Smoking vs. Vaping

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Smoking vs. Vaping: Which one is healthier?

 

With so many options related to the consumption of cannabis, many health conscious consumers may wonder which method of ingestion (vaping or smoking) is healthier. Many health claims have been made related to e-cigarettes vs. traditional cigarettes but do these hold any water when we are considering the same for marijuana?[1] Is there even a definitive answer to this question?

 

The Science of Vaping versus Traditional Smoking

 

If you are smoking weed the traditional way (pipe, bong, joint, etc.) you are using an open flame (combustion). As one might assume fire is very hot. The inhalation of marijuana at a high temperature can produce carcinogens, soot, and tar that can irritate the lungs, cause you to cough, and may lead bronchitis. This lung irritation can also exacerbate existing issues such asthma or other respiratory related illnesses.

 

When you vaporize (whether using oil, extracts, or flower) you are using conduction heating. In conduction heating, your material is contacting the heat source directly without an open flame. The conduction method uses a lower temperature which allows you to inhale the THC with less smoke and the byproducts of smoking. One study even suggested that vaping can release anti-inflammatory Terpenoids.

 

Popcorn Lung?

 

There is a rumor out there that cannabis vaping can cause popcorn lung. This rumor comes from the presence of diacetyl in e-cigarette products. The American Lung looked into E-cigarettes and discovered that this chemical was present in some e-cigaette juice. Still, could vaping nicotine cause such an issue? Snopes did an article on this related to e-cigarettes and found many of the claims made related to e-cigarettes were mostly false.

 

Now here is the good news: as far as we are aare diacetyl is not present in ANY of the marijuana extracts on the market. AGAIN the chemical in question connected to popcorn lung was a possible additive in e-cigarette juice and is not in any cannabis extracts. The marijuana industry is much more regulated than the tobacco industry. While we can’t speak to the additives in e-cig juice, cannabis producers openly disclose the methods and additives in their products. Either way, no you will not get popcorn lung from vaping cannabis or cannabis extracts.

 

Polyethelyne Glycol


While marijuana extracts do not contain diacetyl, often a compound known as polyethelyne glycol (PEG) is present in some cannabis concentrates, particularly CO2 extractions.  PEG, a medical grade solvent, has a variety of uses and is present in many of the products such as laxatives, toothpaste, medications, and a variety of other uses. Used for many years, the product is considered by the US government to be safe for human consumption.

 

However, it’s use in vaping is relatively knew. While some have called into question the use of PEG in extracts, there really is no definitive proof that this solvent is unsafe despite the consternation of some in the community. If you would like to avoid this chemical, extracts that contain PEGs will have it as a listed ingredient. In the end, it is up to you to determine which cannabis products and byproducts you would like to consume.

 

 

 

Limitations

Vaping cannabis is still relatively new. While studies show that vaping alleviates some of the negative respiratory effects of smoking, there are some drawbacks. Vaping (particularly when extracts are involved) tends to be more potent than traditional smoking and dosing can be a little more difficult when vaping. In addition, a seasoned smoker may find that vaping affects them differently, perhaps altering or lengthening the effects of cannabis. While vaping may be better for your respiratory system, personal preference will likely dictate which method of cannabis consumption you prefer.

 

Regardless of your choice, medical evidence seems to suggest marijuana is likely healthier than tobacco. As cannabis use becomes more prevalent, more studies suggest it by the day. We believe in freedom here and that it is ultimately up to the end user what you would like to put in your body. Hardly anything you consume can have no negative side effects whether its alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, red meat, or food in general. As always, adults should live by the axiom “moderation in all things.” Toke on Dreamers!

[1] This blog is commenting on the consumption of cannabis only. We haven’t done research into cigarettes or e-cigs. Are you still reading this? Get back to the article!

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