If you’re new to cannabis, or if it’s been a while since you’ve last toked – you’d probably be amazed at all of the different options available. As you walk into a head shop you’ll see all sorts of bongs, papers, pipes, and even digital devices that claim to give you the “cleanest” smoke possible.
It is important to note that there is no one “safe” method. Rather, some methods may be more suitable for others based on preference, tolerance, or even due to financial reasons. In this article we are going to compare some of the most popular methods of smoking and ingesting cannabis, outline their pros and cons, and let you decide which method fits you the best.
Are Joints & Blunts Safe?
Joints and blunts are probably the most traditional way that people consume cannabis. There are a lot of nicknames that are tied to each, but at their core, joints and blunts are technically the same: marijuana flower (sometimes mixed with concentrates) wrapped in some type of material and then combusted to produce smoke.
The difference between joints and blunts is in the material that it is wrapped in. Joints are wrapped in paper and blunts are wrapped in some type of tobacco leaf product.
Both methods still involve inhaling smoke, so technically both methods are not good for you. Smoke will produce tar and the byproducts of lighting up the paper or tobacco leaves will most likely cause you to ingest other chemicals. Despite this, many people choose to smoke blunts and joints simply because it’s their personal preference. If you’re one of these people and safety is your concern, joints would be the answer. There are a lot of alternatives for unbleached papers, hemp papers, and other “clean” papers that may contain less additives than traditional papers.
Are Vaporizers Safe? How Do They Work?
Vaporizing has become a very popular method of ingesting cannabis as it is perceived as “safer” than traditional smoking. This is because true vaporization doesn’t require combustion to activate the terpenes and cannabinoids in your cannabis products. Vaporizing devices only heat your cannabis products to a certain temperature which allows you to avoid the unhealthy combustion byproducts.
Reputable vaporizers, such as the Volcano Vaporizer, have a temperature control dial that allows you to control the heat levels when you’re vaporizing your cannabis products. Cannabis combustion occurs at approximately 450 degrees. However, if you stay under this combustion point by controlling the heat then you can selectively vaporize certain cannabinoids and terpenes without the unnecessary smoke.
The table below from Advanced Nutrients shows some of the heating points for the different types of cannabinoids and terpenes:
One of the downsides of vaporizers is that they can be expensive. A typical Volcano vaporizer can cost you upwards of a few hundred dollars. We stock a variety of desktop and handheld vaporizers that allow you to control the temperature just like the Volcano brand but at lower prices. Visit us today to explore our selection.
What About Vape Pens?
Vaping cannabis using vape pens with concentrate cartridges are generally safer alternative than joints, blunts, or any other combustion-driven ingestion method however this is a big caveat – the quality of the vape cartridge and vape pen battery plays a huge role in how safe it is for you.
During the recent “vape scare”, it was discovered that some clandestine manufacturers were using additives like vitamin E oil to mix into their vape cartridges. It turns out that when you heat up vitamin E oil and inhale it, it is not safe for your lungs. Many people were hospitalized because of this.
Additionally, if you purchase a cheap battery to heat your vape cartridge that doesn’t have effective temperature regulation, you might be combusting your concentrates without even knowing it. At this point you might as well be just smoking a joint or a blunt.
The key to safely ingesting cannabis by the modality of a vape pen is to (a) purchase a vape cartridge from a reputable dispensary that lab tests their products for harmful additives and (b) invest in a good quality vape battery where you know it’s not overheating and causing unintended combustion.
What about the other methods of ingestion?
In our next series of articles, we’ll be comparing bongs & pipes to edibles, and weighing in the pros and cons as well as things to consider when using these methods to consume cannabis.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for lab-tested, clean flower or vape pen cartridges that are safe for medical and recreational consumption, visit our dispensary today or place an order online. We deliver within 50 miles of Chesaning, Michigan!