As a side effect to the traditional ways of burning hash, many marijuana users have developed various respiratory problems. Even then, smoking weed through burning have always been the way to go, that is, until recently when ‘vaporizing’ or ‘vaping’ emerged. This recent emergence has already gained support and patronization by many consumers and researchers. But what is the truth in vaping? Between vaping and smoking, which is healthier?
From recent survey studies, many vape users have found that vaporizing cannabis is more advantageous over smoking. As smoking weed produces smoke constituted of harmful chemicals like tobacco smoke, there are high risks of respiratory effects. In addition, the deeper and longer inhalation of marijuana smoke compared to tobacco smoke adds higher risks of exposure to such chemicals.
How Does Vaporizing Work?
Burning marijuana, whether in bongs or joints, is required to enable its psychoactive effects for its medical and recreational purposes. The process to convert the THC acid to THC (the psychoactive compound of marijuana) called decarboxylation requires the heat exposure from burning the weed. In contrast to simply smoking weed, using vaporizers heats the cannabis without combustion.
Vaporizers work by heating the cannabis at a low temperature. Rather than burning, at low temperature, the melted cannabis resins and oil are turned to steam and then released as steam. In this process, since no combustion occurred, users inhale vapor instead of smoke.
Benefits of Vaporizing Cannabis
While the advantages of vaping ranges, the key benefits lie on its healthier effects compared to smoking cannabis.
Contrast to many misconceptions, marijuana is not naturally psychoactive. As it requires heating to enable its psychoactive effects, smoking or vaporizing cannabis is required. Between these two methods, smoking cannabis involves burning that releases a thick smoke containing up to 90% non-cannabinoids due to the combustion process. In contrast, the process of vaporizing is free of up to 95% of carcinogens from smoking.
Low temperature produces steam
Smoking exposes you to thick smoke that can be highly irritating, especially at longer exposures. The vaping process exposes, on the other hand, exposes you to a fine mist with the vaporizer device making it easier on your throat and lungs, as well as your eyes.
The temperature for vaporization will depend on the cannabis, therefore, having a vaporizer with temperature customization is advised. While common vaporization temperature occurs between 330 to 370 Fahrenheit, some cannabis may need a lower or higher temperature.
Vaporizing with low heat produces vapor comprising of mostly cannabinoids. Compared to smoking which destroys a percentage of cannabinoids due to combustion, vaping delivers a higher percentage THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. The vaporizing cannabis is more efficient compared to smoking which also creates harmful chemicals in its combustion process.
Flavorful and Smell
Terpenes are found in many plant resins which causes its natural aroma. This compound can also be found in cannabis and is responsible for its flavor and aroma. Both smell and flavor enhance or deteriorate depending on the terpene content of the cannabis.
The smell and flavor of terpene are released after heat exposure. For the example, beta-caryophyllene, the pepper aroma found in black pepper, can be released at 246 degrees Fahrenheit while other terpenes such as linalool tolerate higher temperature. One reason as to why decarboxylating weed should be done properly and with caution, to avoid burning terpene and eliminating the flavor and smell completely.
As terpene varies from plant to plant, boiling points vary, varying the smell and flavor of each cannabis. Adjusting the temperature to high or low will help you achieve different strength and flavors and finding the right amount for you.
Another advantage of vaporizing hash is that it allows its user to customize their experience by managing the temperature to heat the herb. Controlling the temperature would be impossible by simply burning your hash in a bong or joint, unlike many vaporizers. A simple tweak in the temperature not just adjusts the flavor and smell but the experience as well. The heat that converts the several compounds marijuana to psychoactive cannabinoids would determine the strength of its effect to your experience. For most cannabis, you can use the following list into getting a mild to potent hight.
- Mellow and mild: 290 to 330°F (143 to 166°C)
- Fun and manageable: 330 to 370°F (166 to 187°C)
- Strong and heavy hitting: 370 to 445°F (187 to 229°C)
While the listed benefits are advantageous to vape, many long-time users still prefer traditionally smoking their weed instead of vaporizing as to the strength of high you can experience. These users claim that the high they can experience in a whiff of smoke is incomparable as to inhaling a lot of vapor. Although regardless of the methods, most cannabinoids are inhaled immediately after a few seconds of inhaling. Since the psychoactive effects of cannabis are relative to the cannabinoids released, we can assume the more efficient method would be through a vaporizer. As for new marijuana users, vaporizers are advisable for a milder and manageable high.