Smoking is arguably the most common way people across the globe consume cannabis. But while getting high can be reinvigorating and fun, burning marijuana releases harmful chemicals, tar, and resins that are linked to respiratory issues. If you’re a new weed smoker, you may have heard a lot of recommendations regarding the healthiest ways to enjoy your smoking sesh. However, several of them pose real threats.
Major ways of smoking weed
Things you can use to smoke weed include blunts, joints, bongs and pipes.
A joint is one of the most popular styles of smoking weed. Stuffing the buds into a rolling paper to smoke may burn your fingers if you don’t add a filter. So many commercially reachable rolling papers – especially those that are tagged as fast-burning, flavored or bleached - harbor contaminants which may impair your lungs.
A blunt is a joint except that they are larger and are made using a blunt or cigar wrap. Smoking an entire blunt is akin to smoking five joints. Blunt wraps contain cancer-causing nicotine since they are made of tobacco leaves which are known to cause carbon monoxide build-up in the blood. Carbon monoxide is a toxin responsible for adverse symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.
Bongs are more elaborate smoking devices that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They give deeper hits and produce a cooler, smoother, and creamier smoke. Technically, it uses water to drop the temperature of the smoke and filter it. Despite the secondhand smoke the bong produces, it is likely not safe, a study reports. The concentration of fine particulate matter in one session in a social smoking environment is as much as eight times that of a nonsmoker household.
These are perhaps one of the simplest ways to smoke. Since it is not degradable compared to blunts and joints, it can attract dust. If it’s shared with multiple persons, you risk spreading bacteria through a dirty mouthpiece. A 2019 Los Angeles study suggested that the average cannabis pipe has more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Healthier ways to consume cannabis
Healthier ways to consume cannabis include vaping, dabbing, tinctures and edibles.
Vaping is widely considered a safer alternative to normative smoking. Vaping applies heat to the cannabis only to the point where it gives off cannabinoids, but not to the temperature where it scalds the flower. When you vape, you inhale vapor, not smoke. However, there is no myth-quashing study that suggests that vaping is healthier than smoking. A 2018 scientific investigation suggested that vaping results in memory impairment, paranoia, and weakened concentration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also raised concerns that the vitamin E acetate additive found in vaping products may be associated to product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Even when other studies argue that the risk is present only in vaping concentrates and not the flower, research work on vaping is few and far between.
No, it’s not the celebratory dance move. Dabbing is the inhalation of the vapor from cannabis concentrates (dabs), heated to immensely high temperatures and inhaled. A unique glass bong referred to as “oil rig” is used. Dabs are produced by dissolving cannabis in butane, extracting the THC from the cannabis to leave behind a gummy residue that is highly concentrated in THC. Dabbing can also be done by putting hash oil in vaping pens for discrete smoking. Dabs are four times more potent than a joint, and dabbing could be associated with a number of adverse effects such as loss of consciousness and hallucinations. Researchers at Portland State University revealed that dabbing may expose users to high levels of toxins including carcinogens.
Cannabis tinctures are a wonderfully simple method of using cannabis. It provides a discreet dosing experience for those who are in a hurry. A tincture is a liquid contained in a small glass bottle with a dropper lid. The fluid is made of cannabis extract dissolved in a liquid (usually oil or alcohol). Tinctures dispense smoke-free cannabis drops that you can consume by swallowing or sublingual (beneath the tongue) application. You may also add the drops to foods and drinks. Depending on your rate of metabolism and dosage measure, you will start to feel the effects of the drops after 1 to 2 hours.
Those who wish to experience the therapeutic effects of their cannabis without doing tokes can switch to edibles. Since it takes a longer period of time to stimulate the system, you risk consuming too much in just a few bites. The cannabis you ingest is filtered through the membranes of your mouth, but the cannabis that is smoked, enters your lungs. The rate of metabolism of the individual is also a factor that affects the impact of cannabis. Still, edibles are known to contain more additives than the plant.
If you’re searching for the healthiest way to smoke weed, be aware that there is no absolutely safe way to do it. Research in this area has been threadbare so far. All we know is: some smoking styles may be less injurious than others, the least harmful of these being the smoke-free ingestible.