A large part of the choice between smoking and vaping comes down to an individual user’s personal preference, but there are other factors that can impact which one you choose. Understanding the long term effects of using cannabis and the different methods of consumption before you choose one or the other to use on a regular basis will help you make an informed decision you can be comfortable with over the long term. Here are a few things you should know about each method of smoking cannabis and how they work before selecting one:
- The products used for each approach are different: Smokers use dried marijuana plant clippings, packed into a glass pipe, bong or rolling paper, to injest the marijuana.
- Vaping uses a concentrated oil derived from the same plant, heated by an electronic battery to the point of forming vapor. This oil is sold in pre-filled cartridges, or you can purchase refillable cartridges and fill them with THC derived oil or concentrates of your choosing.
- Each method of cannabis inhalation has risks: Experts caution that any form of inhaling marijuana can hold risks, though they are significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco products. Medical professionals say that any type of inhaling cannabis can lead to cough, wheezng and other issues with the respiratory system.
- Vaping cannabis can be more discreet and cost effective than smoking: The vapor created during the process is odorless and dissolves quickly, making it less obvious and easier to use on the go than smoking dried marijuana, which can leave a strong odor. Since the oil used for vaping is concentrated, users may find they only need to vape a little of it to feel the effects, making it more cost effective to use over time.
Which One Is Better for Long Term Use: Smoking or Vaping?
Some marijuana users believe that using a vape is better for lung health in the long term than smoking, which can expose the lungs to additives, especially if you use cigarette or cigar papers to smoke. These papers can contain substances like tar and other carcinogens.
Unfortunately, the technology behind vaping is still quite new, making it hard to assess the long term risks to health. At this point, doctors still can’t say what effect vaping has on the lungs over 30 or 40 years. THC oil can contain additives that help it stay shelf stable for longer, and the lungs are exposed to these substances when vaping. While recent research on vaping has shown that THC oil can have vitamin E additives and be harmful to the lungs, as time goes on and the product evolves. this can change. It’s important for vape users to stay informed on the most current research.
While we do not currently have a definitive answer to whether smoking or vaping is better for your health in the long term, we do know that the potential benefits of ingesting marijuana can greatly outweight the potential risks.