Is Vaping Marijuana Safe in 2019? Your Average Stoner Responds
It seems the vaping world has been turned upside down in recent weeks with all the news of lung disease and even several deaths in the US, this begs the question, "Is vaping still safe?" And I use the term "safe" loosely, yes I understand that vaping isn't and never was 100% safe.
So far, 450 "possible cases" of vape related lung disease have been reported to the CDC, and there have been a total of 4 deaths reportedly linked to the lung disease as well. Side effects of those suffering from this lung disease include chest pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, etc.
Now here's where I want to clear up some confusion, because the mainstream media likes to spin things in a direction that isn't always true, and that definitely seems to be the case with this.
None Of These Cases are From Vaping Dry Herb
For all of my stoners out there vaping on dry herb daily, not one of the 450+ cases of lung disease ave come from vaping dry herb out of a vaporizer. These lung diseases have come purely from those smoking oil and oil cartridges. That's why I find it really annoying when I see news headlines along the lines of "Teens Are Getting Sick From Vaping THC" when it's so obvious that it's not the THC people are getting sick from. I actually read a headline earlier that said "Man Goes Into Coma After Vaping Too Much THC", Yupp. That's a real headline from a very well known news source.
In a time when we're making so much progress legalizing weed around the country, it's a shame that the mainstream media is using these vaping illnesses as a way to fight against it.
Do you Use a Loadable Concentrates Vape?
If you use a vape that involves you manually loading the concentrates into an atomizer (shatter, wax,etc.) Then you're perfectly safe too! Well I can't assure that everybody's concentrates are safe, but you know what I mean. Not one vaping illness has come from a person using a vaporizer that manually loads the wax.
So What is the Problem?
The problem isn't weed, or THC at all, it's simply poorly made cartridges that have god knows what in them. Vaping isn't regulated by the FDA, so you never really know what you're getting in your cartridges. Often times bootleg cartridges are made using harmful chemicals, it's much cheaper than going about things safely and like I mentioned earlier, nobody is regulating the guys that make these, so they do whatever's cheapest.
One theory is that people are getting pneumonia from liquid oil getting into their lungs. Some of you who are more familiar with vape cartridges have probably heard of PG and VG before. PG and VG stands for vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, and what they are are solvents used to deliver compounds (THC, Nicotine) to vapers. PG and VG are found in almost all cartridges although it isn't popular among vape enthusiasts, it's thought that rogue PG and VG oil isn't always turned into vapor and is inhaled into the lungs. This causes the lungs to trigger an immune response to the foreign liquid, which then prompts pneumonia.
In time, and as this gets investigated further we'll find out exactly what it is that's causing this lung disease, but one thing I can guarantee you is that is sure as hell isn't THC ;).
Should I Stop Using THC Vape Cartridges?
This may not be the answer that many of you want to hear, but in my opinion, yes. If you know nothing about what's in your cartridge, who made it, where it was made or any information on it whatsoever, then don't use it. Just because a cartridge has fancy packaging and you paid $40 for it doesn't make it safe. Packaging is cheap, and it's not hard to make it look good, don't let that fool you.
I would say be especially careful of your cartridges in states where weed isn't legal. I know they're so convenient and easy to hide so you might think cartridges are the way to go, but there's people making a fortune selling bootleg cartridges to illegal states where they know everyone will buy them.
Only buy your THC vape cartridges from a trusted source, preferably a dispensary or company that can tell you exactly what's in the cart, where it was made, etc. With no regulations, even then it's not a 100% guarantee your cartridges are going to be safe, but you can at least feel confident that they will be.
What to Vape Instead
If you want to continue to vape marijuana, but are rightfully concerned with oil cartridges, consider switching to a dry herb vaporizer. Or even a vape that can use both dry herbs and concentrates if you still want to vape concentrates. The benefit of vaping dry herb is you know there's no chance of chemicals or other harsh additives. I will admit, it's not as convenient, you'll have to break up and load the bud into the vaporizer, and yes it will probably be a bit bulkier of a device as well.
However, these small inconveniences are well worth it for your health and If I'm being completely honest, I like the high from vaping dry herb much better than THC oil. When I vape dry herb, it gives me a really clear headed, feel-good, energetic high. When I vape THC oil, it still gives me a nice high, but it's more of a sluggish, tired high if you know what I mean.
Besides the health benefits, vaping dry herb will open you up to the world of edibles. Yes, edibles I said, vaping dry herb gives you the fantastic opportunity to use AVB (Already Vaped Bud) to make edibles. Already Vaped Bud is bud that you take out of your vape after you've vaped it. Since a vaporizer doesn't combust the plant material, you're going to be left with some bud that actually still has some THC in it. You can then eat the plant material straight up (It doesn't taste good, but it gets you high and is easy to do). What I usually do is spread some peanut butter on a graham cracker and then sprinkle some AVB on top. The peanut butter has a strong taste and it mostly covers up any taste of weed. If neither of those sound like your cup of tea, I'm sure you can find some great recipes online using AVB!
If you want to learn more about vaporizers, consider checking out The Best Vaporizers of 2019, but just to save you a few minutes, here's a quick glance at some of my favorites.
Your Average Stoner's Favorite Vapes
Arizer Argo Vaporizer ($184.99)
The Arizer Argo is one of the best vaporizers on the market under $200 and is about as portable as a dry herb vape can be. The Argo has a wide range of temperatures and great flavors. The LED display makes things easy to see and control and it boasts a powerful 18650 swappable battery.
Pax 3 ($199)
The Pax and Pax 2 are some of the most famous and loved vaporizers around, the Pax 3 continues the tradition of high quality. The Pax 3 has 4 preset heat temperatures, medical grade materials and is compatible with dry herb and concentrates. Not to mention haptic feedback as well as an amazing mobile app, the Pax 3 is the smartest vaporizer on the market.
Storz and Bickel Mighty ($349)
In my opinion, the Mighty has been the best portable vaporizer on the market for a couple years running. This thing basically functions like a desktop vaporizer in your hand, providing the absolute best in vapor quality and taste. The mighty features dual lithium batteries, giving you hours on hours of continued use. If you take cannabis vaping seriously and want only the best, you have to pick up the Mighty!!
I hope this little rant helped give you guys a little bit more insight as to what's going on with all the vaping illnesses and all the click bait in the mainstream media. There is nothing harmful in weed, shame on all publications looking to drag weed down at any chance they get!!
As always guys, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment down below, or reach out to me via my contact page.
What are your thought's on the vaping deaths and illnesses recently? Let's get a nice discussion going in the comments!