Vaping THC has been around for quite some time, but with the recent wave of legalization and decriminalization it seems vaping is as popular as ever.
Before we get into the pros and cons lets do a quick primer on vaporizing.
THC, the active ingredient in marijuana turns into vapor at around 365 degrees fahrenheit. Compare that with a standard Bic lighter, which produces a flame approximately 1100-1500 degrees fahrenheit. A vaporizer heats the weed to around 365 degrees turning the THC into vapor, without actually burning or combusting the weed. The user then inhales the nearly 100% THC vapor. This is important because even the best weed out there contains less than 30% THC, so the other 70%+ are non-THC elements. When you use a flame lighter you are combusting and inhaling that other 70%+ of non-THC elements. When vaping, there are no smoke, fumes, or toxins to inhale – hence the safer alternative. Typically there are two types of vaporizers:
- Conduction. This is where your plant matter is heated up by being in contact with something that is already hot.
- Convection. This is when hot air is blown over your plant matter in order to make it hot.
Lastly, you can either vape weed itself (flower) or vape an extract like BHO/ wax. This is a very low-level overview of vaping. If you want to know more details…Google is a wonderful resource! If you don’t want to read, or can’t read (no judgments) here is a quick, helpful video “The Dummies Guide To How a Vaporizer Works.”
Now you know what vaporizing is and how to vaporizer. But before you jump in head-first, check out these pros and cons of vaping to see if it’s for you…
- Healthier Alternative to traditional “flame” smoking – remember, vaping only heats the weed enough to vaporize the THC. It doesn’t combust the weed the way smoking a bowl or bong would (which coincidentally, I am ripping tubes as I type). Because of the lower heat source, the user avoids inhaling smoke, toxins, and other undesirables, all detrimental to your health.
- Less odor than other smoking methods, and the smell dissipates quicker.
- Allows you to smoke discreetly in public places – I have definitely taken a hit from a vaporizer right in the middle of a busy restaurant or bar.
- Cost Efficiency – vaping allows you to use far less product to achieve an even greater high. This allows you to stretch your weed out for a longer time. Most people will tell you that the money you save using less weed will easily pay for the vaporizer ten times over.
- Smoother hits and cleaner high
- Pricey equipment – if you are going to invest in a vaporizer worth having it is going to cost you a pretty penny. Vaporizers come in a variety of forms – Volcano, Vape Pens, Whip Vaporizers – all of which are going to put a dent in your pocket.
- Lots of cheap imitations – be careful of buying a vaporizer with a price thats too good to be true. Chances are you are wasting your money. A lot of the vape pens for flower actually combust the marijuana, as opposed to vaporizing the THC, and you wind up just smoking a fancy bowl.
- Somewhat harder to find oil/wax – if you opt for an oil/ wax vaporizer you might find it a little harder to score the necessary oil/ wax from your supplier. I’ve personally never had this problem, but it can definitely be a challenge scoring some quality oil/ wax depending on you region.
- Can be somewhat intimidating and complicated to the new user.
- Electricity – Vape pens need to be recharged and if you find yourself with a dead battery…you ain’t getting high!
Conclusion: Well there you have it…after running through the pros and cons of vaping it seems like a no brainer that every dedicated stoner should own at least one piece of vaping equipment – it is healthier and stretches your weed out longer. However, there are a lot of smokers out there who prefer their traditional flame-to-flower highs: blunts, bowls, bongs, & joints. In the end, it would probably behoove you to at least add a vape pen to your collection. But you know what we say…smoke what makes you happy.
Past Pros and Cons: