There are two ways to inhale cannabis: smoking and through vaporization. Vaping is the process of heating an e-liquid to a temperature where it will vaporize and be inhaled by the consumer. Most people who are vaping concentrates are using pre-filled cartridges from licensed dispensaries designed to work with vape pens sold at those dispensaries. Here are a few key differences between vaping medical marijuana and smoking marijuana:
Difference #1: The main difference between smoking and vaporization of marijuana is the chemical combustion process. Vaporizers use a stream of heated air to vaporize the active ingredients in cannabis just below its combustion point (392°F). Vaporization simply converts the cannabinoids to a vapor that can be inhaled just like smoke.
Difference #2: A vaporizer steadily heats to a temperature that is high enough to extract cannabinoids (THC and CBD) but the temperatures are too low for the release of potential harmful toxins during combustion. With smoking marijuana, holding in the smoke allows more tar and noxious chemicals to be absorbed in the lungs.
Difference #3: As opposed to smoking and the taste of burning paper and plant material, concentrates used in vaping will provide the pure “clean” flavor of the terpenes in that strain. Concentrates are recommended for those who are requiring a higher level of medication for certain serious medical conditions.
Difference #4: When heated to a low temperature, vaporizers do not create much of a smell and produce no second-hand smoke. Sometimes, you may not even notice a visible vapor making them more discrete and safer to use indoors.
As always, it is important to consult with your physician before making any changes in treatment for your medical condition.