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Vaping cannabis has gradually established itself as the administration method of choice for ‘zoomers’ across the country… and given how extremely online these young people are, it’s not much of a surprise.
Cannabis vaporisers activate essential canna-oils at temperatures below the point of combustion; producing a sweet, nectar-like vapour.
Vaping is performed in a variety of ways – in the case of cannabis, it’s generally done in oil cartridge form; or as flower, which must be placed inside a ‘dry herb’ chamber to be vaporised.
Vaping is a much ‘cooler’ alternative to smoking – both literally and figuratively. Everyone who is ‘in the know’ about weed has already made the switch to regularly vaporising their stash – in a valiant attempt to protect their precious lungs.
Why is ‘Vaping’ so Gosh-Darn Popular With ‘The Youth‘?
“The Youth are starting to change… are you, starting to change?”
What’s behind the generational shift in values and behaviours amongst our youth?
Well, first of all – vaping is just a much healthier option, compared to smoking cannabis… at least as far as we know, right now. The young people of contemporary Australia are some of the most health-conscious people in our nation’s history – in no small part due to the sheer accessibility of information in the 21st Century.
All sorts of education and harm reduction resources now exist on the internet. A quick google search will reveal a trove of articles and forum posts covering basic cannabis-related topics. There are just so many sources out there for all types of basic questions… such as how does one use a grinder (or why it’s important), and which specific vape pens are best for CBD oil. It goes on and on – practically any question you have can be answered online!
Following closely behind in second place… the innovations and technological advances that have occurred over the past 20 years within the cannabis industry have collectively managed to completely change the game. Years of tireless research and development occurring the in cannabis space has triggered an explosion of affordable vaping gear.
In 2021, the vaporiser has well and truly ‘entered the market’. A growing array of dry herb vaporisers and vape pens are replacing the desire for regular, rolled up joints.
Regardless of whether you vaporise your weed or not… it’s hard to interpret these recent developments as a net negative for the cannabis community. We can clearly see how thousands of Australians are already benefiting from the newfound accessibility of vapes. Medicinal users are now regularly recommended vaporisers by their doctors, to encourage scientific accuracy in dosing (among other health-related reasons).
Cannabis users, be they recreational or medical, new or old, are inherently provided with more choice today than ever before in deciding which method/s are best for them. As such, vaping can only be a good thing… right?
Well, probably… but let’s try to explore that question a little further. What are the real benefits to vaping your cannabis, instead of straight-up smoking that shit?
THE PROS OF VAPING CANNABIS
Some people have no problem spotting a joint in public… where others feel more comfortable partaking with discreet methods.
Rolled-up weed ‘sticks out’, even before the smoke hits bystanders. In contrast, a vape pen doesn’t usually draw that kind of attention. Vaporisers are often designed as sleek little machines – many of them are not immediately recognisable as ‘vaping devices’, from a distance.
On top of all that… vapour just has a much less conspicuous smell. Smoke reeks, whereas vapour is generally more inoffensive to the nose.
Vapes are especially covert and sneaky in the case of oil, pre-filled into a cartridge. The user only needs to draw to activate, or press a button. You can practically use vape pens indoors or amongst a large crowd of people, and get away with it.
Old-fashioned smoking is just totally inconvenient, in comparison to vaping – as it requires you to ‘roll up’ the weed and then light it. That’s just way too many steps!
The right settings can mean a completely customised cannabis experience.
It is common for vaporisers to offer a range of temperature control settings. Vaporisers have given cannabis users newfound control over their dosage, and freedom to select the specific cannabinoids they would like to extract via their device. This is something you just can’t do with a bong or joint!
Smoke – What Smoke?
Vaping trumps the bong and joint with its lack of combustion during extraction.
Cannabis itself is generally okay for the body… it’s moreso the effects of smoke produced from combustion which are less-than-healthy. Smoking exposes a user to carcinogenic compounds. Such compounds can be avoided by vaporising weed.
The smell from cannabis smoke is incredibly obvious to the trained nose. It’s strong, and it lingers. Vapour reduces the harm of exposing other people to your smoke. You will also be carrying less of that ‘burnt weed’ smell around with you!
