There is much debate over smoking verses vaping and the jury is still out. I am one of those on the fence about which is a better way to take your Medicine. As I have mentioned in earlier articles I began using medical marijuana two years ago, after years of chronic pain and Opioids. I began treating with eatables and a vape pen with e-liquid. Frankly, I was afraid of bud; the smell, the smoke, the need to treat on the go, and because I have Asthma I was leery of triggering an attack. However, when my pain is at its worst eatables take to long to work, with my extremely slow metabolism and the vape pen with e-liquid I had to hit so many times to help it gave me a headache and I would get chocked (the one exception was one time my dispensary had Girl Scout Cookies e-liquid and it worked great, but they haven’t had it since.)
People all over the world have smoked cannabis at least since we started writing in hieroglyphs and probably since the beginning of time. Did it cause more health issues from them? Did it shorten their lives? Who knows! What we do know is it is a miracle plant that treats everything from stress to cancer. We also know that when smoked, cannabis releases toxins that may damage the lungs. While doing research for my article Can Medical Marijuana Treat Asthma and other Breathing Issues?, some studies showed harm to the lungs and other studies did not. Due to the prohibition of cannabis the studies are just to recent to determine all the effects. Not to mention most cannabis smokers also smoke cigarettes, so whose to say it’s the cannabis smoking that’s the cause of the damage? So what is the best choice for you when medicating, vaping or smoking? So since we already know about smoking and chances are if you’ve tried cannabis, you’ve smoked let’s look at vaping.
Your options for vaping are pretty straight forward:
Pens and stationary versions that use oil only
Pens and stationary versions that use flower only
Pens and stationary versions that can do both
Some people prefer to vape bud for various reasons; bud is pretty easy to get, oils take a process to make, there is a consistency in taste of bud, but oils are often flavored and for me I never know exactly how strong oil is going to be. With bud the nose knows, you can smell it and have a pretty good idea of how strong it is and how it will taste. With Oil you usually can’t try before you buy and there is no way of telling how it will taste or how strong it will be. So unless you can make your own e-liquid it’s a total guessing game. Studies have shown the extraction process in making e-liquid fine tunes the THC and CBD levels more exactly than vaporized bud does. But it is important to know how the e-liquid was extracted. Solvents are usually what is used to extract the “good stuff” from cannabis. You need to know what process and solvents were used and what did they take or leave behind. Some solvents strip away parts of the healing components of the plant and some leave residue behind that isn’t good for you to inhale. So do research and ask a lot of questions before you buy e-liquid!
Vaporizers heat cannabis just below the burning point (451 degrees F), which heats the bud to a potent vapor with the same effects and medical benefits of smoking. However, you don’t get the toxins that you do when smoking and you also don’t get as much of the tale tell smell of cannabis, so it’s easier to control and be discreet. The main thing to remember when choosing a vaporizer is quality matters! Many of the less expensive vaporizers are made with heavy metals, glues, and harsh chemicals that cannot only affect the taste of your medicine, but can also be harmful to your lungs when inhaled. Vaporizer with titanium or ceramic heating elements are safer than those made with fiber, steel, or glass. Another bonus of vaping is your bud goes further, because your not burning it up and you can use the already been vapped (ABV) bud to make your Cannabutter and Canna coconut oil, because there is still “good stuff” in there! So do your homework and research the products before you invest!
A final personal note:
I am still figuring all this out 2 years later! After realizing that eatables and a vape pen weren’t going to always be the fastest and best options for me, I purchased a couple different vaporizers. I personally haven’t found vaping works as fast or as well as smoking. I need to get a bigger better vaporizer, than the ones I have. The ones I have are small starter vaporizers since I didn’t want to invest much money while I was figuring all this out. I don’t know if it’s the quality (or lack there of) of the handheld vaporizers I bought or not turning the heating element up enough. I suppose it could be my asthma isn’t allowing me to inhale the vapor long enough and deep enough. I have found I can smoke without to many issues if I don’t inhale to deeply or to often and that is the fastest way to get relief. However, I hate all the medicine going to waste between drags on a joint or pipe. So my experiments go on…I will be doing updates to let you know what I’m trying and what’s working for me. If you’ve found a method or vaporizer that works for you please share in the comment section below, so we can all find the best way to medicate.