What is vaping?

Vaping is an increasingly popular way to consume marijuana[i]. It’s easy, discreet, and evidence suggests that it could be healthier than traditional smoking methods. Vaping works by heating cannabis bud or concentrates to a temperature that releases the active components (cannabinoids) into a vapor that can be inhaled. Effectively, vapes heat marijuana without burning it.

Are there any health benefits?

Studies do suggest that vaping is a healthier alternative[ii]. Smoking causes marijuana to combust at a much higher temperature, releasing potentially harmful toxins into the smoke such as tar, carcinogens, and carbon monoxide. Vaping can be less irritating on the throat and lungs, plus you avoid having smoky breath afterwards.

It is difficult to say with certainty that there are no negative health effects from vaporizing[iii], mainly because no long term studies have taken place. As marijuana becomes more widely legalized and accepted, there will be more research and long-term studies into vaping.

What should I be looking for in a vape?

Vapes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and prices. It can be overwhelming to choose at first. You may want a portable pen-sized vape that can fit in your pocket, or a larger more powerful one better suited to a table top. There are, however, a few standard quality indicators to watch out for:

  • Look for vapes made with Grade 1 or 2 Titanium, not Titanium alloys
  • Check the temperature control is accurate, not just a ‘hold and increase’. Most vapes should heat the cannabis to just below combustion (356 – 392F)
  • There should be no Teflon in the vape as this can burn and release harmful chemicals

Anything else I should know?

Some studies[iv] have suggested that vaping packs a bigger punch than smoking. As with all cannabis products, it is best to “start slow, go low”. Remember to take care of your vape, as they need a little more maintenance than standard smoking pieces. Check the instructions carefully and follow the recommended cleaning routine to keep it in good shape.

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