Smoking burns cannabis, sometimes beyond its combustion point. This releases stronger flavours – which doesn’t necessarily make it tastier.
Vaporisation is a technology that generally includes temperature control. As such, it’s a general rule that your hits will not be as ‘overpowering’ when you vaporise. Smokers may find the flavour from their method of choice to be ‘more intense’… but a discerning user appreciates the precise control that vaping offers.
Dragging from your vaporiser is a much slower release than smoking bud the traditional way… which makes vaping extremely efficient.
Talk about ‘bang for your buck’!
THE CONS OF VAPING CANNABIS
Expensive/Steep Buy-In Costs
You will need a vaporiser and a grinder to get you started in the vaping world – a cost that you do not have to consider with regular smoking.
These items are not so cheap… but they do last a while, depending on the build quality. Not all vaping gear is built equal – do your research before making any rash decisions.
The herb and oil required for a fully-fledged vaping lifestyle aren’t exactly cheap, either…
Notable Learning Curve
If you are completely new to vaping, there are tons of new things to learn… it’s this learning curve that prevents many people from even trying.
Any vape user will need to spend considerable time with their pen to master the settings and get the best hits. Some research and practice are required before you become a ‘seasoned user’… but some would say that it ‘pays off’, giving you the most out of your cannabis.
Regularly Charging Your Vape SUCKS!
Pro tip: Get to know how long your vape will last before the battery dies. You do not want to be caught off-guard.
You have been warned. If you don’t want to risk being without your juice when you need it the most, charge your device before leaving the house – or, carry your charger.
Much like glassware, vaporisers are a pain in the arse to clean. What’s worse: you will be pretty much compelled to clean your vape after every few sessions, to keep it working optimally.
Some users only do a quick wipe-down a few times a month… but this is a surefire way to ruin your gear. To properly clean your device, dismantle it and use a brush or wipe (preferably the one that comes with your kit) to remove dry particles using a soft cotton wipe. This will clean it sufficiently. Then, you can reassemble it and light up!
The High Really is ‘Different’
Cannabis smokers swear on their lives that vaporisation just isn’t as ‘strong’.
While this is somewhat true, the high from smoke isn’t exactly of a superior quality. We’ve already mentioned that smoking burns weed, whereas vaporisation breaks down the herb/oil below their combustion points. They do have distinct effects – at the end of the day, what you prefer is a subjective judgement.
Potential Health Risks
While vaping is generally considered healthier than smoking cannabis by most experts, the practice is not without its own health concerns.
Cannabis oil used in vaping cartridges must be thinned using agents. This is what gives the cartridge its runny consistency, and allows for the oil to remain in a suitable state for the device to process it. In its raw form, cannabis oil is simply too thick.
Propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol – the two most common thinning agents – are said to contain carcinogenic compounds when broken down under the high temperatures they are exposed to in vape pen cartridges.
The consensus being reached by researchers in the scientific community is that the specific coil in a vape pen determines the temperatures at which CBD oil is broken down. This further determines how it affects health. High-end pens tend to have better coils, developed to sensitively control the level of heating that takes place within the device. This added precision consequently releases healthier vapour for the user’s consumption.
Wrapping Up – Just ‘How Good’ Are Vapes?
The question of whether vaping cannabis is ultimately superior to smoking is one that could spark an endless discussion. At the end of the day, such discussions are all based on subjective user experiences. Naturally, this matter spurs a wide range of opinions.
With hat said… we can confidently say that with our current knowledge, vaping has fewer health implications of the two. It’s clear.
It’s recommended to research and ‘read up’ on vaping before you go ‘all in’. Additionally, it is prudent to invest in the right gear from the get-go. The initial cost of vaping is a little steep… but a good vaporiser will give you incredible value for your money, over the long run.
Benefits? As we have seen, vaping is portable, discreet, offers a wide diversity of wonderful flavours, and allows you to make the most out of your stash. What’s not to love?
…what, that it isn’t the same as sinking a cone? Well, I’ll give you that…