As marijuana use, both medicinal and recreational, is becoming more accepted in society, the taboo is being shed while the industry grows. Dispensaries are popping up throughout cities, making marijuana easily accessible and popular.
The traditional methods of smoking pot and ingesting edibles are still prevalent, however a newer trend is making its way into the crowd. Vaping marijuana from a pen may look similar to smoking, but in this case, the user is inhaling a vaporized form of the drug instead of its smoke. You may have heard of vaporizers before, as some cigarette smokers have taken to this safer, alternative method of inhaling nicotine without the smoke. Now that vapes are being used for pot, a similar argument is being made as to their greater health and safety when compared to smoking the drug. It is true that vaporizers eliminate the smoke that is created from burning the substance, so the mouth and lungs are not filled with as many harmful substances and carcinogens. While cleaner than smoking, vaping can cause a more potent high and increase the user’s tolerance and risk of withdrawal. This is due to the fact THC intake levels from vaping are difficult to measure and remain somewhat unknown. Some users may choose to load their pens with regular dried pot leaves while others choose to dab, meaning they use dangerous hash oil. Butane hash oil (BHO) has an even higher potency because the THC is drawn from the marijuana and mixed with other solutions, like lighter fluid. If the lighter fluid isn’t properly eliminated, then it is inhaled along with the concentrated THC. Other additives have the potential of being used because there are no regulations to prevent the mixing of substances. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “smoking a tic-tac sized drop of BHO, or ‘hash oil,’ is equivalent to two or three typical sized portions of marijuana hitting the system all at once.”