[Editor’s Note: Smoking cannabis used to be simple; it was a joint, pipe, or bong. This is stuff everyone needs to know.]
Send This To Your Mom is a series of short, informational posts on weed and weed culture for people who have absolutely no idea about weed and weed culture. Finally, here’s your chance to email your mom a million links to articles about weed she never asked for.
So, you finally learned how to inhale weed, and now you’re learning that there’s not even just one type of thing to breathe in anymore. Smoke, you get — makes sense. But now you’re expected to not only smoke weed, but vape it too? What’s a mom to do?
Don’t worry, we got you.
What is Smoke?
Smoke is a byproduct of combustion (fire). It’s a collection of microparticles that have been forced into a state and chemical change by the high temperature — smoke is mostly carbon, but it’ll also be full of now burnt cannabinoids (the chemicals that get you ~high~). Since smoke is full of particulate matter — aka, all those little transformed marijuana compounds — it can be harsh on your lungs.
This is why some people prefer to smoke weed out of a water bong or similar, so that the smoke is pulled through water before entering the lungs — allowing it to cool and be strained for particles.
What is Vapor?
Vapor is a byproduct of vaporizing (uh…vaporizing). When you vaporize a substance, you heat it so that it only enters a state change — going from a liquid or oil, to a steam. The biggest difference between vapor and smoke is that when you vape, you’re not changing the chemical structure of any molecules. You’re simply changing the existing chemicals from a liquid to a gas.
In this way, you don’t introduce any of those harmful little smoke particles in your lungs, like carbon. There’s also none of the traditional smoke smell, as there’s technically no smoke at all
However, we don’t know a ton about the long term effects of vaping weed, but it seems like so far the benefits outweigh the potential costs for many people.
Either way you choose to inhale, we hope you do it comfily and confidently.
Happy vape and/or smoking!