Vaping technology and its popularity have simply exploded in recent years. There are vaping devices of every conceivable size and shape that are read to meet your THC needs, helping you to blast off without the prep and time of smoking. The instant and discrete consumption method has become one of the most popular ways to get your stone on.
Maybe you’re new to the vaping world, or maybe you’re entirely new to cannabis and looking for a healthier way to consume your recreational substance. If you need to know all about vaping cannabis, we’ve got you covered. Sit back with a bowl or a few gummies, and let’s go over everything you need to know about getting into the cannabis vape space.
What Is Vaping, Exactly?
Vaping, or vaporization, is the process of heating a substance gently to the point that it evaporates and can be taken into the body as a vapor. This allows for simple ingestion of the substance, with often the only vehicle being air or water vapor.
Even though vaping is insanely popular now, it has been around since the first e-cig way back in the ’60s. It surely wasn’t put into production then, as it was a simple “device of the future” prototype, but some decades later there was a patent laid on the vape pen, and recreational vaping took off.
What Do You Vape Though?
For vaping cannabis, you are vaping the cannabinoids and inhaling them. This will also include the terpenes and flavonoids, along with many other organic compounds. Dry herb can be vaped, as can extractions like wax, crumble, shatter, and distillate.
For dry herb vaping, the herb is placed in a small chalice or bucket inside the vaping chamber, which is then heated to a precisely controlled temperature. Then the delicious cannabinoids can boil off, like steam rolling off of a pot of boiling water, and be inhaled after a brief cooling period.
Vaping waxes, oils, and distillates will often be very similar, though more contained due to the messy nature of the substances. Waxes are often vaped with nectar collectors or dab rigs. Oils and distillates are most frequently put into cartridges and used in standard electronic vape mods with 510 threads.
Is It True That Vaping Gets You Higher Than Smoking?
First off, it is worth noting that every person processes cannabinoids in a unique manner, meaning nobody can accurately compare their high experience to anyone else’s without a great deal of bias.
That being said, there has been some research published that demonstrated that people that had been vaping cannabis had measurably higher amounts of THC in their bloodstream than the group that had simply been smoking. The public response to this study had a wide range of responses, though most comments on the public forum Reddit indicated that they felt higher after vaping than they did after simply smoking cannabis.
What’s The Difference Between Vaping And Smoking Cannabis?
While it has long been acknowledged that cannabis is one of the least toxic substances on the planet earth, there are still some well-known dangers associated with smoking cannabis. All of these dangers come from the physical act of smoking cannabis.
Smoking requires combustion, and combustion produces all kinds of nasty by-products. These dangerous by-products can include carbon monoxide, tar, various carcinogens, and more. These hazards are in addition to the physical damage done by first inhaling relatively hot smoke, then (if you’re like me) coughing until you need to shift your breathing into manual mode.
Vaping heats the cannabis so gently, that it doesn’t burn even though the cannabinoids nearly all evaporate and get inhaled. If you have never vaped before, you may be surprised the first time you vape dry herb, since the herb looks unchanged when you’re done. It feels a little odd to be taking still green cannabis out of the bowl because it’s “done”, let me tell you. But that all means you aren’t inhaling clouds of hot, tar-filled, cough-inducing smoke.
Are There Risks To Vaping Cannabis?
There are risks to everything, so, sure there are risks to vaping cannabis. But these risks can be mitigated relatively easily. The first and most important thing you can do to reduce or eliminate the risk of potential danger is to only buy your cannabis through licensed and authorized distributors and check for marks of authenticity. Many brands of carts have a QR code that lets you know, instantly, if the cart is genuine or counterfeit.
Counterfeit or untested oils or distillates can have illegal substances in them. Cannabis is an industry like any other, and now that large companies are involved, the consumer needs to be sure corners aren’t being cut. By making sure they are legal and lab-tested you can be sure they haven’t been adulterated with compounds like vitamin E, or other compounds that can become dangerous and even deadly if heated and inhaled.
This is the reason that you may have heard on the news that vaping is dangerous or potentially deadly. There was a rash of incidents involving counterfeit carts that were cut with vitamin E oil, that became incredibly dangerous when vaped. It caused lipoid pneumonia, which resulted in the deaths of several people. This is the primary danger of using substances that are not regulated and tested in sterile environments.
Can Dab Pens Be Harmful, Too?
There has been some discussion recently on whether the high temperature of dab pens or wax pens contributed to the generation of toxic by-products when used with cannabis concentrates.
This has caused some concern both with the potential danger of using extremely high temp dab pens, as well as the addition of flavorings and terpenes into cannabis concentrates. When these non-native terpenes are heated and ingested, there is some concern that they create toxic by-products, since they are volatile organic compounds and are prone to oxidation.
Avoid products with added terpenes if possible, until more research has been conducted. Also, be sure not to heat your pens, nectar collectors, or vapes longer than needed, then allow them to cool.