Is weed bad for you? What are the risks of smoking cannabis? Should you avoid smoking cannabis?
For nearly a century, cannabis has been explicitly viewed in a negative light by the public. Despite the scientific evidence and the legalization of marijuana use, many false stigmatic beliefs of the old world still grasp a large percentage of the population.
Luckily, the normalization of medical marijuana is slowly but surely spreading across the world. Although cannabis in itself may be a beneficial tool for those who rely on the effects of marijuana to quell their medical ailments, like any other substance, it does carry a risk of potential side effects.
As the world moves to accept the normalization of cannabis, smoking the herb is becoming a less common occurrence, with other consumption methods taking the reins.
With that being said, why is smoking marijuana losing popularity among cannabis enthusiasts when compared to other consumption methods? What are the alternatives?
To find out, keep on reading!
The Risks of Smoking Marijuana
Today, it’s common knowledge that inhaling any type of superheated smoke leads to complications in the respiratory system.
Where does marijuana stand in all of this?
Depending on how you consume your cannabis, either via joints or by vaporization, the consumption method plays a significant role in the risk you take on while enjoying your marijuana.
When you light your joint, toxins called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) are created. These toxins are a class of chemicals that are naturally found in various materials, including crude oil, coal, gasoline, and even in cigarettes through tobacco smoke. Inhaling these toxins pose a risk to our health and can cause blood and liver abnormalities, and even cancer.
The truth is, smoking marijuana will never inherently be “good” for you, but its effects might just be. What’s the alternative? Vaping your cannabis could be the solution. Vaping cannabis is considered to be safer due to the fact that it does not involve the combustion of your weed and the release of harmful chemicals produced included in cannabis smoke.
Vaporizing marijuana instead of smoking lowers the risk of complication and negative side effects and is objectively healthier for your lungs and your health.
Hooti’s THC distillate vaporizer kits, for example, do not involve any combustion at all. Instead of combusting marijuana flower and inhaling the smoke, effects are delivered through vapour produced by conduction heating. This has the double benefit of not only eliminating tar, PAHs, and other harmful carcinogens from entering into your system but also eliminating any pungent smells and aromas that so often accompanies smoking.
For both medicinal and recreational users alike seeking relief, there’s no safer, mobile and foolproof option available than a portable vape pen.
The Short Term Risks of Smoking
There is limited evidence in the short term effects of inhaling polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. However, many people commonly experience symptoms that are in line with the side effects of marijuana overconsumption, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and mind fog or haze.
In addition, effects such as paranoia, anxiety and increased heart rate can also be experienced when smoking marijuana, especially if you’re unaccustomed to its effects.
The Long Term Risks of Smoking
While research shows that cannabis smoke may actually be less harmful than tobacco smoke, there are still long term risks involved with cannabis consumption. Not to mention, prolonged exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons also has its own subset of risks. Smoking marijuana may carry an increased risk of:
- Respiratory issues
- The development of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)
- The development of Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)
- Kidney and liver damage through prolonged exposure to PAHS
- The development of Cataracts through prolonged exposure of PAHS
The frequency and concentration of dosage will affect the onset of these issues. In most cases, people who use marijuana with a sense of moderation will be in the clear as these issues arise when marijuana use has been taken to the extreme.
Should You Avoid Smoking Cannabis?
Depending on your current state of health and what your preferred method is to consume cannabis, smoking weed may be tolerated within a certain threshold.
However, thanks to advancements in cannabis technology, several alternative options have become available when it comes to marijuana use. For example, to mitigate the risk of smoking, companies have developed products like dry herb vaporizers and e-vaporizers to help people enjoy their marijuana in a more health-conscious way.
As we have discussed, vaporizers don’t involve combustion, and therefore, they are safer for your lungs’ health and well-being. They reduce exposure to dangerous toxins and don’t involve smoke; only vapor that minimizes respiratory damage. Portable vape pens like the ones we’ve discussed earlier are a great alternative.
Alternatively, those who do not enjoy the idea of inhaling vapors or smoke into their lungs may rely on cannabis edibles, topicals, and tinctures to solve their problems. These products offer people an option to absorb the cannabinoids in cannabis through other means like the receptors in the digestive tract, mucous glands under the tongue, and topically through the skin.
All in all, moderation is key in this situation. Since it largely depends on the individual’s health conditions and how weed affects them, it is largely a case-by-case basis. That said, enjoying a joint or two every once in a while during special occasions should be fine for most healthy adults who are free from any respiratory issues.
People Who Should Avoid Smoking Cannabis
As we’ve previously covered, smoking weed is bad for you. Here are some of the people who should avoid it if they can:
- Minors Under the Age of 21: Studies have shown that cannabis use, while the brain is in the developmental stage, can result in serious adverse outcomes. Children, minors, and young adults who are below the age of 21 should stay clear of cannabis.
- Pregnant Women: The safety of cannabis use while pregnant or breastfeeding is up for debate. While there is limited research on whether or not cannabis use will cause any adverse health or developmental effects during pregnancy, it is always better to stay on the safe side of caution and refrain from cannabis use as the risks usually far outweigh the reward.
- People With a Family History of Psychotic Disorders: According to the National Institute on Drug Use, one of the most pressing side effects of cannabis is its ability to accurately assess the onset of psychotic disorders in people who are predisposed to them. Those who struggle with mental illness are recommended to avoid cannabis.
Is Weed Bad For You? – The Verdict
Smoking cannabis is seen as a ritualistic and traditional way to consume marijuana.
Whether or not you decide to smoke your cannabis is entirely up to you. However, it is vital to be aware of the health effects and potential increased risk for respiratory issues associated with inhaling smoke. Smoking your cannabis means that you inhale more than 100 harmful chemicals that can cause problems to your lungs and overall well being.
We recommend opting for vapes or other cannabis products such as edibles and tinctures to reduce your exposure to the chemicals and minimize respiratory damage.