For many years now weed enthusiasts are still debating whether smoking or vaping is safer than the other. People have come up with many arguments and reasons and still, we don’t know for sure which method of using weed is safer. But is one really safer than the other?
The safety and long-term health effects of smoking are well known. But vaping, on the other hand, is still not well known. I guess this is why some people are adamant that vaping weed is safer than smoking.
According to a study done in 2016 about medical cannabis use, 53% of the people involved prefer to use a vaporizer, and 80% of them believed that vaping was a healthier alternative to other methods. But there have been some reports that say vaping or using e-cigarettes products carries some risks to the lungs.
To help us understand more about the problems of these two methods, let’s look deeper into the risks that are involved.
The risks of both smoking and vaping weed
For many decades, health experts warned the public about the dangers of smoking tobacco from either pipes, cigars, or cigarettes. I think all Canadians are already aware of these dangers that I’m speaking of. People have learned about this from almost every form of media known to us.
But for weed, we are also dealing with cannabinoids that are known to have some benefits for the user. Take CBD for example, one of the most popular cannabinoids that we know today, it may provide some health benefits without making the user high. And there is also THC, which may enhance the effects of CBD and provide some benefits too.
So this obviously makes a lot of Canadians curious, since we are smoking weed, does that mean it’s automatically safer than smoking tobacco? And since vaping is different from smoking, does that mean it’s safer than smoking weed?
The risks of smoking weed
Inhaling smoke of any kind is unfortunately not a positive activity for the lungs. No matter whether it’s cannabinoid-containing weed or tobacco or any other substances. Inhaling smoke is bad for lung health.
Most weed smokers would also hold the smoke in their lungs for longer than tobacco smokers. This way they believe they can get more potency from their weed. But this is also putting them at greater risk for exposure to tar.
Here are some negative side effects of chronic weed smoking that we know:
- Weakened immune system
- Chronic bronchitis
- Excessive mucus production
- Air pockets between the lungs and chest wall
- Possible increased risk of infection
The risk of vaping weed
Vaping weed involves inhaling heated oil or vapor from dried plant material via a vaporizer, which is often called vape or e-cigarette. Considering vaping doesn’t involve smoke or inhaling smoke, some believe it’s safer than smoking weed.
But the thing is, the long-term effect of vaping is still being researched, so there’s much less known about the possible side effects. So just because you can’t find much about the negative side of vaping, doesn’t mean that it’s safer than other methods.
And as mentioned above, there are some studies that suggest vaping weed could be quite harmful to lung health. One of the most popular risks we know of is called “popcorn lung”. This kind of lung injury has been quite known to us since 2019 and could be dangerous too.
So which one is safer?
At this point, I can say that people tend to believe vaping weed is safer than smoking it. Many people believe that since vaporizers heat weed to temperatures that release cannabinoids and all the good stuff you need to relieve some symptoms without creating the toxins associated with combustion, it’s safer.
According to some experts, some respiratory symptoms like tightness in the chest, cough, and phlegm are less severe among vaporizer users. Also, according to the 2007 study, cannabis users who use vaporizers have decreased respiratory symptoms as well.
Perhaps, while both methods carry some risks, the future of vaping in Canada is still uncertain. It has the potential to be the true replacement for smoking. But at the moment, we just don’t know yet.
Of course, as the user, you have the freedom to use which method to use or even use both. Just be aware of all the possible risks that you put yourself in. And perhaps in the future, we will have a new method that is 100% safer.