Smoking cannabis may be safe to do as it is, but vaping is even safer and more efficient, new research concludes.
New research published in the journal PLOS ONE found that using an electronic vaporizer to consume cannabis was a safer method than smoking, also producing higher levels of THC and CBD.
Swiss researchers examined the performance of five commercial electronic vaporizers, including the Volcano Medic, Plenty Vaporizer, Arizer Solo, Vape-or-Smoke and DaVinci Vaporizer. By using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to determine the total levels of THC and CBD in the outgoing vapor, experts found that electronic devices delivered higher levels of THC and CBD in the vapor compared to gas-powered devices such as the Vape. or-Smoke, in which researchers observed the use of combustion.
“The four electrically powered and temperature-controlled vaporizers investigated in this study efficiently decarboxylate acidic cannabinoids and reliably release the corresponding neutral cannabinoids into the vapor. Therefore, they can be considered as a promising application method for the safe and efficient administration of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids,” the authors wrote.
The study authors concluded:
Since the oral administration of cannabinoids reveals poor and unreliable bioavailability and smoking cannabis cannot be recommended for medical purposes, alternative, efficient and less harmful routes of administration are needed.
Vaporization of cannabis without the formation of potentially toxic pyrolysis products seems to be one such alternative.
Vaping cannabis may not always be the safest method of consumption when it comes to oils and extracts. Although the Swiss research mainly focused on vaping flowers, vaping oils can still cause side effects, such as allergies.
“When the vaping devices are placed on high heat, chemicals common in vaping concentrates (propylene glycol, etc.) can be converted to carbonyls (carcinogens), and many chemicals in the concentrate irritate the respiratory tract and aggravate allergies and illness,” wrote Patrick George in September 2015 SF Evergreen report.
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