The new wave of vaporizing and dabbing marijuana and marijuana concentrates is the result of marijuana users desiring healthier and more effective ways to get high.
Sure vaporizing and dabbing can be a healthier way to consume your herbs, but as new products continue to enter the unregulated marijuana market, you should take special care to understand how they work. Often times, the way you heat your concentrates can have major implications on the healthiness of your consumption.
Conductive vs Convective Heat
The key to understanding the health risks associated with vaping and dabbing begins with the heating method you use to activate your herbs or concentrates. The most common methods are conductive and convective heating.
Conductive heating is most commonly used for dabbing marijuana concentrates. So when you heat your rig’s nail and place the oil on the red hot spot you are using conductive heat to conjure that tasty smoke.
Convective heat is what is commonly used in vaporizing devices. Your device contains a heating element that heats the air in the chamber that contains your herb or concentrate. By heating the air to activate the THC, you are truly vaporizing your product.
From a health standpoint, convective heating is your safest bet. Because you are not actually burning your herb or concentrates, you avoid consuming any carcinogens or toxins that may come as a result of the chemical interaction of igniting the products.
Though convective heating is the best for your health, it is important to understand your vaporizing device. Your device may use convective heat to activate the THC, but the heating element is often held in place with solder. When you use devices like these frequently, you cause the solder to heat up which begins off-gassing. So, you might have purchased the vaporizer for health reasons, but the high heat involved is causing you to inhale harmful metals.
Often times, vaporizers will allow you to adjust the temperature at which you cook your product. Many of us will turn the temperature way up to produce the thick smoke that we are used to from smoking bowls and joints.
When we crank the temperature to get that smoke, we are actually not vaping anymore. In fact, you are causing the bud or concentrate to ignite, subsequently producing many of the carcinogens that you are trying to avoid.
Specifically, when you turn your vaporizer to 365 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, you begin to produce the common carcinogen Benzene that is found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust.
In Your Hands
Vaping and dabbing are certainly better for your health than smoking bowls or rolling up joints, but at the end of the day their health benefits are in your hands. Next time you are purchasing a vaporizing device take a look at the heating element and ask your sales associate to explain how it works.