There has been a lot of debate among consumers in the cannabis world over the last few decades – the big question being is Vaping Safer than Smoking? The next question most will ask is – is it just as effective as smoking?
In truth there has been very little professional study done on the subject – but what little there is does prove clearly that vaping is definitely safer than smoking. How much safer on the other hand is still hard to say for sure.
Vapor is Safer to Inhale than Smoke
When you inhale smoke from a pipe or joint you are not only inhaling the wonderful ingredients such as THC. You are also welcoming in carcinogens such as carbon monoxide. Actually nearly 85% of the smoke inhaled is non-cannabinoid compared to the roughly 95% cannabinoids inhaled through vapor.
It has also been proven true that one joint will produce more tar than one tobacco cigarette of the same size – however the tar produced by marijuana has not been scientifically linked to lung cancer in the same way that tobacco has, which goes to prove that marijuana is definitely safer than cigarettes. Vapor on the other hand will not leave the tar like residue behind, so for now, vapor is still safer than inhaling smoke of any sort.
Less Toxins – More Cannabinoids
As stated above the smoke inhaled from burning the cannabis plant is roughly 85% non-cannabinoids. This means that less than 15% of the smoke being inhaled actually contains THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that produces the “high” consumers expect from the plant.
However when vaporized the vapor emitted contains around 95% cannabinoids – meaning you are actually getting more THC and a more pure “high” though the effects can vary slightly depending on if you are vaporizing plant matter or concentrates such as oils or wax. (Both oils and wax have a higher THC content than flower – a very appealing factor lately among consumers.)
How Vaporizers Work
Vaporizers of any kind pretty much all work the same – at least those meant for plant matter. They work by heating up the plant until it has reached a heat that will boil the psychoactive cannabinoids (such as THC) without reaching a heat that will cause the plant matter to combust resulting in a vapor rather than smoke.
However the actual experience you get from inhaling vapors versus inhaling smoke can differ in many ways. Some may feel that smoking provides them with a better high – but this is generally due to lack of oxygen due to the carcinogens in the smoke. The results will also be very dependent on the plant chosen.
The moral of the story? Vaping is safer than smoking. End of story. How safe vaping itself may or may not be is still up for debate – but it’s clear why this has become one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis.