What vaping means
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor that is produced by e-cigarette, vaporizer or similar device. It is the most discreet and convenient method of cannabis consumption that does not include the combustion of the plant material.
Vaping is so popular today because it is smoke-free. Instead, users inhale the aerosol (vapor), which is generated by heating the plant material to certain temperatures.
For a long time, vaping has been considered as a safe alternative to smoking and an easy way to quit, but modern investigations prove that the subject is controversial. Until now, vaping has not been approved as the smoking cessation tool. The survey on vaporizer use provides a statistical data that proves that using vaporizers do not lead to smoking cessation; instead, both vaping and smoking get practiced in parallel, which lead to greater health hazards and addiction.
Vaping VS smoking
Smoking is the most traditional way to consume marijuana. It is valued for the unique odor, pleasant taste and rapid onset. However, even the smoking devotees recognize the risks accompanying the plant combustion. Human lungs are not meant for smoke so the process of regular marijuana smoking is strongly associated with the significant lung injuries, respiratory irritation, and greater risk of lung cancer.
Vaping is the modern alternative to smoking, which is proven to maximize the cannabinoid intake with the vapor and, at the same time, minimize the inhale of harmful pyrolytic contaminants. It is characterized by quick onset and prolonged action (the duration of effects is from one to four hours).
At the same time, vaping is not recommended to unexperienced cannabis consumers since it provides more expressed negative drug effects, greater incidence of their happening, and cognitive degradation.
Key differences between vaping and smoking
The research on the affection of vaping on human body is hardly consistent. However, present evidence allows to distinguish main differences between weed smoking and vaping:
Burning plant vs boiling oil
When smoking, the whole plant gets burned, so all cannabis compounds act in synergy, which enhances the therapeutic effect of consumption (it is called an entourage effect). With vaping, the inhaled components are determined by the oil composition that is not necessarily full-spectrum. Heating the liquid makes the oils boil and evaporate thus creating an aerosol.
Presence of additives
Unlike flower vaporizing, using oils is accompanied by harmful additives and carcinogens, like polyethylene glycol or propylene glycol. Smoking or vaping a marijuana flower is thus preferred to using oils for vaping.
«Heavy» or «light» smoke
Vapor produced by using vaporizers is lighter than a heavy smoke of a joint or a blunt. It diffuses easily and it safer on the lungs. Smoke from a joint is more consistent and heavy.
Vaping has greater cannabinoid efficiency. The valuable vapor is all consumed by the user, while with smoking, up to 30 percent of cannabinoids may go sides. The total loss of cannabinoid content during smoking includes the active compounds that get destroyed because of combustion and the sidestream smoke. As a result, the consumer gets less than a half of the initial cannabinoid content.
Smoking leads to release of harmful carcinogens like benzene, naphthalene, and toluene, which are toxic in nature, and are associated with greater cancer risks. Making a preference towards vaping allows to eliminate their appearance.
Considering that different terpenes evaporate at different temperatures, using vaporizers provide greater chances to evaluate the vapors of all released terpenes by applying different heat levels.
Advantages and disadvantages of vaping
Consideration of the differences between vaping and smoking processes and the analysis of scientific evidence on the subject have allowed to distinguish key positive and negative aspects of vaping:
+ higher efficiency with greater effects intensity;
+ better taste;
+ greater discretion of use;
+ convenience (with vape pens).
– early initiation due to appealing benefits;
– greater chances of addiction;
– absence of adequate scientific ground as to the vaping impact on human body. Vaping can be potentially even more dangerous than smoking because of its higher intensity and regular use. The correlation between vaping and cancer, respiratory and heart diseases is being studied.
Classification of vape devices
All vaping devices are built on the same principle: they have the heating element powered by the battery or the power source, cartridge or tank, and a mouthpiece. The general construction of the vaporizer depends on the type and purpose of use. There are three main types of vaporizers:
These are the largest vape devices that get connected to the source power by a cable. A heavy machine like this never leaves home and is mostly preferred by vaping professionals who value advanced settings more than a comfort of use. The primary benefit of such a device is the great temperature control that lets to get most from the valuable cannabis compounds. The key features provided by this type are highest efficiency, best flavor of the vaped product, and no take-away option.
Most of them are intended for herbal cannabis, though a few also support concentrates. The main heating element is a battery that is rechargeable. These vaporizers are easy to handle and to transport. Their primary disadvantage is low temperature adjustment possibilities: most devices have only one fixed temperature, so the loss of terpenes is unavoidable. Portable vaporizers can have different mechanism of work: while some of them heat weed directly through the hot surface, the other ones are meant for heating air below the plant material.
They are perfect for oily concentrates. This type of vaporizer is most discreet, allowing to ensure mobility and convenience of use anytime. There are two options for the liquid: you can either use a commercial oil cartridge or refill oil on your own. To choose the best fit for you, consider your lifestyle. If you are a stay-at-home person, a desktop vaporizer would be a perfect choice. For more mobile users, it is recommended to take pocket vaporizers for weed vaping or pen vaporizer for concentrates.
What is inside your vape?
It is curious to know more about the components and way of work of modern vaporizers. Here is the list of most essential elements:
Power source. For stationary vaporizers, it is the electricity source, but for electronic vape devices only battery is needed. A battery works on ON / OFF basis, and a led indicator shows whether it is active. Most batteries are rechargeable and the charger comes in a kit form.
The heating element. The heating element powered by the battery is used to heat the liquid inside the tank to initiate the vaporizing process.
Tank or cartridge. This is the place where your e-liquid is stored. If it is a tank, it must be filled with a syringe, while vape cartridges just get replaced when they are over.
Mouthpiece. It is the end part of the vape device used to inhale the vapor.
How to vape
The way you vape depends on the device you have chosen and on the used material. Vaping plant cannabis and oil concentrates requires the use of different temperatures to release the cannabinoids and terpenes. The maximum effect will be achieved if you have the chance to adjust temperatures.
As most users vape to get high effects, the recommended temperature is 400-410 degrees Fahrenheit. Using this range results in a balanced release of THC, CBD, and terpenes. Temperatures of 360 degrees Fahrenheit and lower will provide high-terpene content with minimal cannabinoid amount. Experimenting with temperatures give a chance to experience different effects using the same material.
Regarding the vaping material, it is represented either by a marijuana flower or cannabis oil. There are certain requirements to the marijuana flower: it has to be grinded well before packing the vape pen. As for the oil, there are three possible choices: e-liquid, vape containers or self-filled syringes. Using vape containers is the simplest method since it requires only the cartridge replacement. Syringes are cheaper but more time-consuming in operation.
Stages of vaping development
Despite popular misconception, vaping is not a new technique. The roots of this trend reach the ancient Egypt, where people used hot stones to induce herbs` evaporation. At the same time, oils were vaped, too.
The second wave of vape spreading was after shisha was invented in India. This way of smoking was based on the same principle as vaping does — inhaling and exhaling the vapor without plant combustion.
The next stage of vaping development started with the appearance of the first electronic cigarette in 1927. It took e-cigs many years to become a truly popular and legal alternative to smoking. Only after 2007, United States face the appearance of e-cigarettes and start the era of vaping.
Modern vaping market has to main features:
It is digitalized. We have electronic everything: cigarettes, pipes, oil liquids. That is an attractive alternative for gas-powered torches or fire.
It is mobile. Modern pace of life does not give a chance to stay at one place. Stationary vaporizers are still present on the market, though their popularity is not able to beat the demand for portable vape devices and vape pens. Convenience, speed, and mobility are becoming the priorities of modern age.