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Vaping, or vaporizing, is the process of heating dry plant matter to generate vapors through a vape. A vape is a battery-powered device used for vaping, for example, e-cigarettes.
Smoking pot is the inhalation of smoke released from the burning of cannabis flowers, buds, or extracts. It releases the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC enters the bloodstream via the lungs.
Vaping, still pretty new to the market, is now widely marketed as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. People usually turn to vape to reduce or quit their smoking habit.
But is vaping less harmful than smoking pot? Can vaporizers aid in quitting smoking once and for all?
Smoking involves the burning of the entire cannabis plant, including cannabis flowers, buds, and other plant matter. On the other hand, vaping requires heating of a particular part of the plant like dry herb, oil, or extracts.
In vapes, substances are heated to create water vapor, which is aerosol; the user is inhaling that. These are smokeless and odorless and are composed of fine particles. Smoking pot involves inhalation and exhalation of smoke released from burning marijuana.
The plant matter can vary from place to place, depending on the location, yield, and growing medium. Vapes, on the other hand, involves producing the same product with the same experience from batch to batch.
As there is no combustion of the dry matter, there is no tar or any other by-products involved in vaping, which can be lighter on the lungs. Tar is also known to affect the respiratory system, blacken teeth, and destroy taste buds. Further, vapor released from a vape tends to diffuse more quickly than the smoke from a joint.
In vaping, there is full utilization of cannabis or extracts because the heating takes place in an enclosed chamber. In the case of smoking, 30-50% of cannabis gets wasted due to sidestream smoke. It also means that vaping for medicinal purposes is more effective. Moreover, vaping CBD-based concentrates and edibles are more effective than smoking it. According to green roads CBD review, cannabis can be vaped in the form of dab crystals, tinctures, concentrates, and oils, which ensures its maximum utilization.
According to a 2018 study, infrequent users of cannabis were more likely to get high while vaping as compared to smoking the same amount of weed. It is because vaping delivers more significant amounts of THC, the primary intoxicant in cannabis, so the participants also showed the highest THC levels in their blood immediately after smoking it.
While smoking involves the use of dried herbs only, vapes include using a wide range of materials like dried herbs, concentrates, extracts, oils, etc. It provides the option of vape on the “go” as vaporizers come in different shapes and sizes, making it convenient to use as and when needed.
You are more likely to get the full flavor of marijuana while vaping as compared to when you’re smoking it. It is because you’re more likely to taste the individual terpenes and cannabinoids while vaping. Moreover, the weed does not burn, so it doesn’t taste bitter or dry; rather, it just tastes that much cleaner, clearer, and yummier.
However, the flavor tends to diminish towards the end of each session. In addition to this, the most popular way to consume cannabis is to smoke it in different types of bongs. Bongs are another great way to enjoy your herb.
While the initial investment is high, vaping is cost-effective in the long run. It is because when combustion takes place, a lot of gets wasted as smoke. However, in vapes, around 95% of THC retains, so there is an efficient use of the weed. It also means you’ll be using less weed each time you vape, which helps in decreasing the frequency of purchase.
Smoking involves the use of joints, papers, lighters, and loose buds that can be pretty messy. In a vaporizer, it is easy to attach readymade pods to the vape and smoke without making any mess. If grinding is required, it involves just two steps- grinding of herb and loading it into the vaporizer. Super simple and convenient.
Marijuana smoke contains many of the same chemicals, carcinogens, and cancer-causing agents as tobacco smoke.
Some of them include:
UCSF identified nine chemicals that are on the California Prop 65 list of carcinogens and reproductive toxins. Vaping liquids with added flavoring have been found to contain additional harmful chemicals.
Some of the eminent chemicals in vaping include-
In a study conducted by the BioMed Central, vaping involves heating the substance to a temperature that is just below the combustion temperature, thereby reducing its detrimental effects.
The combustion of marijuana produces smoke that contains many carcinogens and harmful chemicals that leads to lungs, heart and respiratory diseases. Vaping cannabis removes almost 95% of the smoke making it healthier for the lungs.
Heating marijuana at a slightly lower temperature than the combustion temperature releases an inhalable vapor that contains the active ingredients in marijuana (like THC and cannabinoids) but without the harmful by-products.
Another report, by the UK’s Department of Health, concludes that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco, and they can help smokers to quit.
Vapourizers, e-cigarettes, and other vaping products have not been around long enough to determine the harm they cause in the long run. Legal issues have also been causing quite a stir regarding the safe and legal use of vapes, with 48 states in the US banning the use of vapes.
The lack of quality control in vaporizers is a significant concern. If you’re a regular user of vape or a newbie on the lookout for vaporizers, stick to ones that come from legitimate and legalized manufacturers. It is because illegitimate cartridges are likely to contain more harmful chemicals.