We recently put out a list of other herbs that you can smoke that aren’t marijuana or tobacco, but we didn’t touch on hemp or CBD. One common question that people ask regarding CBD and hemp is whether it is better than smoking tobacco. If you’ve found yourself wondering the same thing, we’re here to answer that for you.
What’s so bad about smoking in general?
According to Dr. Garth Garrison, a pulmonary disease specialist who works at the University of Vermont Medical Center, anything that is burned can affect the lungs. Consider the process of smoking tobacco. The combustion process creates tar, carbon monoxide, and other carcinogenic chemicals (not to mention that the smoke itself is irritating to the lining of the lungs).
So is smoking cannabis bad for me?
According to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and Winchester Hospital, The problem with trying to understand if marijuana is harmful for your health is that there just isn’t very much research on the matter. Unlike tobacco products where things are fairly standardized, marijuana users use all different amounts, purities, wrappers, and fillers. There hasn’t been very much research done up to this point because it hasn’t been legal very long, so what research is out there tends to be conflicting. Some studies say that smoking marijuana products actually helps your lungs while others say it is more harmful. Additionally, some say smoking marijuana can help tobacco smokers stop using tobacco while other studies say that it acts as a gateway drug to more tobacco use. It’s difficult to nail down any solid data because for every study saying one thing, there’s another one saying the opposite.
Water filtration devices or bongs may seem like a good option for smoking marijuana products because the smoke passes through a liquid, but they’re not actually safer. You’re still burning the grass, so there are those tar and carcinogenic particles in the smoke, even though it passes through water. The good thing about bongs, however, is that the hot smoke passes through cool or cold water, which cools down and smooths out the smoke, making for a more enjoyable experience.
Do any benefits of smoking CBD or hemp outweigh the risks of smoking in general?
Let’s talk about the benefits of CBD-heavy or hemp “cigarettes.” Hemp is a particular kind of cannabis plant that has very little (0.3% or less) of the psychoactive chemical THC in it. There are also some strains of marijuana that are CBD-dominant that might be legal depending on the state you live in. Smoking can get the CBD into the body and bloodstream quickly because it is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth and the lining of the lungs.
CBD works with your body to lessen anxiety, promote sleep, and relieve stress, inflammation, and pain. Some people – particularly people who are trying to wean themselves off of tobacco or other chemical dependences – prefer smoking CBD or hemp because it makes them feel good without giving them a high. The long and short is this: many believe that smoking CBD or hemp is a much safer and more beneficial alternative to tobacco use, but the research is lacking.
Is vaping a good alternative?
Some people believe that vaping is a good alternative to lighting up, and many of the studies show promising support. Most vaping devices (including dry herb vaporizers) nowadays use convection as the primary source of heat. That means that heat isn’t coming in direct contact with the dry herb, liquid, oil, or wax; instead, hot, moist vapor is moving around in the heating chamber which then heats up the weed. By using the vapor as a carrier for the product, nothing is combusting and creating tar and other carcinogens. Between smoking and vaping, vaping is the healthiest option.
Any other thoughts?
There are, of course, other ways to get the benefits of CBD or hemp. Edibles, tinctures, oils, and lotions infused with CBD can bring relief without the smoke or vapor, but it all comes down to preferences. If you enjoy taking a puff every now and then but don’t want the high or addiction, smoking or vaping CBD or hemp products is an excellent way to get the same taste as marijuana and to feel good all around.