The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been a controversial subject in the fields of medicine and politics for years. While marijuana, or cannabis, has long been known for its healing and treatment effects, it remains illegal in the majority of the U.S. states. Irrespective of its legal status, the key question is whether smoking marijuana poses any risks to the lungs.
Recently, many people, including the individuals with sensitive lungs, have switched to vaping. It is considered to provide a safer smoking experience. Who benefits more: smokers or vapers? And is there a way to avoid possible hazards? Let’s work this out.
The risks of smoking weed
Marijuana has beneficial effects on pain control, mood, and easing other chronic symptoms. Common sense says that occasional marijuana use in the traditional form of blunts or via a cannabis vaporizer from VapingDaily designed specifically for this purpose doesn’t cause severe negative consequences for lung function.
It also indicates that constant smoking of any plant substance may have a negative impact on the lung area through irritation of respiratory pathways. It’s not a secret for people who suffer from chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.
What’s so dangerous about smoking marijuana? The important word here is “smoking.” Combustion, not the herb itself, is the guilty party. Cannabis smoke contains tar, bronchial irritants, and the same type of carcinogens (the chemicals that promote the formation of cancer) as cigarette smoke.
However, several studies haven’t found an association between marijuana smoking and cancer of the lungs or other organs from light and moderate use. Even heavy use has much lower chances of pulmonary complications in comparison to tobacco consumption.
Vaping can eliminate the damaging lung effects of smoking
A number of researches show that vaping has several advantages over smoking. A group of Dartmouth researchers conducted a study to shed light on this topic in 2016. 2910 cannabis users completed an online survey on Facebook. The age of the respondents was between 18-90 years old. Those who preferred vaping characterized the method as healthier, better tasting, more effective, and generally more satisfying.
Vapers usually report declined respiratory symptoms. Lisa, 34, tried smoking medical marijuana 5 months ago to combat insomnia. “I noticed that it caused tightness in my chest. And in the morning, I had to clear my throat with a cough.”
Things changed when Lisa’s sister gave her an herbal vaporizer. “No more problems with sleep and lungs”, – she says.
Respiratory symptoms like cough, phlegm, and dry mouth are not so strong among vapers. In contradiction to a joint or bong, a marijuana vaporizer heats cannabis flowers or oils to temperatures that are enough to release cannabinoids. These are good natural chemicals that get us high and give relief to a plenty of symptoms including pain, inflammation, nausea, and anxiety. The plant is not burned, so the toxic spin-offs present in smoke are absent in vapor.
Vaping is something lifelong weed users always wanted. A clean high and the same strong effect is not only a current trend. It is more of a conscious decision for the new generation of cannabis consumers.
How beneficial is vaping marijuana to respiratory health compared to smoking it?
Physicians and scientists have three major arguments against cannabis smoking:
1) It may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
However, one research by Dr. Tashkin reveals that smokers put themselves at risk only if they mix cannabis with tobacco. Some older consumers do it. Moreover, patients with COPD have found relief with cannabis oil.
2) It may provoke emphysema.
Emphysema is a type of COPD. It is considered to be a smoker’s disease. But a moderate weed use is not linked to higher risks of progressive respiratory illnesses. Besides, cannabis is used to relief emphysema symptoms.
3) It promotes respiratory problems (cough, phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness).
Nearly all studies that evaluated this association have found that active smoking increases the risks of the symptoms of chronic bronchitis (cough and phlegm), but not shortness of breath.
But most studies of lung function in regular cannabis smokers have failed to prove its harm. The problem is many of the participants consume tobacco. It is very hard to research the effects of a separate habit.
In the scientific world, the lack of evidence doesn’t necessarily mean that cannabis smoking is safe. We, ordinary people, think that if there was a substantial safety issue that affected a large percent of cannabis smokers, we would hear about it. Until then, weed is found safe by its users and those who make it legal.
It appears that turning to vaping is an effective way to reduce a potential harm to respiratory health. It is a way out for patients with chronic respiratory disorders, such as asthma or COPD, who wish to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Smoking could only worsen their respiratory symptoms or pre-existing pulmonary disease.
How to maintain your lungs health while using marijuana?
The health-promoting effects of cannabis can outweigh its harmful effects. Savvy users recommend two tips:
As long as there’s no other way of weed consumption for medical purposes without combustion, vaporizing seems to be a wise choice. Health-concerned users are now investing in a marijuana vape pen to protect their respiratory system.
2) Exercising the lungs.
The top way to clear the lungs is through working out and deep breathing. Any activity that forces taking long, deep breaths can help to get the bad stuff out. It also improves the lung function by increasing the clean oxygen access.
In the modern era of cannabis use, we are witnessing a paradigm shift. Joints, blunts, and pipes are out-dated. Nobody wants to smoke weed. People want to vape it. Whether you use marijuana for a medical purpose or just for enjoyment, a vaporizer will give you the best effect and defend from undesirable consequences.