Difference between vaporizing and smoking
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Cannabis has traditionally been smoked or charred through a chillum or pipe, where it is inhaled in order to gain the favourable effects of the psychoactive compounds contained within. Over time this technique has been adapted and evolved greatly.
From water pipes (or bongs) to blunt wraps - chillums, hookahs, chalices and spliffs. There is no question that we, Homo sapiens, are fond of combusting our favourite green herb in order to inhale the sweet aroma and experience the wonderful effects, that we know and love.
There are many reasons to enjoy smoking cannabis in such a way: It's a simple process, it tastes nice and it gets you high. But as with most of our technology, methods of smoking cannabis become outdated, as our knowledge expands and our ability to come up with fresh ideas are put to use.
For example, we now know, that smoking (using an open flame or combustion to burn cannabis at a high temperature) produces many harmful chemicals, such as tar and carbon monoxide. It creates around 88% non-cannabinoid matter and leaves a smell, that can linger in a room or stick to clothing. Many cannabinoids are burned and used up in the process of smoking and thus don't end up in the body of the smoker.
Cue the vaporizer. Vaporizers have been used in various forms since the 90s, mainly as an alternative to smoking tobacco. Commonly known as e-cigarettes, these nicotine vaporizers use a mix of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin with nicotine and flavouring to give the effect of smoking a cigarette, but with far less risk to your health because they don't produce carcinogens and toxins such as carbon monoxide or tar.
These substances are known as "e-liquids". More recently cannabis has been used in e-liquids by adding a cannabis concentrate to the solution.
Furthermore, dry-herb vaporizers have been developed, so that you don't have to struggle with the tricky process of creating a cannabis e-liquid. In a very short space of time, they have been developed to come in all shapes and sizes to suit any need.
The vapour produced by dry-herb vaporizers contains roughly 95% cannabinoids, 5% flavonoids (water-soluble plant pigments, that are beneficial for your health) and 1 single polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (an organic compound containing carbon and hydrogen).
Vaporizing cannabis doesn't produce any of the toxins, that smoking does, because the plant matter is only heated up enough, so that the cannabinoids change from solid to gas - around 200°C.
Studies have found, that THC can promote damaged cells to die instead of reproducing. It is true, that smoking cannabis has not been proven to cause lung cancer, although the smoke does produce a bunch of carcinogens.
With that said, vaporizing your bud allows for the recipient to enjoy the positive health benefits of anti-inflammatory terpenoids, without any of the added nastiness.
The high you get from a vaporizer is more "clear-headed", as you don't have any of the added unnecessary chemicals. The vapour doesn't linger, so it is discreet and you can even use an AVB (Already Vaped Bud) to cook with, so that you can make the most out of your buds.
The selection of dry-herb vaporizers out there is huge and ranges from simple and elegant to technically extravagant, with handheld vaporizers for easy transport (great for travelling!) and swift use, or desktop vaporizers with remote control adjustable temperature settings for the heavier sessions.
There is something out there to suit the needs of anybody and it is well worth giving it a go. Even if you don't use it all the time, it's nice to have the option there.