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Vaporizing Cannabis Versus Smoking Cannabis

By August 1, 2019 September 18th, 2019 No Comments

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Vaporizing Cannabis Versus Smoking Cannabis

There are several options when it comes to consuming cannabis, including edibles, concentrates, vaporizing and smoking. Smoking is the most popular form of cannabis consumption although vaporizing, or vaping cannabis is gaining in popularity. 

Forbes magazine reported that concentrate sales are expected to be equal to that of cannabis flower sales by 2022 and equal 8.4 billion dollars annually. Over half of all concentrate sales can be attributed to pre-filled vaping cartridges. It has become obvious that consumers are searching for more discreet, health conscious and error-free way to dose cannabis. 

Health Canada and Apollo Applied Research Inc. recommend vaporization as the ideal method for consuming cannabis as it allows the user to ingest the smallest dose of cannabis to achieve the desired effects, whereas smoking often requires higher dosing to achieve equivalent results. 

What Is Vaping?

Vaping is a method of cannabis consumption which involves using a vaporizer to heat cannabis flowers or concentrates, creating a vapour which is then inhaled. Vaporizers heat the cannabis product to a temperature below its combustion point of 392 degrees Fahrenheit, creating far fewer carcinogens and risks for the consumer. This allows the cannabinoids in the cannabis to be released without burning the material. Therefore, vaping is less harmful to the respiratory system, as compared to smoking, and is beneficial to medical users with compromised respiratory systems or sensitive airways. 

Additionally, vaping offers a more efficient way to release cannabinoids for ingestion without creating unwanted heat and carcinogens. A joint can burn at a temperature exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while cannabinoids begin to be released at only 285 degrees. When smoking cannabis many of the cannabinoids are burned and the result is a weaker effect on the consumer. Vaping allows the consumer to get the maximum amount of cannabinoids in a smaller amount of product. 

It is important to understand how to best utilize cannabis when vaping and Apollo Doctors can help determine an appropriate dosing schedule on an individualized basis. Apollo’s Doctors can also help each individual find a product that works best, whether it be a concentrate or flowers. 

The Science Behind Vaping

A recent study in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics demonstrated that vaporizers produced far fewer carcinogens as compared to smoking and concluded that “vaporization is a highly effective method at smoke harm reduction”. The authors further noted that all cannabis studies currently use smoking as the only acceptable method of ingestion and it is their hope that vaporizers soon be recognized and introduced into human studies on cannabis. 

In a study titled Acute Effects of Smoked and Vaporized Cannabis in Healthy Adults Who Infrequently Use Cannabis  Dr. Spindle and his colleagues concluded that “vaporized cannabis produced greater pharmaco-dynamic effects and higher concentrations of THC in blood compared with equal doses of smoked cannabis”. Amounts of 10mg of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produced modest impairment of cognitive functioning, while 25mg doses produced significant impairment. Therefore, patient education regarding vaporizing cannabis should be thorough to avoid negative drug effects in inexperienced users. 

In a third article from the Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy, it was found that vapor from a cannabis vaporizer was composed of high levels of cannabinoids and almost no pyrolytic compounds. Results found that “one pre-post design clinical trial showed that users with respiratory irritation improved symptoms and lung function after switching to a vaporizer”. Therefore, vaporizers demonstrate a good application for users who do not want to develop respiratory problems and desire a quicker onset than offered with edibles or tinctures. 

How Do I Choose A Vaporizer?

Choosing a vaporizer is a very personal process. One of the most important decisions to make is whether you want the vaporizer to be portable. There are two main types of vaporizers: portable and tabletop. Tabletop vaporizers require a power source and are larger than portable vapes. They also boast the highest price tag amongst all vaporizers. Tabletop vaporizers produce the highest quality and most potent vapor and are ideal for medical cannabis users who consume indoors. 

Portable vaporizers come in an array of styles which can be broken down into vape pens and portable vaporizers. Vape pens are small (much like a traditional pen) and are less expensive than their bigger counterparts. Vape pens come in different makes, including dry herb vape pens, concentrate vapes and all-in-one pens which convert from dry bud to concentrates. Depending on the type of vape pen used will depend on the type of cannabis material consumed. 

Portable vaporizers are box style devices that fit in the palm of your hand. Most portable vaporizers are all-in-one although dry herb and concentrate specific models can be purchased. Portable vaporizers have larger material capacity and generally have customizable temperature settings. Portable vaporizers do have a higher price tag compared to vape pens but they are generally more durable and long-lasting devices.

How Do I Dose Cannabis With A Vaporizer?

The best advice when it comes to vaping cannabis is to start low and go slow. Much like a chef with salt, you can always add more but you can’t take it away. For inexperienced users this is crucial as vaporizing cannabis has been shown to deliver stronger effects as compared to smoking the same amount. It is important to consult with a Licensed Health Care Professional to determine the appropriate dosing and ingestion methods for your individualized needs. 

Apollo Clinics Can Help

Apollo Cannabis Clinic is an evidence-based clinic who has been conducting observational research on medical cannabis and conditions since 2014. The staff includes health care professionals to assist patients of all ages and backgrounds. 

In order to access Apollo’s services, begin by visiting apollocannabis.ca to fill out an intake form. Once the information has been submitted and reviewed an Apollo representative will contact you to book an appointment with one of our doctors. 

During the initial appointment, individuals will disclose their medical history and past cannabis use, and the doctor will determine an appropriate treatment plan with regards to cannabis. It is important to be honest and open with the doctor as it will provide them the best chance at helping individuals manage their condition with cannabis. 

After a medical recommendation has been received a patient educator is available to assist with vaporizer and product selection.

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