Healthiest Way To Smoke Weed
Heathiest Way to Smoke Weed Summary
Marijuana has many known health benefits from anti-inflammatory effects to pain relief. However, using combustion to inhale plant matter is known to cause lung ailments. Despite this, studies have shown that weed smokers do not appear to have cancer rates higher than those of non-smokers. This suggests that marijuana smoke may have anti-cancer properties. Yet, there are still healthier ways to intake the therapeutic substances in marijuana.
Some negative effects of smoking weed can include cough and reduced lung capacity. But there are healthier ways to smoke weed. These include:
- Vaporize. You can vaporize dry flower, hash oil, or other weed-based mixtures.
- Water pipes and bongs. Choose a bong with sufficient water capacity to cool the smoke down before it enters your lungs.
- Dabs. Dabs have risks and benefits. The benefit is that it is usually a purer form of weed with the plant matter removed. The risk is that it becomes possible to overdose on the drug once it is so excessively purified. It is not known how dangerous overdose is, since high potency, large amounts of dabs are somewhat new, despite there having always been sticky resin smoked by workers who handle the marijuana plant.
- Pipes blunts, and joints are the least healthy but most popular ways to smoke weed. These can be made healthier by adding a filter at the end of your pipe, blunt, or joint.
Even healthier than these methods are ingesting marijuana without smoke via:
- Edibles. Edibles can be anything from weed lollipops to the popular weed brownie, and on to weed gummies.
- Tincture. Tinctures are concentrated forms of marijuana, usually extracted with alcohol.
- Topical. Topical preparations of cannabis are used to reduce inflammation such as from arthritis or minor scrapes and bruises.
Many users of medicinal marijuana have asked what is the safest way to smoke weed? We are going to go over the most popular, safe, and easy means of smoking weed, and find out what techniques constitute the cheap and effective, yet cleanest way to smoke weed for regular cannabis smokers.
What Are The Health Risks of Smoking Pot?
Weed has many health benefits, including improving pain control, seizure disorders, and mood for patients all over the world. Along with these benefits come a few risks.
Short-term risks are the side effects that some smokers get which includes increased heart rate and paranoia. These risks are relatively rare and mild. These include:
Short-Term Risks of Smoking Weed (rare):
- Dry eye
- Fast heartbeat
- Ataxia – Movement difficulty
- Panic attacks
- Postural hypotension (faintness upon standing)
- Red eyes
- Vomiting (very rare side effect)
- Inflammation of the air passages
- Weaker exhale pressures
The most serious question is can smoke weed increase the risk of lung cancer, and what can be done to mitigate these risks. A 2015 study done at Emory University appeared to show no increased cancer risk for smokers smoking one joint per day for 20 years or more. Other studies have failed to find an increased risk of cancer. Long-term effects can include dependency. There can also be negative effects on the immature brain. Some studies suggest smoking weed can increase the risk of psychosis for those who begin smoking weed as children, though this link appears to be both rare, and not firmly established scientifically.
This presents a conundrum because the combustion of any plant matter whatsoever, including firewood, upon inhaling chronically, tends to cause some lung damage and increased cancer risk. This suggests the theory that the anti-cancer effects of marijuana, especially of THC and CBD, may actually have some role in canceling out the increased risk of cancer and lung damage normally caused by inhaling the products of combustion of plants. So, smokers are not in the clear, but smoking weed appears to be far safer than smoking cigarettes.
A second concern has only been identified recently. A 2017 study done at Georgia State University appears to show that smoking increases the risk of death from hypertension 3-fold. This does not include heart attack or stroke, but rather conditions like kidney failure and heart failure caused by high blood pressure. Any smoker knows that some strains of weed will increase heart rate and blood pressure and put an extra load on a heart which may be too much to handle for those who already have high blood pressure or heart issues. But, there are ways to mitigate these risks as well that we will go over.
Top 5: The Healthiest Way to Smoke Marijuana
Vaping seems to be the safest way to smoke marijuana. This is because the vaping device heats the material to a temperature just enough to release the CBD, THC, and other therapeutic compounds into the user’s body without releasing harmful irritants that result from plant combustion. Vaping oils, waxes, and dabs may be safer than vaping dry bud, which may create more products of combustion.
2. Water Pipes and Bongs
Using water pipes and bongs may be safer than smoking joints or blunts because the smoke is cooled by the water and some of the products of combustion are removed into the water. The cooled smoke creates less irritation of the airways. Your bongs and pipes need to be kept clean, as the buildup of ash is your enemy. Also, smoking more purified forms of weed, such as oils and waxes may be healthier for your lungs due to containing less plant matter. Generally, the clearer the wax, the purer.
