Vaporizing has always had a following, but more and more people are choosing vapor over paper. Whether you see someone carrying a light sabor-like device that bellows vapor or see one of the many vapor stores on every street corner, vaporizing is more popular than ever. This post’s objective is to view the effects of vaporizing, in comparison to smoking. From the surface, vaporizing marijuana seems safer, but there is not enough evidence to substantiate that theory. – by Mary Jon
The primary argument against vaporizing marijuana, and its active ingredient THC [Tetrahydrocannabinol], is that there is not enough research on the subject. Since vaporizing is a relatively new activity to the masses, the long term effects are unknown.
Whereas research on this matter is scarce, in 2003, California NORML [National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws] and MAPS [Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies] did a study finding that vaporization lowers the toxins found in marijuana smoke. 1Most experts agree that vaporizing trumps smoking when it comes to lung and cardiovascular health. The unknown health risks with vaping surround the CO2 oil that are in many ‘vape’ cartridges. Not only is the extraction process dangerous, if not done properly, but the CO2 oil has links to carcinogens. Inhalation of these carcinogens are ‘dangerous’ can cause failure of organs and cancer. 2Without proper research it is unclear if vaporizing is a healthier alternative to the traditional hand-rolled joint.
Along with the assumed health benefits, stoners are turning to the ‘vape’ for other reasons. Vaporizing is often referred to as a ‘clean high’ and has a less noticeable odor than lighting up (fire to bud). The lack of smell enables weed enthusiasts to get their THC fix on-the-go, in public areas, with little to no suspicion. Vapor, unlike smoke, dissipates quickly and provides a discreet way to get high.
The 420-friendly crowd is flocking to vapor for another important reason – money. Vaporizing is cheaper because one uses less to get stoned. The marijuana, oil and wax used to vaporize is more concentrated with THC.
Vaporizing marijuana proves to be cheaper and keeps usage on the down-low, but, ultimately, scientists and doctors have not had enough experience with the research of vaporizing THC to deter or recommend marijuana smokers. This article is not intended to be used as medical advice.
1 Medical Marijuana Pro Con. (2003). Vaporizer Study [Press release]. Retrieved from the MMPC website.
2 American Lung Association. (2014). E-cigrattes and Lung Health. Retrieved from the ALA website.