Are Vape Pens a Safe Way to Smoke Marijuana?

Clear710, are vape pens a safe way to consume cannabis

People smoke cannabis in a lot of different ways: joints, pipes, bongs, and vape pens.

But if you want to smoke weed in a “harm-reduced” way, your best choice may be a vape pen.

What Is a Vape Pen?

A vaporizer or “vape” is an electric device that uses heat to vape weed.

Little research has been done on the health risks associated with either marijuana or vaporizer use. Nevertheless, the research that has been done on the subject suggests that using a vaporizer may be easier on your lungs than other methods of smoking marijuana.

What the Research Shows

In one study, where marijuana smokers were recruited via the Internet and asked a shortlist of questions, researchers found that those participants who used vaporizers reported less cough, phlegm, and chest tightness.

Of note, we don’t know for sure whether vaporizers definitely lead to less cough, phlegm, and chest tightness. All we know is that people reported these symptoms less frequently when vaping.

Many people who use vape pens to smoke cannabis believe that vapes are healthier and like them, because they are odorless and taste better than smoke from pipes, joints, or bongs.)

One risk that’s hard to pin on marijuana use is lung cancer. In a 2015 article titled “Cannabis smoking and lung cancer risk: Pooled analysis in the International Lung Cancer Consortium,” researchers pooled data from six case-control trials done in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand. The researchers controlled for sociodemographic factors, smoking status, and pack-years, and found no increase in lung cancer frequency among habitual or long-term marijuana users as compared to the risk for lung cancer in people who don’t use marijuana.

Another study, though, examined nearly 50,000 Swedish men and found that after adjusting for cigarette use, participants who smoked marijuana were twice as likely to develop lung cancer. Whatever the risk of lung cancer that smoking marijuana poses, however, is likely much less than cigarettes.

Are Vape Pens the Healthiest Option?

Although it makes sense that marijuana vaporizers are cleaner and healthier than other routes of administration, more research needs to be done. We need results from a long-term study that examined people who smoked marijuana in vape pens as compared with those who didn’t.

Just because smoking marijuana with a vaporizer may reduce pulmonary symptoms, however, doesn’t mean that doing so is free of adverse effects. For example, between 9 percent and 12 percent of marijuana users are dependent on the drug. Moreover, marijuana use has been linked to impaired driving and structural brain changes in adolescents.