Vaping and weed: A match made in heaven?
Here's a pretty good rule of thumb you can put in your pipe and smoke: Where tobacco trends are concerned, weed is usually not too far behind. And of course, that's all assuming it wasn't leading the charge to begin with.
It's hardly a stretch to imagine why weed lovers, being the naturalists that they are, would latch on to a THC delivery method that doesn't harsh their health vibe quite as much. But that's not the only reason vaping and weed could very well be a cosmically ordained match. Here are a few others to consider:
- Both vaping and marijuana are currently the subjects of intense legal debate -- especially in the U.S., where widespread marijuana legalisation is largely regarded as imminent. What's more, vaping has the potential to sweeten the deal for proponents of medical marijuana. In New York, legalisation passed on the condition that medical marijuana would not be smoked, but rather, ingested or vaped.
- The study didn't specify how much more beneficial weed was because it was vaped rather than smoked, but a team of Israeli researchers found that vaporised, whole-plant cannabis could reduce pain by as much as 45%.
- Pot smokers are forever seeking ways to be more discreet. And if we're being realistic, vaporisers are a million light years ahead of that cardboard tube stuffed with dryer sheets you used in college. With their burgeoning guise of social acceptability, ecigarettes containing THC can easily be disguised as a standard tobacco product -- plus the vapour they release is virtually odorless.
- To backtrack a little, the health factor is a huge reason why potheads are taking to vaporisers. Since one is laced with a smorgasbord of chemical additives and the other isn't, marijuana is already much less harmful to smoke than cigarettes. Removing the "smoke" component takes it one step further on the path to being beyond reproach. Studies have found that vaporised marijuana contains significantly fewer toxins than smoked marijuana. In fact, it's mostly just cannabinoids. Plus, pot smokers who switched to vaping reported improved respiratory conditions just a month into the switch.
Of course, in the interest of being fair and balanced, here are a couple reasons why vaping and weed may not work so well together:
- The hash oil -- compounds extracted from the marijuana plant -- can be extremely concentrated. For some people, that's a plus. For others, it can be unmanageable.
- The method for extracting the hash oil is not unlike meth baking in its riskiness. The THC has to be extracted using butane, which lends itself to fires and explosions.
- The jury is still out on scientific literature in the vaping community. It's no different for marijuana extracts. Many researchers understand the risks associated with regular pot smoking, but it may be years before there's definitive knowledge of any potential risks involved in vaping weed.