Pros and Cons of Vaping: A Quick Guide
Vaping products were first invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2003, originally intended as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Vape devices are often called vape pens, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs for short. Today, you commonly find vape pens containing nicotine (derived from tobacco products), CBD (derived from hemp products), or THC (derived from marijuana products). Whatever's in your vape, it is likely in oil form. This oil is often combined with two primary ingredients: propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG).
But regardless of what you vape, there are inherent health risks associated with the act of vaping itself. By examining the pros and cons of vaping, we'll be able to examine harm reduction techniques when vaping, understand who should and shouldn't be vaping, and choose the right vape pens for specific needs.
Vaping vs. Smoking
Before we dive into the pros and cons of vape products, let's differentiate between smoking and vaping. For starters, we probably all know what smoking is. Think: traditional cigarettes. Smoking often takes place with tobacco products (like cigarettes) and marijuana flower. And when it comes to smoking traditional cigarettes, about 480,000 Americans die every year, including 41,000 deaths from consistent second-hand smoke inhalation.
We don't need to tell you that's bad. But we're also not going to tell you that vaping is good for you, either. It's not! However, studies have shown harm reduction when smokers opt for increased vape use over traditional cigarettes. The most harm reduction was shown when users quit traditional cigarettes altogether, favoring just vape pens and other vaping products.
That said, it is vital that you know what goes into your e-cigarettes. It does not matter if you vape nicotine, CBD, or THC—verify third-party lab results for all products to ensure that your vapes are free from additives, fillers, and contaminants.
The Pros and Cons of Vaping Hemp Products
The pros of vaping hemp-CBD products include:
- CBD molecules quickly reach the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the brain, interacting with receptors to bring you instantaneous relief.
- Many CBD-vaping products contain natural flavors, offering a more enjoyable taste than raw hemp to most users.
- CBD is known to have few (if any) side effects, making CBD-vaping products a great cessation aid when quitting traditional cigarettes.
The cons of vaping hemp-CBD products include:
- Newcomers to CBD (without prior vaping experience) may be turned off by the learning curve and harsh throat hit; longtime vapers often claim to enjoy the throat sensation, but new users report some discomfort.
- CBD vape pens and e-cigarettes are limited in variety and subject to a variety of regulations outside of the traditional CBD industry; this creates market confusion among customers and businesses alike.
- Vaping anything can be harmful to the lungs over time, meaning you still need to regulate your vaping routine when using CBD vape devices.
The Pros and Cons of Vaping Tobacco Products
The pros of vaping tobacco include:
- Tobacco-vaping products like nicotine-infused electronic cigarettes generally carry fewer health risks than traditional cigarettes.
- Tobacco vape pens often contain oil (vape juice or e-liquid) that is more concentrated than tobacco, meaning e-cig users receive more potency from vape pens than traditional cigarettes.
The cons of vaping tobacco include:
- Nicotine is extremely addictive no matter how you ingest it; long-term use of nicotine vape products can lead to addiction.
- Tobacco vape devices come with a variety of unwanted side effects, including high blood pressure, increased heart rate, appetite suppression, nausea, sweating, and problems with indigestion.
- Nicotine is one of the harshest substances on the lungs, meaning nicotine vape users may experience more side effects than CBD or THC vape users.
- Many tobacco vape devices are made by Big Tobacco companies, who have been known to exploit the health and safety of Americans for financial gain.
The Pros and Cons of Vaping Marijuana Products
The pros of vaping marijuana include:
- Like CBD-vaping products, marijuana vape devices deliver THC molecules to the ECS quicker, offering a faster absorption method than traditional smoking.
- As cannabis laws liberalize every year, more and more people gain access to THC vape devices, a possible cessation aid for traditional cigarettes.
The cons of vaping marijuana include:
- As you likely already know, THC is intoxicating; while CBD-infused vapes will NOT get you high, THC-vaping products will likely induce psychoactive side effects.
- THC may be illegal depending on where you live, meaning you would not have access to legal THC vape pens and other marijuana-infused vaping products.
Is Vaping Right for Me?
Whether you choose to vape or not is up to you. However, always weigh the pros and cons of vaping before making decisions that could ultimately affect your health and wellness. Remember: different substances offer different benefits and side effects when vaped. As such, you should also know exactly how these substances affect YOU personally. For example, if you typically react well to CBD products and typically dislike nicotine, you should opt for CBD vapes over other vape devices.