As vaporizers are making long strides in the mainstream market, the debate whether vaporization is better than traditional smoking is gaining momentum. The increasing popularity of vaporizers also calls for an objective and scientific view of how exactly this emerging trend fares vis-à-vis smoking. On the surface, vaping does appear to be a healthier option than smoking but to find out the truth we need to dig a bit deeper in both the practices. In this article we will have an objective look at smoking and vaping dry herbs to find out which is better.
Let’s talk about smoking first in terms of what exactly happens when you smoke a dry herb. In this conventional and well established practice of consuming the essential elements of dry herbs, the material is actually burned. The process of combustion is an intricate one in which every part of the dry herbs is brunt to produce the smoke containing the essential elements present in it. In addition to the essentials the smoke contains hundreds of other elements that are highly toxic in nature. When Cannabis is smoked, more than 80 percent of elements in the smoke produced are non-cannabinoids. This means that with every puff the smoker inhales more toxins than the real essential element. The tar that the smoker inhales while smoking, is the main cause of lung cancer and many respiratory disorders. Also, the combustion of tobacco and cannabis happens at temperatures as high as 2000 degrees. It leads to production of harmful chemicals that can cause a number of medical conditions.
Smoking as a process can be summed up as:
- Dry herbs are combusted
- Temperature of combustion is as high as 2000 degrees
- More than 80 percent of smoke is toxins, carcinogens and tar
- More smoking is required to get the desired effect
- Smoke is the main cause of cancers, respiratory disorders
Now, we can examine the process of vaporization in detail to find out its effect. As opposed to smoking, vaporization involves heating up the dry herbs to a certain temperature where it starts producing vapor. With most of the herbs this temperature is less than 400 degrees. In fact the cannabinoids start vaporizing at 285 degrees. This means that there is no hazard of excessive heat and the toxins produced by it. About 95 percent of the vapor produced is pure essential element or the cannabinoids. The remaining part is the fragment oils found in many plants and it is not toxic at all. While vaping the user inhales more than 95 percent of THC, an essential element of cannabis in just a few seconds.
So, what happens in vaporization is actually the opposite of smoking.
- Dry herbs are vaporized
- The temperature of vaporization is as low as 285 degrees
- More than 95 percent of the vapor produced is pure cannabinoids
- User gets the desired effect in a few draws
- No or very little toxins are produced
Looking at the above effects produced by smoking and vaporization it is not very difficult to infer that vaporization of dry herbs is a far better alternative to smoking. There are a number of research organizations that have come up with the same conclusion. For example in 2001 In 2001, researchers testing the M1 Volatizer vaporizer unit deduced that the vapor produced by this device contained significantly fewer toxins than smoke produced during traditional smoking. A similar research was conducted in 2007 by a joint team of scientists from University of Southern California and the University of New York. In this study, more than 7000 smokers and vaping enthusiasts were interviewed to identify the respiratory symptoms experienced by both the groups. The results highlighted the fact that people who vaped were 40% less likely to report negative physical health symptoms when compared to traditional smokers.
These findings not only establish the fact that vaping is healthier than smoking, but also indicate that the future belongs to vaping.