Is Dabbing Healthier Than Smoking Cannabis Flower?

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Cannabis has been around for centuries, and its psychoactive properties have been used in ritual ceremonies as far back as 3,500 BC.

In the present day, cannabis is used both medicinally and recreationally for its various mental and physical effects. Recreationally, weed is mainly used to experience either euphoria or relaxation.

While traditionally, the most effective way to use cannabis has been to smoke it, the health implications of smoking have been under intense scrutiny and therefore, more variety for enjoying cannabis have also emerged.

Among the options of edibles, vapes, and oils, dabbing has been gaining popularity with websites like offering a huge range of dab rigs that come in various materials and styles.

The vaporization of concentrated cannabis without smoke seems ideal, but how does it compare against the traditional use through smoking?

Smoking – The Traditional Method

Smoking is probably the easiest and most recognized way to use cannabis. Cannabis flower buds can be smoked in a joint, with a spoon-like glass or ceramic pipe, a bong which filters the smoke through water, or with a vape, in which the fumes from the heated cannabis are inhaled.

Each of these has unique features, and according to preferences, one may choose the ease of a joint, the commonality of a pipe or a bong, or the flavourful enjoyment of a vape.

Cannabis joint

The effects of cannabis usually peak about 10 minutes after the first hit when smoking, and the effects can last between 1 to 3 hours. You are also able to regulate the amount that you are using easily.

Because of the smooth cooling effect the water has on the smoke in a bong, it is easier to fill your lungs with the cannabis smoke, therefore reaching the high the fastest.

But even the bong cannot compete with the speed at which dabbing can affect you. Dabbing uses a highly concentrated extract from cannabis, which comes in the form of wax, shatter, or crumble.

This ‘dab’ is placed onto a heated metal piece that replaces the usual glass bowl in a bong and it is inhaled as it evaporates.

While a cannabis flower that is usually used for smoking has a THC content between 15%-25%, the THC content of a dab may be over 90%! This means that the kick will happen almost instantaneously.

The effects will usually last around 1 to 3 hours, like with regular smoking. However, with a higher THC concentrate, the effects could last as long as 24 hours. Dabbing is favoured for the stronger, cleaner flavour of the weed, that cannot be attained through smoking.

Is Dabbing Superior to Smoking?

Anytime the cannabis flower is burned combustion happens. It doesn’t matter that the smoke passes through water, there will still be potentially harmful chemicals, tar and carcinogens in the smoke that you inhale.

When dabbing, you do not inhale smoke in the way that you do through other methods, which may well mean that dabbing is healthier than smoking.

Quartz banger

A potential health risk with dabs, however, is that often THC is extracted by using butane, and this may end up in the product that you ingest, especially when buying from shady sources.

Trying DIY extraction yourself can also be risky, as extremely hot appliances are involved. These risks can be avoided by buying ready-made dabs from a reputable source.

Another risk to keep in mind is the power of dabs: one single inhalation can give you ten times more THC than regular smoking would. Due to the potency, dabbing is recommended only for experienced users able to handle the higher concentration of THC.

For beginners, other methods of smoking are safer, as it is easier to control the amount that you are ingesting when you roll up your own joint or stuff your own pipe.

The Verdict – Is It Healthier?

So, while it does seem to be that dabbing is healthier than smoking cannabis flower, it does come with its own risks and drawbacks.

The high potency of dabbing can be useful for someone with chronic pain or with a high tolerance. While cannabis flower is easier to access, and the experience is easier to control.

Both may have harmful substances involved. There is no universal yes or no to this question, but rather each person’s own preference when weighing the pros and cons.

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