One big conundrum with marijuana consumption for health is that the most popular way to ingest it is to smoke it, and adding anything to your lungs can be dangerous. As cannabis use becomes more popular, healthier, more efficient ways of using cannabis will develop. In the meantime, what are the healthiest ways to smoke cannabis?
Vaping heats cannabis only to the temperature that releases cannabinoids, not to the point that the flower is burnt to ash. This way you’re only inhaling vapor, not smoke. Some believe vaping in safer than smoking because the herb is not being burned. There is no solid research to back up the idea that vaping is safer than smoking. At least one 2018 scientific study actually suggests that vaping causes memory loss, short-term anxiety, paranoia and distraction. There have been several stories in the recent news of people experiencing lung damage as a result of vaping.
In addition to causing lung damage, vapes have been shown to cause greater cognitive impairment than traditional smoking. In a controlled test, participants in two groups either vaped or smoked cannabis. The people who vaped reported more pronounced physical effects like dry mouth and dry eyes. They also described a more intense high than participants who smoke marijuana and performed worse tasks that required concentration.
Still, vaping is considered a safer alternative to traditional smoking. In order to burn plant material, you need to hold an open flame to it. That should give you an idea of the temperature of the smoke coursing through delicate lung tissue when you smoke cannabis. Using a bong, bubbler, or water pipe filters the smoke through water to remove some of that heat. The water also filters out some of the particles that would otherwise end up in your lungs making it one of the healthiest ways to smoke cannabis.
Fewer Additives = Safer Smoke
Even though all smoking is bad for your lungs, some studies show that smoking cannabis is not quite as detrimental as smoking tobacco. One reason for this could be that CBD has been shown to prevent cancer from spreading through human tissue. Another possible reason for smoking marijuana causing less harm than smoking tobacco is fewer additives. Cannabis smokers are generally smoking flower grown without pesticides or additives.
Skip the butane lighter and use a piece of hemp to light your joints and bowls. Many smokers reuse a hemp wick in place of lighters, which use harmful chemicals to spark that reliable flame. Instead of smoking in a joint, which requires you to inhale the smoke of the burnt paper, use a glass device. Rolling papers are processed with harmful chemicals.
Further reduce chemicals by being careful about where you purchase your cannabis. Buying cannabis from a reputable sales outlet results in a cleaner product. Unregulated dealers can add anything to their product because of the lack of oversight. Not to mention, the countless people who touch the product along the way: farmers might be using pesticides or fertilizers, processors could ignore mold. A legal cannabis business provides high-quality, clean flower through regulation and oversight.
People who want to experience the beneficial effects of cannabis without smoking often turn to edibles. However, edible marijuana products offer their own safety issues. Products can vary greatly in potency. Since edibles take a longer time to affect the body than smoking, it can be a while before you realize you’ve taken too much. Cannabis you eat gets filtered through the liver and/or mouth membranes, while cannabis you smoke gets filtered through your lungs. The way our livers metabolize the chemicals in cannabis also varies. With so many variables, it can be difficult to predict the effects of cannabis. Furthermore, edibles often include more additives than flower.
Two Ways to Repair Your Lungs from Smoke Damage
No matter how you inhale cannabis, the smoke can do damage. People who ingest cannabis can repair the damage through exercise and controlled breathing. Practice deep breathing to move fresh clean air through the whole lung. Deep breathing allows oxygen into the deepest parts of the lung, and clears out toxins that could leave you feeling sluggish. Use some basic yoga breathing techniques to get the oxygen flowing through your lungs.
Healthiest Ways to Smoke Cannabis
Want to learn more about how to consume cannabis effectively and safely? Join us for a CannaCon event in your area. You’ll have the opportunity to talk with industry leaders, attend education seminars and see all the latest and greatest of the cannabis industry. Register today.