is it safe to vaporize cannabis

Is Vaporizing Healthy?

The Word From the Global Drug Survey.

The debate regarding vaporizing versus combusting and the health benefits of switching from the latter to the first is a conversation set to remain inconclusively unanswered simply due to the lack of comprehensive laboratory trials and results. Once again this is primarily due to the illegality of cannabis production and use. It would appear that rather than seriously delve into the actual harms of the substance most current authorities would prefer to treat the plant like some childhood bogey man; relegating hard evidence in favour of near cautionary allegorical tales of terror. Very rarely are facts and figures attached to the horrific tales of reefer madness and orgies of weed-inspired mayhem. Anecdotal recounting of various stories of marijuana induced psychosis and the downfall of today’s youth are at best completely subjective, and at worst nothing but selective misinformation. I can recall reading public safety drug information pamphlets as a teenager, long before I had any actual personal experience to refer back to, and often thinking that the admittedly awful recollections of young vulnerable folk succumbing to the evils of the demon weed and losing their collective sh%t never appeared to include any other external factors like home life, domestic abuse, pre-existing mental health conditions or any other contributory elements. What was being presented always felt like half the story.

Growing Up...

It was not until university, and actually being exposed to a wide range of social and academic views that I was able to make up my own mind on the recreational benefits and inherit pratfalls of Mary Jane. Which pretty much sums up the journey into adulthood really. Taking in the information that you are subjected to as a child and then weighing it up against the realities one encounters whilst experiencing life for oneself. And speaking from personal experience, I have found time and time again that there is a distinct schism between what the public is spoon fed by the authorities and the reality of a situation backed by hard evidence.

So that is my longwinded, round-a-bout way of saying that it is a very hard thing to measure whether vaping is a healthier herbal experience compared to smoking. Without any dedicated research or apparent will to dedicated research on the part of the relevant government bodies (who have all manner of agendas of their own) it is quite tough to come out all guns blazing and say with any authority that “hells yeah guys, vaping is the only way to go!!!” without the peer-reviewed documentation to back that statement up.

Such a basic and simple question is made almost impossible to verify pretty much entirely due to our political “leaders” absolute inability to conduct an adult conversation on the topic and virtually kicking the dirty laundry under the bed to be dealt with another day by somebody else. Lame I know, but there it is.

However...

Having said all that there have recently been some glimmers of hope and nay I say it, a breakthrough or two. One of those breakthroughs occurred in 2014 by an independent, dedicated research partnership who over a period of several years conducted a global survey of more than 80 000 recreational drug users (not just cannabis) in an effort to ascertain who was using, what they were using, how they were using and what were the associated health impacts both physical and mental of what was being used. The Global Drug Survey (GDS) is a London based research organisation that carries no political affiliations who were set up to produce reports and present data to media, public health and corporate bodies.

GDS aims to make drug use safer, regardless of the legal status of the drug, by sharing information with individuals, communities, health and policy organisations.”…

This from the research group’s mission statement makes their goal fairly clear…And welcome. The raw processing of data free from the restrictive and subjective prejudice of morality and political agenda. Once the data has been gathered it is then processed by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, general practitioners, psychologists, legal experts, academics and communications specialists. Their range of expertise is quite diverse and far ranging, which is exactly what is required when tackling the hugely complex subject of substance use and abuse.

The reason for my focusing so heavily on GDS is quite simple. When I first sat down to research the health ins-and-outs of vaporizing herb, the first thing I noticed was the lack of substantive clinical data and the second thing was that GDS kept on being referred to as an accessible and reliable source. In lieu of that lab researched material the results of the Global Drug Survey do add their own weight and value to the conversation. Particularly their cleverly titled High-Way Code, which is a user friendly guide to the safest and most risk free methods of enjoying various substances. Much as GDS take the position that neither endorses nor frowns upon what individuals decide to do with their own bodies,. I found their High-Way Code not only easy to process, but also one of the only places to find an “official quote” to help provide evidence either way on the vaporizing question at hand.

So here goes…

Number one on the reduction of harm risks as far as Cannabis is concerned is...

Don’t mix with tobacco.”

Of all the health concerns this was number one piece of advice. Directly below that fairly conclusive statement the number one risk avoidance strategy is…

USE A VAPORIZER.”

They further add…

Smoking cannabis is the most dangerous way of using it. Burning cannabis is the thing that releases tar and cancer causing chemicals. Unlike a joint or bong, a vaporizer heats cannabis to below its combustion temperature to produce a vapour. This means that the THC is released but the smoke containing tar and toxins is significantly reduced. Whilst the evidence is not conclusive, it is likely that vaporizers reduce the risk to your lungs. It is also likely that some types of vaporizers are better than others in protecting your health”

And there you have it. Straight from the collective mouths of around 80 000 recreational users. It would appear that the number one health tip from stoners world wide is get on to a vape and get on to one quick. Their second word of advice is rather self explanatory…

Avoid driving and cycling”

So as far as being able to provide evidence to back up my claims of the virtues of imbibing herbal matter through vaporizer is concerned, the GDS has proven to be my best bet so far. I wanted in this blog to describe just how difficult it actually is to get a comprehensive “yay” or “nay” on the topic, but also to give you guys just a little glimmer of hope that there are expert minds outside of the political arena who are focusing their attention on this area and attempting to shed some light on the many relevant and sometimes difficult questions being asked. I for one am quite impressed with the GDS approach to not only data gathering, but also the very user-friendly approach they have utilised to present that information. They certainly have helped me on this occasion of writing an article and trying not to sound like I am speaking out of my proverbial ass!

As I said before, DotComBong nor I endorse the use of illegal substances, but the information presented here is highly transferable to the use of legal herb and plant materials used with the wide range of portable and desktop vaporizers that are on offer on the DotComBong site…

And it is safe to say that I do highly recommend you have a browse of that ever expanding range!