Cannabis has proven itself to be one of the miraculous plants we have. It has lots of medicinal applications, and the support from the scientific and legislative community is starting to wider and wider. Meanwhile, it has also been established that cigarette smoking puts a person’s health to various risks. The question, then, consequently follows: does weed-smoking pose the same threat? What is the healthiest way to smoke weed?
As more and more countries are starting to accept the use of marijuana, both for medical and recreational use, the closer we are in understanding the full benefits of cannabis. Moreover, in studying the benefits of weed, we will also be informed of all its potential health risks and the risks that directly come from the manner of its administration. In other words, the potential risks can be avoided if we know the best method to smoke weed.
The Classic Way of Smoking Weed
The classic way of smoking weed has never lost is acceptance despite newer ways of administration. Enthusiasts all over the world still do pipes and joints when indulging themselves to the powers of marijuana. But isn’t that the same as smoking a cigarette? Interestingly, tobacco smoking poses higher risks compared to marijuana smoking.
Chronic bronchitis is a not-so-distant friend for chain-smokers. Bronchi is in the air tubes in our lungs, and they can be damaged temporarily or permanently. And if the injury to your bronchi gets worse, it later becomes chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking is the number cause of this disease, and if you seek medical attention due to prolonged coughing and difficulty in breathing, the first question is about your smoking history.
On the other hand, regular cannabis smoking causes similar injury to bronchi and may also result in symptoms that are observed in chronic bronchitis. Nevertheless, the damage dealt with the air tubes gradually fades after the smoking stops. There is a huge amount of evidence gathered by pulmonologists and cannabis researchers that points to the wide distance between the risks for a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which tobacco smoking poses and the risks from regular marijuana smoking, even regular high doses of it. It is true, though, that smoking marijuana is proven to include carcinogenic and co-carcinogenic toxins, but studies have suggested that the risk of lung cancer is not increased with regular cannabis smoking.
Numerous other studies verified the big difference in occasional cigarette smoking and occasional cannabis smoking. Tobacco always presents a higher risk compared to cannabis smoking. These studies took years of closely monitoring of subjects.
The results are clear, but the reason behind it is not yet fully understood. Experts speculate, with a warrant, that this is because of the anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing abilities of THC (and CBD) as they contribute to a person’s pulmonary functions. Take it a little further, cannabis smoking has even the potential to increase the well-being of the lungs.
Vaping: Healthier Administration
Now that we know smoking marijuana through joints and pot does not put your lungs into higher risks of cancer and other diseases, vaping presents a little better option. The classic pot and joint methods burn the cannabis bud and release THC content (and other cannabinoids) alongside tar and smoke. In comparison, vaporizers heat cannabis juices and release (almost) pure Cannabinoids, which means more benefits and less risk.
In 2004, a study compared the vapors produced by a vaporizer against the smoke produced by a cannabis cigarette. The vapors from the vaporizer consisted of 95% THC, and the remaining 5% has only one suspected toxin. The latter, however, contained not only cannabinoid compounds such as THC but a bunch of other chemicals (more than a hundred) as well, including carcinogens. The study shows that up to 88% of the smoke from cigarettes is non-cannabinoids.
If smoking cannabis does pose a health risk because of the carcinogenic properties that come with it, using vaporizers reduces the risk, even if it’s just a potential risk. But just like what we’ve mentioned before, there is still no evidence that smoking cannabis can increase chronic or cancerous conditions.
You Can’t Avoid it Ultimately
So, is vaping the healthiest way to smoke weed? Well, if compared to joints and pot, vaping is much healthier in some respect. But it has its risks and abuses. As mentioned above, vaping produces more THC content, almost pure, compared to the classic pots and joints. In 2018, a trial was performed to study the drug effects of two cannabis administration methods, vaping and smoking.
The conclusion was vaping cannabis produces pharmacodynamic effects that are significantly greater than smoking cannabis through a joint. Moreover, higher concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol are found in the blood for adults who used vaporizers.
You can Reduce the Risk Factor
But, of course, you can’t let go of smoking cannabis despite knowing that vaporizers provide far lesser non-cannabinoid chemicals. Or maybe because you’re just afraid of the potential risks and abuses of vaping. We do understand. Therefore, here are some of the things you can observe to lessen the risk:
Don’t hold the smoke for too long. You may have been advised that it’s good to inhale the smoke deeply and hold it for a moment. But if you do, you’re exposing your precious lungs to higher amounts of tar per inhale. It’s better to exhale faster.
The rolling papers you should be using must only be the ones that are approved by the FDA. Unapproved brands may contain toxic chemicals and flavors that you want to avoid.
When doing pot sessions, avoid using plastic bongs, but use glass bongs and glass pipers instead. There are toxic chemicals found in plastic bongs like BPA. These chemicals are associated with serious conditions such as cancer.
Sanitize your equipment, for cannabis’ sake! Clean your bongs and pipes every after use and keep them in clean storage. Make sure you’ll only roll your buds on a clean table.
Keep your cannabis personal. You can share your stash, but don’t share your bong’s or pipe’s mouthpieces and joints. You may not get toxins from your cannabis, but you may get an infection and other complications by swapping swab.
As the legalized cannabis marketplace continues to thrive in numerous countries, future studies about cannabis administrations will further explore and investigate a larger set of data. So, even though the question “what is the healthiest way to smoke weed” only produces a complicated answer, we can still consider that vaping is as manageable as smoking is.