Vaporizing has quickly emerged as the preferred method of cannabis ingestion for new and longtime cannabis users alike. At its base, the practice is pretty futuristic — rather than burning and smoking cannabis the traditional way, flowers (buds), as well as hashes, waxes, shatters and other dabbing materials are inserted into the vaporizer chamber and heated just enough to vaporize, rather than burn, the material.
Dr. Donald Tashkin, a researcher at the University Of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, was tasked by the federal government to study the effects of smoked cannabis in causing lung cancer. What he found was not only is cannabis not carcinogenic like tobacco, it actually has anti-cancer properties, even when it is smoked.
“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” Dr. Tashkin said in 2006. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
Although smoking cannabis will likely always be the preferred method of ingestion for many, here are just a few of the reasons why some smokers are unrolling the joints and instead flipping the “on” switch of their vapes:
1. Vaporizing is Easier On Your Lungs
Although smoking cannabis won’t cause cancer, many potential cannabis users are not fond of smoking anything and longtime smokers often develop a cough associated with the use. Vaporizing cannabis eliminates the harsh smoke on the lungs while still allowing the user to get the instant effects of smoked cannabis.
2. The Effects Are Instant
Many people prefer to smoke marijuana because the beneficial compounds found in smoked whole-plant cannabis enter the body much quicker, providing faster relief for medical users than tinctures, oils and edibles. Vaporized cannabis is ingested in a similar fashion and provides immediate effects, just like smoking.
3. It’s Easy To Vape On The Go
It’s hard to travel with a bong, bubbler or water pipe, but most vaporizers today are designed to be used on the go. Vaporizer “pens” and pocket vapes can be pre-loaded with flower, hashes or waxes and used wherever a smoke-less cigarette is used (in states where cannabis possession and consumption is legal).
4. Vaporizing Is Inconspicuous
Unlike the smell of burned marijuana, the scent of vaporized cannabis only lingers for a couple seconds and doesn’t permeate fabric, making it great for the toker who has to keep their use a secret.
5. It Preserves More Flavor
Many of the terpenes are burned away when smoking marijuana, vaporizing preserves these compounds allowing the vape user to experience more of the true flavor of their cannabis flowers or hashes. Vaporizers are a must have for the true cannabis connoisseur.
Originally published in issue 11 of Cannabis Now Magazine.