Overview On The Healthiest Ways To Smoke Cannabis

What is the healthiest way to smoke weed?

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What is the healthiest way to smoke weed? Many have heard that smoking cannabis is healthier than smoking regular cigarettes, but even though people consistently hear the many benefits of smoking cannabis, the question that still remains, is what is the healthiest method to smoke cannabis?

Even though prohibition has kind of put a halt on scientific experiments and research from diving further into the various methods of smoking, there has been a small number of different studies that have been done to give us some insight on what types of ways contain the lowest amount of risks to health, and also what provides the most overall benefits.

Consuming Cannabis From Pipes And Joints

Smoking out of pipes and joints has long been the most preferred method to consume cannabis. In comparison to smoking cigarettes, there is some evidence out there that is starting to show the positive results of smoking cannabis instead. Smoking cannabis has been shown to create very small microscopic injuries to the airways and raises the chances of developing symptoms of chronic bronchitis, but these symptoms do still disappear after stopping. Dr. Don Tashkin, MD of UCLA, a prominent cannabis expert and pulmonologist who has invested a lot of time in researching the various impacts of cannabis on pulmonary function, reported that even using heavy amounts of cannabis on a regular basis still carries a lot lesser risk of developing pulmonary complications in comparison to the risks of using tobacco. Even though there are still carcinogens found in cannabis smoke, there has not been any research to indicate that these cause an increased chance of developing lung cancer. 

There was a study in 2012 that revealed that smoking cannabis doesn’t have the same negative health impacts in comparison to cigarette smoking. One of the main things that the study looked at was the relationship between sometimes smoking (cigarettes or marijuana) and pulmonary function over a time span of 20 years. To measure the study, forced expiratory volume within the first second of expiration and forced vital capacity were recorded. Forced expiratory volume basically measures the amount a person exhales when breathing forcefully and it is the initial measurement that is used in a concurrent series of three breaths. With forced vital capacity, this takes a measurement of the entire amount of air that is being exhaled throughout the forced expiratory volume test.

Even though the study revealed that smoking cigarettes lowered the forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity, cannabis proved to have higher numbers. Cannabis smokers were measured by joint-years, with this being one joint or pipe bowl filled with cannabis per day for one year. Over the course of 7 joint-years, there was no evidence that suggested that cannabis has a negative effect on pulmonary functioning. There was another piece of research in 2016 that seemed to agree with the results of the study done four years prior, and some researchers involved seem to believe that the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis might have helped with overall lung function.

The research is still in its beginning stages, mostly because cannabis has a status of being a controlled substance under federal laws. But the information to this date has revealed that traditional cannabis consumption methods are nowhere near as harmful on the lungs as cigarette smoking. In a variety of ways, cannabis can actually create a positive increase in the functioning of the lungs.

Another Alternative – Vaporizers

Using vaporizers is yet another method of smoking cannabis that is different than the traditional joints and pipes. Burning cannabis in a joint creates tar and smoke, whereas, with vaporizers, they heat up cannabis to a level that releases the THC, which is the active ingredient that produces the psychoactive effects. There have been studies that revealed that traditional methods of smoking cannabis don’t cause a higher chance of causing damage to the lungs, and some other studies have proved that vaping cannabis is beneficial. 

There was a fairly big study in 2007 that was conducted over the internet which included 6,883 people at the University of Southern California and the State University of New York. It concluded that using a vaporizer to smoke weed had lower overall respiratory symptoms. This even took the amount of weed smoked, the user’s age, sex, and cigarette smoking into account. 

One important thing to keep in mind is that this study that was conducted over the internet was a self-reported study, which could potentially indicate that the results could be affected by certain biases or placebo effects. There was a study in 2004 that was conducted to compare how the vapours from cannabis that was heated in a vaporizer differed from the smoke that was created from burning cannabis. It revealed that with the burning smoke, it had over 100 chemicals and carcinogenic toxins that were involved and that the vapour that was produced from a vape was mostly just THC.

Consuming cannabis out of a vaporizer lowered the chances of being exposed to the many different carcinogens involved with burning. However, as research has shown, there hasn’t really been any evidence out there to suggest that the carcinogens that are in cannabis smoke have a negative impact on health.

Something To Be Cautious About Vaporizers

Researchers note that people who are completely new to using cannabis should not dive straight into vaporizers because of the direct THC that is delivered to the consumer in this method. There was a trial that was conducted in 2018 that compared smoking to vaping and how it interacted with drug effects and overall psychomotor/cognitive performance. The study that was conducted had 17 adults who were all considered to be healthy and barely ever consumed weed, inhale weed that was vaped, and then inhale the smoked form. The cannabis contained a THC level of 10 mg. The second phase of the study then got the participants to inhale 25 mg of THC. With the 10mg phase, the ones who were smoking it the old-fashioned way tallied a score of 46, whereas the ones who vaped scored higher at 69. When the 25 mg dose part of the study rolled around, the ones who smoked scored a result of 66 and the ones who vaped scored a 78. Researchers determined that cannabis that was vaped created a stronger effect and caused much higher concentrations of THC in the blood.

There Is No 100% Clear Conclusion On What Is The Better Method

When it comes to smoking in any method, if you are worried about potential carcinogens, you can always consider just consuming edibles instead. But then you have to consider the various impacts that edibles come with as well.

There was a study conducted in 2019 that revealed that cannabis that is consumed in edible form caused a higher chance of people making trips to the emergency rooms. 9,973 emergency room visits were tallied in a particular hospital in Colorado throughout January 2012 and December 2016. People that dropped into the emergency rooms with reported and related symptoms to smoking cannabis and eating edibles were included in the study. The cases associated with inhaling cannabis were more related to a syndrome called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which can cause vomiting. It is known to be fairly uncommon and generally happens only in long-term users that consume cannabis every single day. Cannabis that is used 3 to 5 times a day can sometimes lead to this syndrome. With the people visiting the emergency rooms for cannabis edible related symptoms, most of the symptoms were psychiatric and cardiovascular in nature. 

The legalization of cannabis has taken hold of many states so far, and much research still needs to be done on the overall effects of it. Until further and more concrete studies are conducted, smoking cannabis in whatever way that works best for you is what you should continue to do.

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