With the thoughts of Cannabis legalization looming over Canada it has become increasingly important for people to remain informed. Cannabis cannot be directly compared to legal recreational drugs (such as alcohol) or medicinal drugs (such as Oxycodone): it is an entirely different drug with its own unique sets of potential benefits and potential risks for every consumer because, like alcohol or oxycodone, cannabis affects every individual differently.
Dr. Marcel Tunks is a respirologist and a professor at McMaster University who spoke about “Vaping, Hookahs, and Pot: Redefining Smoking” in his speech at the Ontario Lung Association’s “Better Breathing” conference. Although Dr. Tunks gave no comment when asked if he has any personal experience with cannabis he gave many good points on lung health when consuming cannabis as well as some precautions to all of those who indulge in the most commonly used illegal drug in Canada. His study focused on lung health so he was unable to comment on anything further than the potential pros and cons of different methods of cannabis consumption.
Regardless of your preferred cannabis consumption method – eating, smoking, or vaporizing – it is
important to know where the plant is coming from as Dr. Tunks points out that less than ideal growing and drying conditions can lead to mold and other contaminants which could be potentially very dangerous to your health. He noted that some growers go so far as to intentionally produce mold believing it leads to a more intense high. Legalization will allow for more quality control and research on cannabis, which will lead to safer and more enjoyable cannabis experiences. In the meantime, be aware and stay informed!
|Method of Consumption||Pros||Cons||Hints and Tips|
|Edibles||No harmful tars in your lungs||Delayed effect leads to a higher risk of over-consumption||According to Health Canada we absorb approximately 10% of the available THC in cannabis through oral ingestion compared to 25% when smoking. A good rule of thumb when eating cannabis is to use approximately 2.5 times the amount that you would normally smoke.
It can take up to 2 hours to absorb the THC.
|Joints/Water Pipes||Immediate gratification/
|Deposits tar and other harmful by-products||Do not hold smoke in! Lungs absorb 98% of the cannabinoids in the first 2 seconds.
Water pipes offer a smoother hit but this does not mean it is safer:
be careful not to over smoke.
|Vaporizers (herb)||Releases fewer harmful byproducts than smoking and gives more control over release of cannabinoids||Can still release byproducts if the temperature is too high. The higher you vape the more byproducts your release.||Always use a machine with accurate temperature control: cannabinoids will begin to vaporize at 180°C but cannabis will begin to combust above 220°C.|