Marijuana Vaporizers: A Healthier Choice?
Whether you smoke pot for recreational or medicinal purposes, research evidence indicates using a vaporizer to inhale the plant’s active elements is a healthier choice than smoking.
The reason is simple: Smoke contains harmful carcinogens, while the vaporized marijuana does not.
Although there is no research evidence that smoking pot causes lung diseases such as cancer, it does negatively affect the efficacy of lung functioning. It contains particulates and gases that have the potential to cause disease.
Marijuana use also has its pluses. It is known to help those undergoing chemotherapy as well as those with AIDS, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Recreational users appreciate the euphoria and heightened sense of awareness it generates.
Because there is no definitive connection between smoking pot and contracting diseases, deciding whether to use a vaporizer will depend on personal preference, including an individual’s opinion and acceptance of the health and legal risks involved with marijuana use.
What Is Marijuana Vaporization?
The active ingredient of the cannabis plant is THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is in the resin that grows on the plant’s leaves. Vaporizers heat marijuana to temperatures between 180 and 200 degrees celsius (356 to 392 degrees F). This is the temperature range just below the start of combustion. At these temperatures, the cannabinoids (euphoric ingredients) are given off as a mist but without the toxins associated with combustion and smoking.
Three Big Benefits of Vaporization
- The primary benefit has already been mentioned. Using vaporized cannabis eliminates the inhalation of toxic substances. People do not experience increased levels of noxious gases, such as carbon monoxide, when breathing vapor.
- With vaporization, there is no telltale marijuana smell given off.
- Although vaporizers are an expense, vaporization is cost-effective because it delivers the active, euphoric cannabinoids more efficiently. Most of the smoke individuals inhale is full of undesirable, inactive elements, but marijuana vapor is almost entirely comprised of the psychoactive ingredients people want.
Studies, such as one done at the University of California San Francisco in 2007, indicate that vaporization is the means of cannabis delivery with the fewest side effects. Vapor was the preferred delivery of the study subjects though both smoking and vaporization produced about the same quality of “high.” The study subjects found the vaporizer a more efficient means of delivery.
Another study, by the University of New York at Albany and the University of Southern California, indicated that the respiratory effects experienced when smoking marijuana decreased using the vaporizer. They measured things such as phlegm, tightness in the chest, and coughs; all were less severe with vaporizer use.
Known Health Issues Related to Smoking Pot
Marijuana use has been linked to cognitive deterioration evidenced by poor academic or employment performance. It is also associated with sexual promiscuity, sexual assaults, changes in hormone levels, sperm damage and miscarriages. Adolescents and young adults, although they use marijuana to cope with stress, are also putting themselves at higher risk for panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.