Ever since the Netherlands introduced the world to a more open and liberal approach towards cannabis, we started seeing a shift in public opinion on the subject. Weed has been available for recreational use in the Netherlands since 1976. You can purchase and smoke marijuana in certain coffee shops all over the country, and they do offer a massive selection with different levels of THC. As the Dutch government politely and pragmatically put it at the time “a drug-free Dutch society is unrealistic and unattainable.”
Today, we have a new trend that we’re going to talk about, and that’s vaping weed. The rest of the world is finally catching up with the Dutch!
The year 2018 was big for cannabis, on almost all fronts, from CBD-based drugs that were approved by the FDA (Epidiolex) to legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes in states all over the world. The countries that legalized/decriminalized weed for recreational purposes are:
- Australia (Northern Territory, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory)
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United States (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington)
There are 37 countries on that list, and more will be added on it in 2019. You can use it as a reference list, every time you want to travel abroad and bring your vape pen with you. Vaping weed is a new trend, but people have been smoking marijuana or eating “pot brownies” for a very long time, too. In the next section, we’re going to focus on the differences between smoking weed and vaping weed!
Differences between smoking and vaping marijuana
As you already know, smoking is not the healthiest choice you can make. Today, we even have studies that show that cannabis smoke can cause irreversible damage to the lungs. The main problem with smoking is the combustion itself, and the by-products that enter your body when you inhale the weed smoke. Bearing that in mind, we decided to point out the major differences between smoking and vaping marijuana.
Temperature –Weed vaporizers work on a slightly different method. When you vape weed using oils or dry herbs, the heat is low enough that it can melt the fatty cannabis resins without burning the plant. They only change form; they don’t burn. The cannabis resins turn into vapor, the one you inhale, and there are no other harmful by-products.
However, it’s advisable to be careful when purchasing weed vape kits, because if the temperature setting is above 445°F (229°C), it will still combust the cannabis. Look for vaporizers that offer customizable temperature settings.
Efficiency – Are you aware of the fact that you destroy 50 percent of the cannabinoids the moment you light up a joint? THC and CBD are cannabinoids. Without THC, there will be no “high,” and CBD is used for medical treatments and pain alleviation. Additionally, you lose 15 to 20 percent of the cannabinoids due to smoke burn off.
That doesn’t happen when you’re vaping the weed. You have to agree that losing so much of the THC is not an efficient usage method.
Toxic compounds – Other than the difference in odor, the more important thing that differentiates vaping weed from smoking weed is the mix of toxic compounds you inhale in the lungs. The cannabis itself doesn’t cause cancer, but inhaling the smoke, which is a result of combustion, most certainly can.
To be specific, the compounds we’re talking about are benzene, naphthalene and toluene. Benzene can cause damage to the reproductive system. Naphthalene is a potential carcinogen, which can destroy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Toluene is a benzene derivative, and it has adverse effects on the central nervous system. The side effects of these compounds are headaches, nausea, fatigue and sleepiness.
Flavor – Have you heard about terpenes? Terpenes are found in the cannabis plant, and they are the aroma chemicals that impact how different cannabis varieties make you feel. Each terpene has a different boiling point, which means the flavor you’re going to experience while you’re vaping/smoking weed depends on the temperature you’re using. If your vape pen has customizable temperature settings, you have the possibility to try out a bunch of different tastes.
Tailor-made for you – Vaping can be customized, and that’s one of the greatest advantages vis-à-vis smoking. You can tailor the entire experience according to your personal taste. When you tinker with the temperature settings, you can adjust not only the zest, but also the effect. This is a short cheat-sheet:
- Easy feeling, mellow, with a pleasurable haze – 290 to 330°F (143 to 166°C)
- Medium hit, which is fun and yet still manageable – 330 to 370°F (166 to 187°C)
- Durable and heavy sensation – 370 to 445°F (187 to 229°C)
The benefits of vaping weed
It’s proven that vaping is a far healthier alternative than smoking, and that counts for using marijuana, too. However, what we want to talk about in this section of the article are the health benefits of vaping weed. As you already know, CBD and THC are the active substances in the cannabis plant that can help with pain, nausea, asthma, anorexia nervosa, inflammation, side effects of chemotherapy treatments, depression, anxiety and other conditions. It’s no wonder people call it the new wonder drug!
When you’re vaping them, they get directly into the lungs and then the bloodstream, thus this is the fastest treatment method. Vaping weed is the quickest way to experience pain relief if cannabis is your choice for pain reduction. Which is to say, the THC and the CBD in the weed act as an instant painkiller for most conditions. Vaping weed is also a great alternative for smokers because that way, further lung irritation can be avoided.