LifestyleMedical Cannabis 101

Vaporizing vs. Smoking

By January 28, 2019 July 30th, 2019 No Comments

The two most popular methods for cannabis consumption are smoking and vaporizing, although there are many other options for consumption including edibles oils, capsules, and decarboxylated flowers taken orally.

Vaporizing is rapidly gaining popularity as it does not burn cannabis and therefore does not produce as many harmful by-products. Vaporizing is also more discreet than smoking cannabis. Some describe the smell of vaporized cannabis as ‘burnt popcorn’. 

Many medical cannabis users are turning to vaporizing as it is considered a healthier alternative to smoking and is the most doctor recommended method for consuming dried cannabis.


What is Vaporizing?

Vaporizing, or vaping, is the process in which a substance turns from a solid or liquid state into a gas with the application of heat. Vaporizers contain an oven which gently heats cannabis just enough to release the compounds THC & CBD, without burning the material. This produces a vapour which is then inhaled into the lungs.

Vaporizers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points, but most are portable handheld devices that are easy to take on the go. Vaporizers can be filled with ground dried cannabis buds and offer an efficient way to consume cannabis.

Vaporizing cannabis produces immediate effects as the mechanism of consumption is similar to smoking and the compounds enter the bloodstream and reach the brain within seconds. The effects of vaporizing last 2-3 hours and many consumers prefer its clean taste to that of smoking cannabis.


Why is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking?

Smoking involves the process of combustion and requires fire for THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to be released into the body. Smoking cannabis produces over 100 toxins, gases and particulates that are inhaled into the lungs, which can cause irritating effects. Individuals who smoke cannabis are more prone to respiratory infections and bronchitis and it may take them longer to heal from colds and flus.

One of the pioneering studies to look at smoking versus vaping found that participants reported fewer respiratory effects when vaping versus smoking cannabis. Researchers also noted that smoking cigarettes had compounded negative effects on respiratory symptoms in people who smoked cannabis.

Another survey study reported that participants who vaped cannabis perceived the health benefits to be greater and found it less harmful to their health than smoking. Researchers also found that people who use vaporizers tend to be younger, started consuming cannabis at a younger age and more dominantly male.

For many medical cannabis users, respiratory issues play a significant role in the symptoms they are trying to manage. In these instances vaporizing is seen to be a safer more effective approach to consuming cannabis medication. Vaporized cannabis can be consumed in short puffs rather than long drags off a joint or bong and is more discreet when in public. Vaporized cannabis produces very little odour and consumers report that the taste of vaporized cannabis is preferable to smoked cannabis.


Types of Vaporizers

We live in a high-tech world which has led to the creation of numerous vaporizing devices for consuming cannabis. There are many different options out there for every lifestyle and price point, so do your research before you purchase this important piece of equipment.

Table Top Vaporizers

Table top vaporizers are for people who like to consume cannabis at home and don’t have the need to take their vaporizer with them on the go. These units plug into a wall socket and are generally larger than portable vaporizers. The benefit to these units is that they contain the most advanced vaporizer technology and offer precise temperature control. This is an important feature for medical users as it efficiently releases a full-spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This allows the consumer to tailor the temperature to each individual strain they consume. Health Canada has approved a table top vaproizer called The Volcano Medic vaporizer, to be used by medical cannabis patients at home. 

Portable Flower Vaporizers

This type of vaporizer is ideal for consumers who are always on the go. The one downfall of this type of vaporizer is it usually does not offer specific temperature control, which can cause you to miss out on some of the flavor profiles of the flower. As these devices run on a battery their power is somewhat limited and does not reach the range of temperatures a table top vaporizer can. This type of portable vaporizer is favorable because it allows the user to consume the strain of their choice and switch between different strains. Pricing on portable flower vaporizers ranges from under $100 to several hundred dollars. Health Canada has approved the Mighty Medic vaporizer as a medical device for medical cannabis patients. 


How Can Apollo Cannabis Clinics Help?

Apollo Cannabis Clinics have been assisting patients in understanding the differences between vaporizing and smoking cannabis since 2014. Once an individual is a patient with Apollo Cannabis Clinics they will have access to a 7-day-a-week hotline should they have any questions. Patients also have access to patient educators who will discuss the different consumption methods for medical cannabis and find a method that works best for each individual. If you are interested in becoming a patient of Apollo Cannabis Clinics, visit apollocannabis.ca and fill out an intake form. Once the form has been received a representative will contact you to schedule an initial appointment with one of Apollo’s doctors.