Contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis is actually not as unhealthy as you think.
In a groundbreaking study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, the 20-year research revealed that indulging in one joint per day for up to seven years does not negatively impact lung function.
While occasional marijuana use may not have significant adverse effects on your lungs, regular and heavy marijuana smoking has been associated with potential respiratory problems.
Over the years I’ve picked up a few simple tricks that can help offset the damage and make your cannabis smoking experience, cleaner, safer, and healthier.
While combustion is the most popular way to smoke cannabis (lighter and dry herbs), vaporization is also an amazing option that has gained immense popularity over the years.
So which is the healthier option when it comes to smoking cannabis?
Combustion is technically “dirtier” because the more you light and burn the plant matter the more dirtier the smoke will be. That’s because you aren’t just combusting the THC, CBD, and trichomes, you are also inhaling the plant matter and the cell walls within the plant matter. The reason you have ash is because of this exact reason. With combustion, you get a higher degree of carbon monoxide and tar when compared to vaporization. Combustion also subjects your lungs to 1000°F temperatures which can lead to respiratory stress, coughing, and phlegm.
Vaporization is much cleaner due to the lower temperature range that matches the needed temperature to vaporize your THC. Because of the perfect match in vaporization temperature, you get a vapor that is almost as pure as it can be. There will still be some deposits of carbon monoxide and tar but at a much smaller degree when compared to combustion.
While vaporization may seem like the better option, combustion is the most popular to this day. Below we discuss 6 tips for a healthier smoking experience with tips for both combustion and vaporization.
From vapes to bongs, weed pipes, and dab rigs, there are dozens of ways you can inhale cannabis smoke.
I’ve been smoking for well over 20 years now, and I found it’s not the device that matters, but more so how you smoke, what you smoke, how you light, and how you inhale it.
Let’s get into 6 tips for a healthier cannabis experience.
The easiest place to start for helathier smoking is with your lighter!
Butane lighters give your cannabis a bad taste and give your lungs a dose of sulfur and heavy gasses, which can cause a ton of unnecessary irritation to your lungs.
SC labs found that butane was a class 33 solvent that had low toxic potential on humans, such as central nervous system depression.
The healthier alternative to butane lighters is hemp wicks, which are hemp fibers that are twined and coated with beeswax.
Using a hemp wick is a much healthier alternative because there is no ignitable fuel that you are inhaling and instead you get a smoother and more flavorful hit when combustion your cannabis with hemp fibers.
While the research shows that smoking one joint per day for 7 years isn’t actually harmful to lung function, you still want to be wary about smoking with rolling papers in the first place.
The combustion process of marijuana (lighting dry herb with fire and inhaling) has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
By smoking joints and blunts you are also combusting and inhaling the chemicals and toxins in the rolling papers and blunts.
Blunts are made from tobacco leaves increasing the amount of carcinogens and toxins inhaled so that is one of the first things you want to limit or eliminate.
Transparent white rolling papers are actually bleached to give a slower burn and that classic white look. And yes, you will be inhaling all the chemicals from the bleach there as well.
If you are going to smoke with papers, I recommend choose all organic rolling papers such as Raw organic hemp papers.
I’ve tested dozens of smoking devices here at Cannassentials, and I’ve found that the cleanest way to smoke marijuana is by achieving double filtration with these two devices:
Filter 1: Use a bong that has a good amount of water filtration to soft filter ash, resin, and tar.
Filter 2: Also use a carbon-activated resin filter to give a second much stronger layer of filtration on tar, resin, and ash.
This is one of the most popular methods for reducing tar, resin, and ash. The only downside is it does reduce the THC a bit, but the rips are smooth, cough free, flavorful, and very clean.
This bong filter acts like an N-9 mask that traps much more resin, tar, and ash giving you a much cleaner and safer smoking experience you can actually feel in your lungs.
I love that you can see all the resin that would have gone into your lungs but was prevented and caught instead in the fibers of the carbon filter.
Healthier smoking is all about reducing the amount of carcinogens and toxins that travel into your body, and much of this can be managed through inhaling techniques.
While we all love getting high, you don’t need to take extra large hits that overload your lungs with smoke.
You also don’t need to hold the smoke in your lungs for long durations as this overloads your body with so many toxins and it’s absolutely unnecessary.
What directly impacts the amount you are inhaling is how you pack your bowl.
The most optimized way to inhale cannabis is by packing smaller bowls, that way you can inhale fully all of the THC without any overload, and hold in your lung for no longer than 1 second.
Learn: how to inhale weed to absorb 95% of THC.
I spent about a month interviewing and observing one of Southern California’s largest grow operations.
Because this grow operation was not selling licensed cannabis they didn’t have the same strict regulations that dispensaries must go through, and often times their harvest was laden with mildew, mold, and pesticides.
Marijuana that has mold is oftentimes hard to spot because the mold can look very similar to the same powdery trichomes that coat the surface of your cannabis nugs.
Inhaling moldy cannabis can cause inflammation of your sinuses and lungs and lead to coughing and more serious side effects such as congestion and wheezing.
To avoid mildew, mold, and pesticide in your cannabis, always shop at a licensed dispensary. If you are buying street market cannabis, it’s ok as long as you know how to spot the mold.
One of the easiest tricks for safer and healthier cannabis smoking is by lowering your tolerance so you get high off much less.
Remember, one joint a day for 7 years is proven to not have any negative impact on lung health, so if you are looking for healthier smoking habits I would start by regulating the amount you smoke per day.
Managing your tolerance is a skill that is unique to each individual, and that’s because tolerance depends on your specific endocannabinoid system and your daily consumption habits.
I recommend you begin learning how to keep your THC tolerance as low as possible.
This allows you to get high off far less smoke.
The pipe and chillum are tried and true methods for helping you to manage your tolerance, which will help drastically reduce the amount of smoke you intake per week, while still allowing you to get an amazing high.
Pro-tip: if your tolerance is already high then you will need to cut down for about two weeks to allow for your tolerance to level out.
So what is the healthiest way to smoke weed? I discussed 6 powerful methods for combustion smoking that I believe will give you a much cleaner and stress-free smoke experience. From filtration, cutting out butane, tolerance control, and smoking only regulated (no mold) cannabis you can optimize your daily habits for a cleaner smoke.
There is no true way to safely smoke, but you can adjust your habits to reduce the stress you put on your lungs. We hope this guide has helped you to find a few new easy habits to introduce into your smoking experience.