reaches around 392 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 degrees Celsius). Obviously, the standard temperature to vaporize cannabis lies somewhere between these two and it is about 338 degrees Fahrenheit (about 170 degrees Celsius). This is the threshold that vaporizers make use of. On the other hand, a joint smoked through combustion can burn up to 2012 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1100 degrees Celsius). It is easy to see that smoking burns cannabinoids far above their vaporizing threshold. Thus, smoking provides the least amount of healthy and beneficial cannabinoids.
2. Polluted Smoke Vs Clarified Vapor: Smoke produced by burning any kind of substance carries a large amount of toxic by-products including tar and known carcinogens, which are capable of causing cancer in living tissues. While the amounts of such toxic by-products carried in smoke depend entirely on the substance burned, smoking cannabis does not eliminate the risk altogether. The combustion method still produces harmful known carcinogens and continuous usage could lead to long-term effects, especially since so few of the healthy cannabinoids manage to enter and remain in the system. On the other hand, since vaporizers heat cannabis only to a certain temperature and never actually reach the combustion level, they simply produce a vapor of healthy cannabinoids that is 95% smoke and carcinogen free. This, in turn, means vaporizing eliminates whatever risk of physical disaster smoking cannabis poses.
3. Non-Cannabinoids Vs Cannabinoids: Almost 88% of the smoke gasses produced by the combustion of cannabis consist of non-cannabinoids, which are anything but the active ingredients of cannabis or marijuana. In addition, they also contain about 111 different mild toxic by-products and about 6 known PAHs. PAHs or Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are one of the major building blocks of various fossil fuels like coal, crude oil and gasoline and made up entirely of hydrogen and carbon. The chemical bonds of PAHs only exert negative effects on the user’s lungs and naturally could cause permanent damage through continuous usage. On the other hand, vapors produced by vaporizers contain 95% cannabinoids and the remaining 5% contains only a small amount of 1 PAH and a common fragrant oil called Caryophyllene that is found in many plants. Even if the small amount of PAH does pose some threat, the huge amount of cannabinoids consumed through vaporizing could act as the countermeasure, which of course is the reality.
4. Held Smoke Vs Small Puffs: Conventional wisdom tells us to hold the smoke to increase the effects felt. Regardless of its popularity, the reality of that is quite the contrary. Holding the smoke inside our lungs only increases the amount of tar and noxious chemicals absorbed into our system. While it is not directly linked to the disadvantages of smoking cannabis it is a common practice and a trusted principle for its consumption. On the other hand, studies show that 95% of all the cannabinoids from vaporizing is absorbed into our system within a few seconds of inhaling. THC, which is the most popular cannabinoid among medicinal users for its major psychoactive effects, is no exception to this. This is why patients often prefer vaporizing over smoking. For the same reason, users are often advised to take in small and shallow puffs.
Is There Any Disadvantage of Vaporizing?
While it is clear to see that vaporizing cannabis is obviously superior to smoking, it also comes to the user’s mind whether it carries any risk that is unique to itself. While lengthy observational studies failed to identify any such unique disadvantages, some users do complain that the vaporizers they use often produce vapors that smell of plastic. However, this problem is easily avoidable if the user takes care not to buy a very cheap version of a standard vaporizer. Another supposed disadvantage is that vaporizing does nothing to mitigate the side effects, such as dependency, of consuming cannabis. However, as more and more studies done on the effects of cannabis, the clearer it is becoming that its consumption does not cause such side effects like psychological instability and addiction. Simply put, vaporizing does not pose any actual disadvantage regardless of traditional misconceptions.
It is clear that vaporizing is obviously a better choice than smoking for practical reasons. Both physically and financially it is a better choice to shift from smoking cannabis to vaporizing. Recent studies show that cannabis could be the most natural and efficient way for treating disastrous physical conditions like cancer and psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are now realized as actual medical conditions that require our serious considerations. This goes on proving the varsatility of cannabis. However, all this can be achievable only if the substance itself, the cannabis, is put to use properly and as we have seen, there is no better way to do that than vaporizing.