Why Vaping Should NOT Be Trending
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It’s everywhere: vape clouds being blown in the air, vape shops opening up left and right. New strains, brands, devices are being introduced to the marijuana market daily. At this point, it is rare to leave your house and not see someone vaping. It’s the new, trending thing for many reasons - one primary reason being convenience. Nowadays, the general public migrates to almost anything that will allow them to multi-task or get things done more quickly and vaping seems to be one of those things that allows smokers to do just that. For herbalists, when vaping hit the scene it was like a jackpot! But, not all good things are all good. In fact, there are quite a few things you should consider before the next time that you decide to vape.
WHAT IS VAPING?
Generally, vaping is considered a safer alternative to smoking cannabis. During combustion, or the process of burning flower, vapor doesn’t release the tar and carcinogens created when burning flowers or concentrates. The difference is vaporization is a bit more or a complex process that creates a phase of transition from liquid to vapor. Vaping entails heating cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature that turns the cannabinoids and terpenes into vapor. Most vaporization devices (vapes) are engineered to heat cannabis products just below the point of combustion (338°F).
It has been said that vaping can get you higher than smoking, which may be true because vaping marijuana increases the amount of cannabis by-products that are activated. Studies have also shown that those who switched to vaporization showed significantly lower levels of carcinogens and other toxic chemicals than consumers who smoked. Researchers found that while vaporization increased the amount of cannabis consumed, it also decreased respiratory symptoms in regular cannabis users who smoke.
REASONS TO BE CAUTIOUS WITH VAPING
VAPE PENS COULD CONTAIN HARMFUL ADDITIVES
Many e-juices and vape cartridges contain propylene glycol (PG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which are substances used as a thinner for the thick, honey-like material. Quick research will show that these additives are recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) however, upon further investigating, they both can become extremely dangerous when heated to the point of combustion. PG and PEG are converted to the carcinogen formaldehyde with heat, which is a well-known lung and skin irritant. They both can also cause asthma and allergies.
When shopping for a vape pen or cartridge, be sure to check that the product does not contain propylene glycol (PG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG).
BEWARE OF PESTICIDES!
You probably never thought that cartridges, e-juices, and other types of cannabis concentrates are more likely to contain residual pesticide contaminants than flower, but it’s true. One batch of concentrates can be equivalent to many pounds of flower. Cannabis extractions concentrate resin, including pesticides that may be attached to that resin. While one flower may not contain an unsafe amount of pesticides, a highly concentrated oil made after extracting from multiple plants could be precarious. Therefore, a cartridge created from the oil extracted from a bunch of flowers is more likely to contain more concentrated quantities of contaminants.
In 2015, a study published in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences found that up to 80 percent of over 57 samples of California cannabis concentrates contained unsafe levels of residual pesticide.
many vape pens use plastic & harmful metals
With the countless amounts of vape pens available, it’s easy to have your decision swayed by different factors. Besides the ingredients within your cartridge, you should also be concerned with the actually hardware used to make your vape pen. You might be surprised to learn that plastic is involved in your pen’s makeup. Most vape pens use plastic in close proximity to where the heating source is located. While most vape pen plastics are used in vaporizer pens are considered “heat safe,” it's well-known that plastics can outgas chemical compounds with unknown risks when heated. Plastics are known to use an endocrine disturbing pollutant called bisphenol A (BPA),which mimics the female hormone estrogen. Other chemical compounds have replaced BPA, but they have not been as widely researched and health effects are still unknown.
Aside from plastic, some vape pens may contain parts that use impure or low-quality metals. It is ideal to purchase vape pens from distributors who list their vape pen materials or, stick to using refillable vape cartridges made with glass to avoid inhaling harmful chemicals or gasses.
Gauging temperature is imperative
As we said before, marijuana’s point of combustion is around 338°F. So you want to be sure that your vape does not get any hotter than that, otherwise you will defeat the purpose of vaping. When the cannabis combusts, that is when you inhale harmful toxins. Making sure you have a vape that allows you to gauge the temperature in which you heat your contents is optimal. Lower temperature vaping allows for you to taste more of the cannabis terpenes.
Be sure to purchase a vape that allows you to control the temperature. While the displayed temperature s not actually a measurement of the temperature of the contents being vaporized, nor will it be 100% accurate. However, it will help you consume more safely.
vaping in public is not legal
Although the general consensus is that people prefer vaping because of its ability to be discreet, that does not change the fact that consuming marijuana, whether it be by joint or by vape, is still illegal. It is, however, overlooked a lot given the fact that herbalists are not the only ones vaping. Cigarette and hookah smokers have picked up the vaping habit for many reasons. You may see someone taking hits from their vape to practice or perform tricks with the smoke. Or you may see a nicotine-smoker trying to break their habit by puffing on a vape pen while walking down the street. And it doesn’t help that each vaper has their own delicious smelling vapor that they emit.
Vaping in public is easily concealed but can also be harmful to the environment. A 2014 study concluded that vape aerosols generated toxins “such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetic acid and other toxins emitted into the air, though at lower levels compared to conventional cigarette emissions.”