Vaporizers: How Do They Work and What Are the Benefits?

Vaporizing has become an increasingly popular approach to consuming cannabis due to the health benefits and its ability to be used discretely. In comparing it to “combustion products” (joints, glassware), vaporizing is a healthier method to obtain the same result. Raphael Pepi, founder of Vipvape, a company that specializes in pocket sized vaporization, describes the benefits of vaporizing as; manageable, healthy, and discretionary.

Vaporizers: How do They Work?

Vaporizers use batteries and electricity to heat the raw plant or concentrate to a temperature lower than combustion. While combustion occurs at approximately 450F°, vaporizers heat the plant to around 350-395F°. At this lower temperature, the vaporizer extracts the THC and other active ingredients from the plant and turns it into vapor.

There are two techniques in which vaporizers can extract the ingredients. The first is conduction that heats the plant to the appropriate temperature by direct contact with a hot surface. The other technique is convection, which involves hot air being blown over the plant to heat it. Of these two, convection is the most efficient. Since hot air is blown on the cannabis to heat the oils, more of the plant is exposed and vaporized in the process (even oil buried in the center of the plant).

In comparing the two methods, conduction is the more “old-school” approach to vaporizing that is often a cheaper option. However, convection is a more efficient method where the device includes a thermostat control in which to adjust the temperature the user is heating the plant. Adjusting air temperature is much harder to perform so convection vaporizers tend to be more expensive. Both methods are found in products on the market.

What are the Health Benefits of Vaporizing?

Most of the negative health impacts from cannabis come from the traditional inhalation methods that have been used for years. Inhaling combusted plant materials brings carcinogens and other damaging plant matter, which causes respiratory harm.

In layman’s terms, the method of vaporizing marijuana eliminates approximately 95% of the chemicals affiliated with the burning (combustion) of the plant. Instead of the entire plant being burned, the cannabinoids are heated to their boiling temperature and dehydrated to release their chemicals (THC, CBD etc.). Since the vaporizer doesn’t heat the plant to combustion, the carcinogens are not released and respiratory harm is significantly reduced.

So for all you athletes out there that smoke, think about switching to a vaporizer to improve stamina. Vaporizing has been suggested to increase the amount of anti-inflammatory terpenoids that help protect the lungs from irritation associated with traditional smoking methods. After a week or two of exclusively using a vaporizer, an athlete should notice a significant increase in lung capacity as well as endurance.

With the rapid boom that the Cannabis industry has seen in the past year, the popularity of vaporizers will continue to grow as people seek healthier methods of consumption. While traditional ways of smoking will never go extinct, vaporizing has established itself as a reliable and safe medium to the consumption of cannabis.

In my next post: Vaporizer Recommendations.

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