Oil rigs are specialized pipes used for smoking dabs. Dabs are a very concentrated form of weed, and hits from dabs on an oil rig are very intense. To reduce irritation to the throat, you might use a water pipe and add ice to the water to cool down the smoke, as the nail is typically heated to a high temperature with a butane torch.
Dabs may be healthier for your lungs than herbal weed in joints or blunts, at equivalent doses. However, smokers of dabs tend to get a higher dose of THC than someone smoking a joint, so this could create risks to those with hypertension.
BHO or Butane Hash Oil is becoming more and more popular. It can be a very pure form of marijuana if manufactured correctly. However, some preparations may have residual leftover butane inside the oil. The health effects of inhaling small amounts of butane are not known. Those who are especially health-conscious may want to use hash oil extracted by other methods so that there is no risk of butane contamination. Butane is typically the fuel used in ordinary lighters, so minimal exposure is not thought to be especially harmful.
4. Regular Pipes, Blunts, and joints
The most popular way to smoke weed is with a simple pipe made for tobacco and a copper or steel screen, where your typical dub will end up. Herbal tobacco is added and ignited, and the user sucks in the smoke. Although this method has not been proven to increase the risk of serious lung ailments, it can definitely cause coughing and loss of lung capacity. Some ways to attenuate this is by adding a filter. Another way is to make certain that you have top quality weed of a respectable strain and well-handled. The better the quality, the fewer the irritants and contamination by unwanted molds or other chemicals encountered during drying and processing.
Blunts and joints are also very popular and handy methods of smoking marijuana. This constitutes the least healthy way to enjoy your medicinal marijuana but it too can be made healthier. One way is to use natural, organic rolling papers of wood pulp or rice paper, not processed with harsh chemicals. Some examples include Bambu and Zigzags. Never combine your cannabis with tobacco, as this will ruin the health benefits and expose you to a greater risk of cancer and lung damage.
Other Ways to Use Medical Marijuana
While it is good to find a healthy way to smoke weed, there are other means of consumption where you can avoid smoke completely. These include edibles, topicals, tinctures, and hash oil preparations which are clean enough to be ingested.
- Edibles: There are many kinds of marijuana edibles, from brownies to gummies. One of the most essential skills for creating edibles is the ability to make cannabutter. You can find detailed instructions on our page here: https://www.fvkasa.org/english/information-for-patients/cannabutter-oil-recipe
The basic process is this: First take your weed and decarboxylate it to release the THC and CBD, which means to bake it for 30 minutes at 215 F. Then, since THC is soluble in fat, you want to throw your butter, a little water, and decarboxylated cannabis into a pot so that the fat will suck out the THC. Then you simply strain out the plant material and your butter is now infused with cannabis. Use the link above for detailed instructions. You can also make cannabutter with The Magical Butter Machine, which makes the process quicker and easier.
- Tincture: Tincture is a marijuana extract created by alcohol extraction. Very high proof alcohol, like 95% Everclear is used to draw out the THC and other therapeutic substances from the weed. The weed is soaked and stored for a period in this mixture. Then the plant material is filtered out, much of the alcohol evaporated, and a very concentrated form of cannabinoid extract is the result. This is most often used by using an eyedropper and squirting a small amount under the tongue before swallowing.
- Topical: Those looking for psychoactive effects rarely use this method, but those who want relief from skin problems, and ailments like arthritis and muscle spasms that respond to a good massage may want to use topical marijuana preparations. A topical marijuana preparation may be in the form of cream or oil and may contain THC or CBD only. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory which may be an alternative to topical steroids which can have disappointing side effects.
Take a Break and Detox
Although marijuana has many health benefits, we sometimes need to give our lungs and brains a break. Here are some reasons you may want to detox from weed:
- Law enforcement harassment.
- Drug test for a job interview.
- A persistent cough.
- The girlfriend/boyfriend insists.
- Your habit has become expensive.
Whatever your reasons, you may feel the need to detox. While detoxing from weed does not compare to detox from substances like alcohol or heroin, it can be uncomfortable. You may be plagued by memories that the weed had helped block out. You may feel uncomfortable, anxious, or unable to tune out. Some physical symptoms of detox can include insomnia and night sweats. Most symptoms of detox will be over in a day or two. So, maybe take about two days off from work because you may be angry and irritable for the first few days. Plan some activities like exercise and cooking your favorite meals. Read a book or watch a Netflix marathon and just let the time go by. Within two days, most detox symptoms will have subsided. You will notice an improvement in your memory and energy level. Your symptoms may come back so you may need to choose a period of time you will be clean, then resume your medical treatment once you have reached your goal.