Editors' Picks

Vaping Cannabis Options: A Healthier Alternative to Smoking

It’s no big secret that vaping has gained huge popularity. Due to its discreteness and less associated health risks, vaping has become a popular choice for the people. Due to its highly concentrated THC content, oil and wax concentrates have become a favorable money-making industry for green rush businesses. Vaping has become the hip way of consuming cannabis, but it is important to know all the facts, exactly what is inside these concentrates and which vaping cannabis options are right for you.

3 Vaping Cannabis Options: Smoking Alternatives

  1. Vape Pens: Discrete

Arguably the most popular device that is being incorporated worldwide is the vape pen. First used as an alternative to cigarettes then used for the purpose of consuming cannabis, the vape pen has a multitude of benefits – the most desired being its discretion. Vape pens are always at the ready, loaded but not leaking, hiding in the pockets of consumers and available for a small toke at any moment. These pros make it easy for consumers to check their surrounding and take a quick hit without detection.

With the vape pen’s ever-growing adoration, few people took the time to question what actually they were consuming. Cannabis vaporizers were designed to eliminate the harmful effects of inhaling smoke toxins, but the next layer of health consciousness should question what harmful toxins are within the product? What makes up a concentrate and does it have any negative effects? Oil concentrates are often mixed with a thinning agent which can be potentially harmful when heated. There are very few studies on the subject, but one study looks at the four most popular thinning agents in oil concentrates:

  • Propylene glycol (PG or PPG)
  • Polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG)
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Medium chain triglycerides

There is very little research or knowledge on the short-term and long-term effects of vaporizing cannabis oil. From this study, the harmful effects of Polyethylene glycol (PEG) 400 has been uncovered. This particular thinning agent produces the most acetaldehyde and formaldehyde byproducts of which are carbonyls, chemicals that cause cancer. This is why it is important to know the ingredients and extraction processes of your cannabis oil. If it is cheap and unlabeled – it’s probably harmful.

The good news is that you can easily find safer alternatives. One of the most palatable concentrates gaining popularity is CO2 extraction. This is, so far, the safest known concentrate to ingest, though many experts still head caution to the ingestion of any chemical byproducts. CO2 extraction is performed for decaffeination of tea and coffee and is also used to extract essential oils. Consuming CO2 extracted oils may be one of the better vaping cannabis options on the market.

  1. Dabbing Wax: Highly Concentrated

Considered the veteran concentrate, waxes are known to frequent the circles of “professional” smokers because of its potency. The wax industry now accounts for 40% of California sales, meaning a rise in the industry for more bang per buck. Some have described the high as “a kick in the face” because one or two hits is comparable to smoking a whole joint – definitely not for the light-hearted beginner.

Waxes have many different names from shatter to honey and budder though they all derive from hash and not all of them are particularly safe. Most wax products are derived from Butane and called Butane Hash Oil (BHO), the main extraction chemical being lighter fluid which concentrates the sticky substance to 60% THC and higher. Many experts claim that no crop is unsalvageable for BHO – meaning moldy weed doesn’t become moldy BHO and in many cases, when someone has an inconsumable crop, they often turn it into hash or wax. That doesn’t convince me that wax is the healthiest vape option. Additionally, there are no studies done on BHO and no one knows how much, if any, parts per million of butane is actually safe to consume.

Luckily, there exists a process known as ice-water hash. It is a process of resin extraction using ice instead of lighter fluid which seems much more promising. What’s not so appealing is the price and the limited availability. BHO is a big industry and until there is concrete evidence that it causes harm, the consumers are inhaling it up. If you are an avid dabber or interested in trying it out, you might want to check out our review on the portable dabber device from Magic Flight Box called JaKD’Rippa.

3. Whole Flower: Safe Consumption

One of the healthier vaping cannabis options, whole flower vaporization is the safest and cheapest option. It can be inexpensive because if you’re a medical patient or live in a prohibition-free state, you can grow your own bud and save a lot of green. The vaporizers, especially the best quality ones, can be an investment, but it’s an investment in your health, which in my opinion is priceless. A quality device will guarantee that you do not combust cannabis yet reap the entourage effect from whole bud – the terpenes and mix of cannabinoids. And the product, well, you have the capabilities of knowing exactly what gets put into your whole flower, especially if you grow it organically yourself. It is like choosing whole foods over processed – you know what you are getting and you are consuming the purest form of the plant.

The Magic flight box: On the Go

One of my favorite devices of all time: the Magic Flight Box Launch Box, a dry herb vaporizer. This guy is all about portability and on the go capabilities. If you’re an avid smoker, this is a must-have for the convenience, though you might also want to consider an extra pair of batteries as it needs to charge quite often. Sleek look, great vape, discrete smoke – all of the necessities for a healthy vape on the go.

The Mighty: Stay at Home

For the optimal stay at home option, The Mighty is the original one and only. Made by Storz & Bickel, this German made product is all about quality and the small astute details for the heavy cannabis user. Besides using top-quality materials, the Volcano gives you the option of setting the right temperature for your taste and bud and comes with a long-term warranty. It is made durable for high-performance and is highly recommended by its many vaping fans.