Smoking cannabis has many benefits, but the act of burning cannabis still releases toxins. Cannabis smoke is less toxic than cigarette smoke, but smoke always creates lung irritation and respiratory problems. Vaping is heating cannabis without burning it because the plant itself is not combusted. Vaping produces fewer carcinogenic compounds compared to smoking. Smokers tend to be more susceptible to respiratory infections and bronchitis. A few studies have been done that show vaporizing showed fewer respiratory effects than smoking. Although more research needs to be done to study the health benefits of vaping over smoking cannabis, there are plenty of reasons to vape rather than smoke cannabis. Vaping offers a smoother hit that allows you to taste the terpenes present within your cannabis that may otherwise disappear during combustion.
The Benefits of Cannabis Vaporizing
Medical cannabis patients may have problems with their lungs that prevent them from smoking. Vapor inhalation is a relief in this situation. Many people believe that vaporizing cannabis provides a clearer high since there is no smoke inhaled. However, there have been few research studies done to support this claim. The only study of 18 people found that carbon monoxide content in the blood was reduced in vaporizing patients compared to those who smoke. Another study performed in 2014 found that consumers preferred vaping because of the lack of smoke and a more significant effect while vaping.
What Are the Disadvantages of Vaping?
Vaping cannabis requires different preparation than smoking cannabis. Most vaporizers need the plant matter to be ground into a fine consistency for vaping. Vaping also requires more set-up than smoking cannabis because you must wait for the vaporizer to heat up. It also requires diligent cleaning to keep the vaporizer in good shape. These are not necessarily disadvantages, but it does mean a change to cannabis consuming habits for current smokers. Tabletop and portable vaporizers tend to be expensive but can save you money in the long run. Vapers report a greater effect from the same amount of cannabis consumption compared to smoking, which could lead to savings.
Heat Is Everything
When it comes to vaporizing cannabis, the temperature at which you vape matters. Recent studies have shown that temperatures between 392°F and 446°F showed less harmful toxins when vaporizing. Specific compounds within cannabis are only released at certain temperatures, too. THCA is activated at 220°F, while CBC requires a temp of at least 428°F. Medical cannabis patients will want to invest in a vaporizer that offers customizable heat settings. Recreational vaporizer temp is mostly a personal preference for users.
What Do Studies Say?
Because cannabis has been classified as a Schedule I drug for many years; not much research has been done on medical benefits. Researchers are just now able to look at the long-term benefits of cannabis in a medical setting. A 2015 study measured blood levels of vapers and determined that vaporizing was an effective method of THC delivery. Another study surveyed cancer patients taking cannabis to ask which method of intake they preferred. Most preferred vaporizing because it is less irritating for the respiratory system.