Vaping THC is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to get your THC fix, but many remain ignorant of its benefits and accessibility. From distillate vape pens to dry herb vapes, vaping THC offers an easy, convenient and discreet way to medicate with everyone’s favourite plant, but how do you do it, and how do you get started?
If you’re a chronic joint, pipe or bong smoker and you want to make the switch over to a healthier form of weed consumption, here’s what you need to know.
What is Vaping THC?
When vaping was introduced around 20 years ago, both tobacco and cannabis consumers were drawn to it as an alternative to smoking. Like smoking, vaping is an inhalation method of consuming these products, but with the distinct advantage of being smoke-free.
Rather than activating the cannabis or tobacco by igniting it, vape devices (also called e-cigarettes or vape pens) apply a controlled heat, so it gently releases vapour without combusting.
Cannabis connoisseurs are starting to favour vaping over smoking for being portable, discrete, and gentler on their lungs.
To satisfy all these keen vaping fans, there’s a diverse range of cannabis vape products and vaping paraphernalia now available on the market. THC and CBD vape cartridges offer different varieties of strains, concentrations, and flavours. Plus, vaping marijuana is not limited to just oil vape pens—dry herb and concentrate vaporizers are also available for people who prefer to stick with their regular flower and concentrate products.
Oil vapes are what most people are familiar with. These two-component devices feature a rechargeable battery pen that attaches to a THC oil cartridge. The cartridge contains THC-rich cannabis distillate, an atomizer, and a mouthpiece to inhale from.
Most cartridges are intended to be disposed of once the distillate is used up. Still, refillable THC oil cartridges are available for people who want to reduce waste or prefer to concoct their own vape blends.
Dry herb vapes use regular cannabis, the same stuff that’s commonly rolled into a joint or smoked from a bong. Ground herb is placed into a chamber where it’s gently heated by the battery until vapour is produced. Concentrate vapes (aka dab pens) work similarly but are designed for use with cannabis concentrates like shatter, crumble, and wax.
Why is Vaping THC Better Than Smoking Weed?
Many people who enjoy vaping cannabis still enjoy smoking it too. While some may ditch their pipes permanently, many people use both types of products, switching between the two depending on how they feel. That said, there are a number of reasons why you may find vaping to be superior.
Less Lung Damage
Vaping marijuana appears to be gentler on the lungs than smoking. Smoke contains carbon and other micro-particles that irritate the lungs and can lead to serious respiratory diseases, such as emphysema and lung cancer. The vapour produced by a vape pen does not contain the same irritants and carcinogens. This benefits not only the person using the vape, but also anyone who may inhale their secondhand smoke—secondhand vapour doesn’t pose health risks as secondhand smoke does.
Aside from the health risks of smoke, the mild vapour produced by vape devices is also far less offensive in smell. Vapour smells either like what the vape juice is flavoured with (minty, sweet, and fruity flavours are popular) or like nothing at all. This means no residual odour on clothing, hair, or furniture, and no angry neighbours complaining about skunky stenches wafting through their windows.
Easy to Use
Another advantage that vaping has over smoking is the ease of use. Anyone who’s experienced with rolling will tell you that it takes time and patience to learn how to craft a perfect joint or spliff. For people who struggle with fine motor skills, it’s a task that can be too finicky to even attempt. Vape devices are far easier to use, most being activated simply by inhaling from the mouthpiece. This makes THC more accessible for people with chronic pain, especially for those with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or other conditions that can affect dexterity.
Further to its advantages for individuals using THC for pain management, vaping also allows better dosage control and makes it easier to medicate discreetly compared to smoking. Edibles are another alternative for discreet, measured dosing, but they tend to take at least an hour to take effect. THC ingested through vaping, on the other hand, hits the bloodstream rapidly, with effects felt within 15-20 minutes.
Does Vaping THC Have Risks?
While it certainly has considerable advantages over smoking, it’s important to note that there are still health risks associated with vaping.
Centers for disease control and drug administration warn that certain ingredients in vaping products are linked to the dangerous lung condition bronchiolitis obliterans, commonly known as popcorn lung, which causes inflammation and scarring in the lungs.
The ingredients to be wary of are vitamin-e acetate, acetyl propionyl, and diacetyl, which are used as thinning and flavouring agents. Vitamin E acetate, in particular, has caused a string of lung disease injuries last year when the additive was included in e-cigarettes and other vaping products. Vitamin E Acetate has since been banned and shouldn’t appear in an e-cigarette or vaping product.
With that being said, as long as you’re purchasing your vaping devices and cannabis products from only high-quality sources, you’ll have no risk.
Aside from these additives and their associated pitfalls, vaping also carries the risk of lung disease, just as there is with inhaling any foreign substance.
Another consideration against vaping is its rise in use amongst young people. Where the harsh taste from smoking may dissuade some youngsters, the fun fruity flavours featured in many THC oil cartridges make vaping products particularly appealing to kids.
Our brains continue to develop into our 20s, and vaping nicotine, THC, and THC-containing products in adolescence have been shown to contribute to learning and mood disorders, as well as marijuana use disorder. Young adults and young people are also at greater risk of severe lung injuries, so the use of any type of e-cigarette, even those that don’t contain THC, should be avoided by teens and children.
What are the Benefits of Vaping Weed?
A simple oil vape takes up no more space in your pocket or bag than a regular pen. While a single joint takes up about the same area, that joint will be used up much quicker than the vape. To pack the equivalent amount for smoking, you’d have to bring a few grams of flower plus your grinder, papers, and lighter. Plus, with vaping, you don’t need to find anywhere to toss your roaches!
Like we discussed above, vaping is far more discreet than smoking. Any odour emitted by a vape device is usually mild and pleasant smelling. This helps keep vaping hush hush both while you’re doing it and after, as there will be no residual smokey smell on your clothes. Vapour also dissipates faster than smoke, drawing less visual attention if you’re puffing in public.
Inhaled THC has the highest level of bioavailability, meaning the body absorbs the most amount of active product compared to other methods of ingestion, such as edibles. Vaped and smoked cannabis hit the bloodstream quickly through the thin membrane of the lungs, so most people feel the onset of effects in under 20 minutes. Both vaping and smoking provide similar levels of bioavailability, but vaping has fewer reported health risks, so it’s clear why vaping appeals to so many cannabis users.
How to Start Vaping THC
Okay, so you’ve read our guide and are now convinced that vaping THC is the healthier choice for you and now you want to make the switch yourself, but where should you begin?
Well, the easiest place to start is to through a THC vape pen. Unlike dry flower vapes, vape pens are cheaper to buy and easy to learn how to use. THC oil cartridges are available in a variety of strains, potencies and flavours, so the choice is entirely yours. Be sure to browse our shop for the widest selection of vapes and cartridges before you leave!
If you prefer to stick to cannabis flower and don’t mind spending a little bit more upfront, you can buy a dry flower vape instead. Dry flower vapes have a chamber for you to place your bud into before the device ‘bakes’ it into vapour. Dry flower vapes are more expensive than vape pens and are harder to use but they replicate the original smoking ritual incredibly well.
No matter what format you decide to go with, be sure to shop on Canabismo for the best deals on both dry flower and vapes! Until next time, happy seshin’!