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3 Things You Didn't Know About Vaporizers

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June 16, 2014 9:00 AM

3-things-you-didnt-know-about-vaporizersVaporizers are quickly becoming popular in the medical marijuana community mainly because they provide a safer way to ingest cannabis than by smoking it. More research needs to be done to draw conclusions about how cannabis smoke affects the respiratory system. The fact that vaporization devices eliminate this concern gives them a big advantage in the cannabis market. Here are some more interesting facts about vaporizers and why they are gaining favour among cannabis users.

Early Use of Vaporization

The original concept of vaporization traces back to the 5th century B.C. when red hot stones were used to heat hemp seeds to produce aromas from vapor. The stone as a heating device was later replaced by a hookah, which is heated by charcoal but vaporizes instead of burns material. In the 1970s the first modern vaporizer began to appear with the Tilt, which was noted for enormous tar reduction compared with a regular pipe. The Tilt, however was banned in the early 1990s due to new anti-paraphernalia laws. 

Eagle Bill Amato earned the title "father of vapor." In 1993 he learned about vaporization from a California grower, inspiring him to invent the "Shake and Vake," a device based on the vaporization techniques of Ancient Egypt. Amato's design was a glass pipe in which the bottom of a glass bowl was lit instead of the substance. The Shake and Vake was nicknamed the "peace pipe of the future."

The invention inspired hundreds of other similar vaporization devices. The BC Vaporizer appeared in 1994 from Canada as an early electric vaporizer. Today the technology has become flexible so that the device can be customized to suit the needs of individual users. These days pocket size and portability are popular features for vaporizing devices. 

Harm Reduction

A study by researchers at the University of Albany called "Pulmonary function in cannabis users" found in 2010 that medical cannabis vaporizers have potential as a "harm reduction technique." In other words, it's possible for a vaporizer to reduce the damage to the respiratory system caused by smoking cannabis. Another study by GW Pharmaceuticals found that a vaporizer can help provide lung protection from irritants.

The problem with burning any organic material is that it produces a mix of various chemicals in the smoke. Burning creates free radicals, which produce a variety of chemicals known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. PAH is toxic and can cause cancer, but some studies have shown that even cannabis smoke reduces PAH. Vaporizers have been shown to dramatically reduce PAH. 

Better THC Conservation

A 2003 study by California NORML and MAPS found that using a vaporizer converted 46 percent of the THC in cannabis to vapor, whereas smoking it only delivered 25 percent of the THC, partly due to loss of sidestream smoke. A vaporizer is designed to heat cannabis to an optimal temperature below the level of combustion, which is what creates the smoke. Patients of another study published by the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs ranked vaporizers as the most efficient way to ingest cannabis since it requires lower dosage than smoking, eating edibles or drinking tea. 

Vaporizers also rank high with patients when it comes to side effect satisfaction. Some users credit vaporization as generating a more "clear-headed" effect than the high from smoking cannabis. People who smoke cannabis tend to inhale more deeply than people who use vaporizers. The main principle behind vaporizing is heating without burning. Cannabis must be heated to a certain level in order for the THC to be effective. A vaporizer is the best way to get the most beneficial effects out of medical marijuana. 

Topics: Medical Marijuana, Cannabis Vaporizers, Vaporizers

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