Vaping is a drug delivery system for CBD, THC, or nicotine. An electronic device called a vape pen, or vaporizer heats an oil mixture containing the intended drug, plus flavoring and other chemicals. The oil becomes an aerosolized vapor (hence the term “vape”) to breathe into your lungs. Vaping is different from smoking because you’re not burning the tobacco or cannabis plant; you’re only heating it. You can think of it as the difference between inhaling steam from a pot of hot water versus sticking your face into a smokey woodfire.
Vaping can cause inflammation in the lungs, leading to lipoid pneumonia and sometimes, popcorn lung or bronchiolitis obliterans. With lipoid pneumonia, tiny molecules of fat accumulate in your lung tissue. The symptoms include:
. This is the same thing that happens when you eat sticky candy. Except, in this case, you’re inhaling the candy instead of chewing it.
The Safest Way to Vape
If, after considering the side effects of vaping, you want to give vaping a try, there are steps to take to keep yourself safe.
First, don’t buy or use vape oils from illegal vendors, unauthorized dealers, or unknown sources.
Second, avoid vape oils that contain Vitamine E acetate and diacetyl. Both these ingredients have been linked to lung injuries.
Third, choose a quality vaporizer that allows you can control the heat settings.
Fourth, if vaping cannabis oil is not something you want to do, try a dry flower vaporizer such as the Ghost Mv1 Vaporizer or the Air Vape X. This is a relatively new technology it has two advantages over oils. For one, dried flower is less processed than vape oil, and you won’t be breathing in as many additives. And two, the temperature required to vape bud is much lower than what’s needed to vaporize a cartridge of oil.
And finally, remember always to do your research on any new products that you are curious to try out!
Evie is the queen of reinventing herself. She got her undergraduate degree at Cornell University and worked in microbiology labs for 6 years. When she outgrew research, she earned a Master’s degree and became a teacher. After a decade in the classroom, she started over as a remote science writer. She enjoys reading up on the newest cannabis research and any other topic that the NIH pushes to the top of their website. Evie also enjoys paddle boarding, playing the guitar, learning languages, observing pond microorganisms, and brewing beer.