Is There a Safer Way to Smoke Cannabis? How the Methods Stack Up
If you’re looking for the healthiest way to smoke cannabis, keep in mind that there’s no totally safe way to do so — even with the purest, most pesticide-free bud. Cannabis smoke contains most of the same toxins and carcinogens that make tobacco smoke harmful to your health.
There are, however, methods that may be slightly less harmful than others. Here’s a look at how different methods compare, plus some smoke-free alternatives to consider.
The dangers of smoke inhalation are well known, so it’s not surprising that a lot of folks assume vaping is the healthier alternative to smoking. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
There’s mounting evidence that vaping can have serious health effects. Much of the concern comes from inhaling vitamin E acetate, a chemical additive found in many vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
However, this risk seems to apply only to vaping concentrates, not flower. A 2006 study suggests that vaping actual cannabis, not concentrate, is less harmful to your respiratory system than smoking. Still, research on vaping cannabis is pretty limited.
Lung health aside, there’s also a matter of potency. People who vape cannabis report experiencing stronger effects — regardless of the amount of THC in the product — than they do when smoking. This means a higher chance of overdoing it, or greening out, when vaping.
Maybe a teeny, tiny bit, but nowhere near enough to make a difference.
Bongs offer a smoother toke because you don’t get the dry heat from smoking cannabis rolled in paper. Though it feels less harsh when you inhale, your lungs don’t know the difference.
Well, both still involve inhaling smoke, so there’s that. But if you had to choose the lesser of two evils, joints are probably the better option. This is because blunts are made with hollowed-out cigars, and cigars and their wrappers are highly toxic.
Even after removing all the tobacco from a cigar, cancer-causing toxins, such as nitrosamines, can remain. Plus, cigar wrappers are more porous than rolling papers, so the burning is less complete. This results in smoke with high concentrations of toxins.
Then there’s the matter of size. Blunts are a lot bigger than joints, and they hold way more pot. Smoking an entire blunt is like smoking roughly six joints.
Dabbing is supposed to give you a “cleaner” high, but what does that actually mean? Not much.
Budder — another name for dabs or marijuana concentrate — delivers a lot more THC than other weed products, often as much as 80 percent more.
Dabbing is still pretty new, so experts still don’t know the full impact.
There’s evidence that exposure to high THC may lead to long-term mental health effects, like psychosis. The risk of misuse and addiction is also higher when using high-THC products, especially for young people.
Plus, unless you have high-tech lab equipment and are trained in extraction, your dabs may be far from pure. Research shows that dabs can contain contaminants and residual solvents that can to neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity.
Dabbing also has respiratory effects, even though you’re not technically “smoking.” There have been cases of people developing lung damage from dabbing.
The bad news? There’s no safe way to smoke cannabis. The good news? There are plenty of other ways to consume it.
Here are your main options:
- Edibles. Unlike smoking and vaping, ingesting cannabis won’t harm your lung health. The downside for some is that edibles take longer to kick in because they need to clear your digestive system before getting into your bloodstream. The upside is that the effects also hang around longer. You also have an endless variety to choose from, with everything from gummies to baked goods to cannabutter.
- Sublinguals. These are usually lumped together with edibles, but they’re not quite the same. Unlike edibles, you don’t actually swallow sublingual forms of cannabis, which include things like tinctures, films, and dissolvable tablets. Sublingual cannabis is placed under the tongue for absorption, and is absorbed through your mouth’s mucus membranes, so the effects are felt faster.
- Tinctures. Tinctures are made of alcohol-based cannabis extracts that come in bottles with droppers. You can add tinctures to drinks, but you can also get the effects faster by placing a few drops — depending on your desired dose — under your tongue.
- Topicals. Cannabis topicals are for people looking for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the cerebral effects. Creams, balms, and patches can be applied to the skin to relieve inflammation and pain. There’s also cannabis lubricant made for, well, sexy time.
