All About Vaping…

Dear Brian,
Is vaping without nicotine bad for you?

The short answer is yes. Vaping is bad for you, regardless of what it is you’re vaping. That being said, it’s still safer than smoking cigarettes because you’re not combusting plant matter and inhaling carcinogens.

Even without nicotine, you have to worry about the quality of ingredients used in ejuice and the specific ingredients used. Many artificial flavorings (and even some natural ones) used in vape juices are unsafe. The FDA classifies many of these flavorings as generally safe for eating/drinking, but there are so far very few studies on the effects of heating and inhaling them.

In addition, although the FDA is currently strengthening regulations, currently the vape industry (and the cannabis industry, for that matter) is largely unregulated and therefore you never really know what you’re getting. I rarely see any ingredients listed on ejuice bottles, and that’s enough for me to know there are dangers.

Even aside from the ejuices, you also have to worry about the materials used in the ecigarette. Some manufacturers will use cheaper plastics or metals in the tanks, coils, and mouthpieces that may not be safe when heated. We can’t necessarily blame just foreign manufacturers for this because U.S. regulations are just as lax as they are most other places.

So, while vaping is generally safer than smoking, it’s far from safe. There are still inherent risks associated with it, so don’t think you’re invincible.

Dear Brian,
Is vaping marijuana bad?

This is a pretty open-ended question and depends on where you live and your perspective. It also depends on what type of vaping you’re talking about.

THC/CBD is often diluted in vegetable glycerin, coconut oil, and/or propylene glycol to make it viscous enough for disposable vape cartridges. This type of vaping carries the same risks outlined in the question above.

Vaping cannabis concentrates like honeycomb, shatter, wax, or live resin is a different matter altogether. In this case, there is a possibility of catching lipid pnuemonia because of the waxy liquids found in concentrates. It’s also recommended you only vape using ceramic or quartz dab nails (or even glass dry vape rigs). Titanium is generally safe, but you never know if what you’re using is actual titanium as manufacturers could easily swap out cheaper metals, leaving you at risk for metal poisoning.

Dry herb vaping is also possible in which you put the marijuana in what’s essentially an oven and heat it to the point that you only evaporate the crystals on the outside, without combusting the plant matter. This type of vaping is safer than smoking because there are less carcinogens (though they still exist because the plant matter can be singed).

None of these answers take into account that usage of marijuana may be illegal where you live, people may discriminate against you for using it, and the actual effects of marijuana on your body. Those are entirely different conversations altogether.

Dear Brian,
What is better: smoking or vaping?

This is like comparing sugar to artificial sweeteners. Neither is actually all that good for you, and moderation is the key to staying healthy and safe.

When smoking, you inhale carcinogens, which are more likely to destroy your lungs, but vaping is still filling your lungs with chemicals other than those they were intended for. Both will have an effect on your body, but smoking is arguably more dangerous.

Dear Brian,
Does vaping make teeth yellow?

The short answer is no – the tar from smoking is what turns your teeth yellow, and vape contains no tar since you’re not burning it. Of course, vaping hasn’t been around long enough for in-depth studies to be performed, so it’s still up in the air as to whether or not any of the chemicals used in ejuices will turn your teeth yellow.

You’ll notice most ejuices have a yellow, orange, or brown tint to them, and there is a possibility that some of the flavorings and other ingredients could still discolor your teeth. They could have other impacts as well, but as far as we know right now, vaping is much easier on your teeth than smoking.

Dear Brian,
What is your opinion on vaping?

I’m honestly on the fence about it. I do support the vaping industry and have several clients in it, but I don’t believe it’s fully safe. I think the upcoming regulations can be a good thing (and think cannabis regulation is woefully far behind as well).

As a user, I’ve not been able to switch to vaping. I have a bunch of ejuices and ecigarettes that I do use on occasion, but they’ve not replaced my 20-year smoking habit. I’m actually going to work on that this summer and see if I can’t turn the tide.

My goal for this year is to quit smoking entirely (with the occasional exception of weed) and only use a vape pen when I’m seriously craving a cigerette and feel like I may be caving in. Until then, I’m a smoker who vapes, as I imagine a lot more people are than will admit.

You can learn more about E-Juice 101 at VapeChemist…

Brian Penny High TimesBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work appears in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, and The Street.

 

 

 

 

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Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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