Best Way to Smoke Weed & Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Published on July 27, 2017
By now, it is hard to dispute the evidence that medical marijuana can be used to treat a variety of conditions. However, if you are already suffering from a physical condition from which you are seeking relief, you may be worried that you could be damaging your lungs or even putting yourself at risk of lung cancer by smoking this substance.
Below, we explore the nitty gritty on the effects that marijuana smoke has on your lungs along with the different techniques and helpful tips for the best way to ingest medical marijuana and keep your lungs as healthy as possible.
Smoking Cigarettes vs. Smoking Weed
Inhaling smoke into your lungs damages them, no matter what you are smoking. After all, lung tissue is incredibly delicate and smoke is burning hot. The effects of smoking cigarettes and smoking cannabis, however, differ wildly.
First of all, everyone is aware of how many dangerous chemicals are added to tobacco products, mostly unnecessarily, and with the sole goal of getting the smoker hooked and upsetting others with second-hand smoke. Even if people simply smoked untreated tobacco, it would be way less harmful than smoking today’s cigarettes as well.
Marijuana, however, is an all-natural plant product and totally different than cigarette smoke. You don’t have to worry about a big company jamming your weed full of dangerous products in order to keep you coming back for more (although, depending on where you get your medical cannabis, pesticides could be a concern).
To further prove this point, marijuana smokers have also shown unaffected lung function in certain studies. This study, for instance, showed that even after 20 years of daily use, the smoker’s ability to exhale remained the same as a non-smoker’s. The ability to exhale or blow is a technique that is often used to measure the lung’s functionality. The same is simply not true for tobacco users. A person’s ability to exhale is related to either chronic bronchitis or emphysema, both diseases that can occur with chronic tobacco use. In fact, 80% of cases of these obstructive lung diseases can be traced back to smoking cigarettes. One major indicator of these lung diseases is that, as time goes on, the person’s ability to breathe out gets worse.
The bottom line? Smoke, in general, will lead to injury to your lungs, but smoking medical marijuana does not compare on a scale of the damage that smoking cigarettes can do.
Is There a Healthy Way to Smoke Medical Cannabis?
Many people believe that when marijuana is smoked from a bong, the smoke becomes less harmful to their lungs and, therefore, a lower risk of developing lung cancer, as it has been cooled by the water inside. Unfortunately, there are no conclusive studies that find this to be true. Putting a filter on a joint, although it may better your smoking experience by preventing bits of the plant from getting in your mouth, also proves an ineffective solution as it is thought that the filter also screens out any cannabinoids, effectively canceling out any positive effect of the medical cannabis.
Vaporizing has shown better results when it comes to a healthy set of lungs, but anyone who has been around for the electronic cigarette debate knows that vaporizers haven’t been around long enough for us to properly gauge the long-term effects of these devices on our lungs.
A Ray of Hope
If you are using medical cannabis but are worried about the long-term effects of smoke on your lungs, you are likely aware that there are a huge variety of ways to consume marijuana, especially with the rise of medical marijuana dispensaries many of which offer up absolutely no risk to your lungs.
- Topically: What is the most well-known way to use medical cannabis topically? Rick Sampson oil. By all accounts, Rick Sampson treated a cancerous lesion on his skin by creating a powerful marijuana oil, applying it to the lesion and wrapping it in bandages. Apparently, the tumor was all but gone within a few days.
- Orally: Smoking isn’t the only way to consume pot orally. You can also eat or drink it. Marijuana that is processed by your stomach tends to have longer lasting results, so will offer relief from your symptoms for a longer period of time. You can make a marijuana tea or create marijuana butter… the options for making edibles are endless! Many dispensaries even sell potent marijuana candies and baked goods, which makes for a lung-safe solution.
- Tinctures and Oils: Marijuana oils and tinctures (which, believe it or not, were one of the early and most commonly used types of medical marijuana before it was illegalized). Usually quite concentrated, you can simply put a couple of drops under your tongue or add a few dashes to any beverage and voila! Another way to consume pot without risking damage to your lungs.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the medical marvel that is marijuana without risking damage to your lungs. Eating or drinking the stuff, applying it topically or a few drops of some concentrated oils in your morning smoothie offers a solution to get your fix that poses absolutely no danger to your lungs. If you simply enjoy the smoking experience, keep in mind that vaporizing has so far shown to be a way safer way to “smoke” marijuana in terms of your lung health. It is also important to remember that smoking, in general, hurts your lungs, but even a daily pot smoker is not damaging their lungs in even nearly the same way as a long-term tobacco smoker.
Kudos to you for trying to keep your body healthy in every way. You only get one after all! Hopefully, this article has given you some food for thought on the best way to take marijuana without risking your pulmonary health!