- Suppositories. The idea of shoving cannabis up your butt (or vagina, depending on the product) may make you clench, but it’s definitely a thing. Most of the suppositories on the market are CBD-infused and used for therapeutic reasons, like pain or nausea relief, but some brands have upped their THC content for added effects.
If you’d still rather smoke your weed despite the risks, consider these harm-reduction tips to help make it a little safer:
- Don’t hold the inhale. Inhaling deeply and holding it in exposes your lungs to more tar per breath. Don’t be greedy; exhaling faster is better for you.
- Use rolling papers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rolling papers may seem like NBD, but some contain chemicals and flavorings that can be toxic.
- Stick to glass bongs and pipes. Plastic bongs can contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which have been linked to serious health effects, including cancer.
- Keep your stuff clean. Keep your bongs and pipes clean, and don’t roll your weed on dirty surfaces.
- Don’t share mouthpieces or pass joints. Sharing your stash is fine, but not your pipes, bongs, or joints. When you share these, you’re basically swapping spit with that person and putting yourself at risk for infections.
No matter how you dice it, there’s really no safe way to smoke cannabis, whether you prefer to roll one up or are partial to bongs. As cannabis becomes more popular, so do products that allow you to indulge without the smoke.
That said, if you’re partial to puffing and passing, a vaporizer that allows you to use flower, not concentrates, may be a less harmful option.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddleboard.
You can smoke cannabis in a variety of ways, but is one safer or healthier than others?
Smoking Weed | Comparing The Best Methods
Smoking weed is one of the most popular ways to consume THC, CBD, and terpenes.
Read on to understand why cannabis consumers prefer to smoke cannabis over all other methods, how smoking weed affects you and what is entourage effect.
A cannabis-derived compound forces cancer cells to freeze and prevents them from spreading
Why is Smoking Weed Popular?
Smoking weed is the most popular way to consume THC, CBD, and terpenes because it’s a tried-and-true method.
Smoking weed has been around for over a thousand years (smoking pipes being discovered in archeological digs).
This act is mainly used in religious ceremonies, for medical purposes as well as cannabis smoking is known as a sedative, many have smoked it to relax.
In modern times, smoking weed retains its popularity because it’s used to get high and have a nice time.
Furthermore, smoking weed is a social event, which likens smoking weed to a ritualistic act.
As a pipe or a joint is lit, users pass it around and enjoy the effects that cannabis provides.
What Are The Best Ways to Smoke Cannabis?
As the number of people in the world so the number of methods for smoking cannabis.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to smoke cannabis.
So before we get into the matter of the various cannabis-smoking accessories, let’s talk a little about smoking blends for cannabis.
In recent years, the cannabis market has expanded, and the main reason for this is the global legalization that is taking place around us .
For that, we can only be thankful.
If we look back a few years we will see that cannabis smokers had to decide between the options:
the possibility of smoking weed with tobacco and the possibility of smoking pure cannabis.
And today the possibilities are so wide: from tobacco substitutes enriched with cannabis terpenes and up to terpenes spray for cannabis and joints.
These terpenes smoking products enhancing the effects of smoking weed.
Beyond the fact that terpenes strengthen the effects of cannabis, their proper combination with the cannabinoids makes it possible to achieve the entourage effect.
Cannabis can be smoked in a variety of ways; however, it’s best to mix your weed with herbal tobacco enriched with terpenes.
- It saves you money by making your weed last longer
- It increases the overall flavor
- Entourage effect
- Herbal blends are far less harsh when smoked
- Herbal blends can enhance the effects of weed
What Is The Entourage Effect?
The Entourage Effect is the benefit you get from ingesting multiple components of the cannabis plant together instead of ingesting one component at-a-time.
The cannabis genus of plants contains approximately 500 compounds:
This includes about 100 phytocannabinoids (THC and CBD are cannabinoids that occur naturally in plants).
Other significant compounds found in cannabis plants are terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.
