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Are you tired of “the grind,” so to speak? Do your friends vape their cannabis? Maybe someone you know handed you a vape pen in the past, but you were unsure if it was safe, so you turned it down.
We all know the health hazards associated with smoking cigarettes; however, vaporizers are a relatively newer technology. You trust a pre-roll but a vape, you’re not so sure.
If you’ve always wondered whether it’s safe or not to vape, we’re going to break it down for you so you can make a more informed decision.
What Is Better for Your Lungs?
Many experts agree that there are plenty of benefits that come from cannabis consumption. The health risks associated with smoking as an intake method, however, are still a subject up for debate. This can be an even greater cause for concern for anyone suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Because of this, some might look to vaping as a safer practice.
Whether or not vaping is healthier than traditional smoking is still unknown, however, even if it does prove to be a better alternative, that won’t necessarily imply that vaping is safe.
When using a vape pen or an e-cigarette, you are breathing in aerosols that were produced by a battery-powered heating coil. You also have to consider that you will be inhaling everything that goes into a vape cartridge. That means all the other chemicals, such as those that create flavor, will enter your lungs, which may be quite harmful. Also, because of the lack of industry oversight, you might be purchasing products that contain unsafe components like heavy metals, ammonia, and other microscopic particulates. To make matters worse, you don’t always know what’s in a pod or a cartridge, so you could be filling your lungs with deadly toxins and not even know it.
Another factor to consider is that vaping cannabis often results in higher amounts of THC, which can sometimes be associated with negative experiences. Beyond that, vaping THC may pose greater health risks, according to recent studies by the CDC.
Too Soon to Tell
Vaping was under review for its link to a heavy batch of reported lung illnesses. The investigation began in September 2019 after a large number of hospitalizations were correlated with a particular vape product. In February 2020, the CDC reached a conclusion regarding e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), but the situation is still being carefully monitored.
The CDC connected over 2,800 of these cases to vaping, though there are a number of factors to consider. For one, many of the products consumed by patients in this investigation were found to come from illegitimate sources. Further research is needed to determine if there were other chemicals tied to the EVALI outbreak. Also, vapes and e-cigarettes have not been on the market long enough to measure long-term health effects.
Experts in the cannabis industry are unable to grant certification for vape products until there are tighter regulations. Until then, if you are concerned about the possible health risks of vaping, there are plenty of alternative intake methods to try, such as edibles.
What Is the Best Way to Vape Safely?
Vitamin E acetate was found to be the main culprit in the EVALI outbreak, which tells us that the ingredients in products could be the key to vaping safely. The CDC also determined that THC may have played a role as well.
Medical cannabis expert Jordan Tishler recommends that those who wish to vape should use whole cannabis flower. He advises against cannabis oil and “the little pen-shaped vaporizers that have become very fashionable.”
Like anything else, it’s always wise to purchase high-quality products. While we don’t yet know if vaporizers are a safe intake method, with proper regulation and further study, they could eventually become a preferred way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.
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