02 Nov Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?
The conversation about vaping seems to have changed rapidly in the past few years. When e-cigarettes were first introduced to the world, they were said to be a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Nowadays, the United States is proposing a ban on e-cigarettes and medical health professionals aren’t so keen on vapes.
What happened? And is vaping actually safer than smoking?
Let’s break it down.
Why Vaping May Be Safer Than Smoking
When you smoke a joint, you take an open flame to your bud and inhale the smoke that it produces. This is combustible smoke. Combustible smoke from marijuana contains THC, which gets you high. But this combustible smoke also contains a whole lot of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, nickel, lead, and more. It also contains particle matters that can travel deep into the lungs.
Vaping is a different process. Rather than applying an open flame to a solid substance, vape pens heat up a liquid or oil. (You can also vape dry herb, but we’ll get to that later.) Vapor is said to have a significantly smaller amount of toxic chemicals to inhale.
This is one of the reasons that experts have been recommending e-cigarettes over traditional cigarettes. Fewer toxic chemicals in the lungs significantly decrease the risk of lung cancer and other diseases of the respiratory system. This is true whether or not you prefer THC or nicotine in your carts.
If you do enjoy smoking cigarettes and vaping without marijuana, it’s also worth noting that e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco.
What About Dry Herb Vaporizers?
Things get tricky when you take a look at dry herb vaporizers. If you want to protect your lungs and still get high, you want to inhale vapor rather than combustible smoke. But exposing your dry herb to high temperatures, whether it’s in a joint or a vape, may still result in combustible smoke.
Make sure that when you’re shopping for dry herb vapes, you get one that lets off vapor instead of smoke.
Heated coils that directly touch your marijuana are a no-go. Vapes that reach temperatures up to 450 degrees Farenheit will also create combustible smoke. Keep temperatures between 350-450 degrees and you should be able to vaporize your herbs.
Why Vaping Is Getting a Bad Reputation
Okay, so there are fewer toxic chemicals in vapor than in smoke. So why is everyone upset about vapes all of a sudden?
They’re Popular Among Teens
One of the main concerns about vapes isn’t the device – it’s the people who are using the device to smoke or get high.
Vapes were designed to help adults quit smoking. Adults who had already become addicted to cigarettes could use vaping as a transition away from nicotine. The key word here is “adults.”
Children should not be vaping. But they are. The sleek look of vapes and the delicious flavours are tempting to children who weren’t already hooked on nicotine. But once they started vaping, they found that they couldn’t stop.
Vaping was meant to be a way out of smoking cigarettes, but now it’s a gateway drug for millions of teens around North America. Whoops.
The Additives May Be Dangerous
There have been hundreds of cases that link vaping to lung disease and even death. But researchers still aren’t exactly sure what is causing this link. Few argue that the method of vaporizing, rather than smoking, vape juice is the problem. Experts are more likely to believe that some of the additives in vape juice and oils are the problem.
When you smoke dry herb, you know what you’re smoking: a plant in its purest form. A lot happens to that plant in order to create the oil or the vape juice that you heat up in your pen. The extraction process may involve butane, alcohol, or CO2. Additives like terpenes, cannabinoids, and other ingredients may also be added to the vape juice in order to sweeten the flavour or cause other effects. If you don’t know what’s in your vape pen, you don’t know what you’re inhaling.
Vape liquid isn’t the only substance being altered before it goes into vapes. If you decide to vape with concentrates, you may still be at risk. THC concentrates of any kind may have additional ingredients. And the solution to this problem is not to try and make your own concentrates or vape juice.
There’s a Lot We Don’t Know
Is vaping safer than smoking? Well, maybe. There hasn’t been enough time between the discovery of vaping-related deaths to really know. Experts are working hard to figure out what connects all vaping-related deaths, but nothing has appeared so far. It’s your responsibility to educate yourself on the dangers of vaping, what’s in your vape pen, and any new updates to whether or not vaping is truly safer than smoking.
Here’s One Thing We Do Know: We Don’t Know What’s In Bootleg Vapes
E-cigarettes are fairly accessible around Canada. There’s no reason to buy a bootleg vape off the street. You really don’t know what you’re inhaling when you choose to inhale a counterfeit product. When you want to purchase a vape pen or cartridges, choose a trusted retailer. Saving a few bucks is not worth the agony of suffering from lung disease.
Should You Vape Marijuana Instead of Smoke Weed?
It’s hard to say whether vaping is definitely safer than smoking weed. We know that vapor has fewer toxic chemicals than combustible smoke, but it’s hard to say whether all of the ingredients in vape juices are healthy.
When it comes to health, you can feel confident saying that vapor is generally safer than combustible smoke. But there are other reasons you might want to vape rather than smoke weed. Vaping hits differently than smoking – and many users prefer the high they get from their pen. Other people like the reduced smell or enhanced taste of their vape. It’s all up to personal preference.
So vape away, but proceed with caution. Continue to educate yourself and know what you’re putting in your pen before you inhale.