Vaping has taken the cannabis scene by storm. There are all sorts of reasons why pot smokers like vaporizing. For starters, it gives you a lot of flexibility. Vaporization allows you to vape everything from flower to oil to extracts. And you can go big with a desktop vaporizer or take it on the go with a portable vape. But those aren’t the only reasons people like vaping. Probably the biggest one is health related. Vaporizing cannabis can be a safer and healthier way to get high. And here’s the science that proves it.
Smoking vs. Vaporization
That’s because when you burn cannabis it releases a bunch of other stuff along with the cannabinoids. Stuff like toxins and tars. Studies have found that breathing in smoke can lead to a number of lung problems. That includes things like chronic coughing, inflammation, and other lung injuries.
So how can you tap into the power of cannabinoids without getting all those toxins? That’s where vaporization comes in. When you vape, you heat cannabis up enough to release the cannabinoids.
But it doesn’t get hot enough to actually combust. And that means that the tars and toxins stay behind. Cannabis vapor basically gives you all the good stuff without any of the nasty stuff.
A study published in 2004 broke it down even better. Researchers compared cannabis smoke to cannabis vapor. They found that “the gas phase of the vapor consisted overwhelmingly of cannabinoids, with trace amounts of three other compounds.”
On the other hand, there were “over 111 compounds . . . identified in the combusted smoke.” And many of those compounds are known to pose health risks. To put it simply, vapor had tons of cannabinoids and very few toxins. Smoke still had the cannabinoids, but it had all sorts of other stuff mixed there too.
Fewer Respiratory Problems
To see what all this means in terms of actual health, a couple researchers looked at the respiratory health of cannabis users. A 2007 study by Sara Smucker Barnwell and Mitch Earleywine examined 6,883 people who use cannabis.
After analyzing all the data, the researchers concluded that “the safety of cannabis can increase with the use of a vaporizer. Regular users of joints, blunts, pipes, and water pipes might decrease respiratory symptoms by switching to a vaporizer.”
Barnwell and Earleywine did a follow up study in 2010. This one found “meaningful improvements in respiratory function” in those who used vaporizers. They concluded that vaping could be used to administer medical cannabis “and as a harm reduction technique.”
Vaporization Delivers High Levels Of THC
The real question is how vaporizers affect your high. Good news. Studies have found that vaping delivers high levels of THC. In fact, it may even be a more efficient way to get high than smoking.
When scientists compared cannabis vapor to smoke they found that vapor delivered high levels of THC. According to that same 2004 study, vaporizers “delivered 35%-61% of the THC in the sample, a delivery efficiency that compares favorably to that of marijuana cigarettes.”
Not only do vaporizers release a high amount of THC, they also deliver it more effectively than smoking. That’s because vaporizing doesn’t burn up all your bud too quickly.
A good vaporizer will evenly heat your bud from all angles and make it easy to inhale. Nothing’s wasted. It doesn’t keep burning while you’re not using it. And it vaporizes at a smooth and consistent rate.
The Final Hit
Vaporizers are one of the biggest advancements to hit the cannabis scene in recent years. And as the science shows, there’s good reason for its explosive growth.
Vaping gives you a cleaner and safer way to puff. It gives you a killer high without having to breathe in dirty smoke. But it gets even better.
For many folks, vaping is just a better all around experience. Fans of vaping say that the lower temperatures give a fuller, richer, more complex flavor profile than smoke. Yet one more reason to give vaping a try.