A dry pipe offers an authentic smoking experience that is convenient cause pipes typically easy to carry, and easy to use
Some research suggests that:
consuming THC and CBD together — along with smaller organic compounds in the cannabis plant, known as terpenes or terpenoids — is more effective than taking CBD or THC alone.
This is due to an interaction between phytocannabinoids and terpenes called “the entourage effect.”
Therefore, smoking weed with herbal smoking blends enriched with cannabis terpenes, or using the terpenes spray could take your smoking experience to the next level.
Smoking Weed in Pipes
Pipes are typically made from wood or glass and are a common tool for smoking cannabis.
Adding organic herbal tobacco enriched with terpenes to your pipe will allow you to enjoy the benefits of cannabis terpenes and of medicinal herbs.
Smoking Weed in Bongs
Bongs are large glass devices that incorporate water to filter the smoke and to cool down the weed smoke so that it’s less harsh on your lungs.
Bongs are typically much larger than pipes, which is why they are best kept at home.
Bongs provide large doses of weed smoke, which makes them suitable for those with a high tolerance.
And if in any case, the effect does not satisfy you, you can spray your cannabis with terpenes or mix it with a terpenes-enriched tobacco substitute to enhance the effects of cannabis.
Smoking Weed in Joints and Blunts
When it comes to the most basic method for smoking weed – nothing comes close to joints or blunts.
However, this method requires a bit of skill on the consumer’s part since the joint or blunt must be rolled.
Once rolled, smoking weed with herbal smoking blends enriched with terpenes in a joint or blunt is one of the best methods to consume cannabis.
By the way, nowadays you can easily find pre rolled cones enriched with terpenes, so you can save the rolling craft.
The Effects of Smoking Weed
The reason why smoking weed is the most popular method for consuming cannabis is that it provides immediate effects.
When you smoke weed, the heat immediately combusts the THC and sends it instantly to the lungs.
Once in the lungs, the THC moves quickly to the blood.
Once in the blood, THC binds quickly to the endocannabinoid system to create a psychoactive effect.
Linalool inhalation has been shown to act as an anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) and may boost immune system performance
This is why smoking weed provides effects nearly instantaneously.
Other methods, such as edibles, can take upwards of 3-hours to take effect.
By smoking weed, the effects are felt within seconds.
What are the Best 3 Herbs to Smoke with Weed?
Smoking weed with herbal blends offers a unique experience that’s aromatic, flavorful, and effective.
Not only do you receive the benefits that smoking weed has to offer, but you’ll also experience the supportive compounds that natural herbs provide.
Without further ado, the three best natural herbs to smoke with weed are chamomile, lavender, and mint.
These smokable herbs contain common cannabis terpenes.
Therefore their combination with cannabis strains that containing the same terpenes will enhance the positive effects of cannabis.
What Is Special About These Smokable Herbs?
Chamomile is the perfect herb because it produces a deep sense of relaxation due to terpene it contains Bisabolol.
Bisabolol is only found in decent quantities in the chamomile flower and some cannabis strains.
This natural monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol has a warm floral aroma similar to honey, apples, and chamomile.
Bisabolol is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and analgesic properties.
Chamomile can be smoked at any time of the day because it does not impair the ability to manage a day.
By mixing chamomile and weed, you’ll enjoy a day filled with bliss.
Lavender is similar to chamomile;
Lavender is perfect for night time because it will make you sleep.
Mint is a refreshing herb that’s beneficial for your body.
Antioxidants in mint help protect your body from oxidative stress, a type of damage to cells caused by free radicals.
It has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-stress, and possibly disease-preventing properties.
Now that you know which 3 herbs are the best to mix with weed, you can add these herbs to your weed by using an herbal smoking blends.
Once you try an herbal smoking blends with your cannabis, you’ll never go back to smoking only weed.
Smoking weed may be one of the ancient acts around the world. Click and discover the new methods to smoke your cannabis with a strengthened effect