BY JAY SMOKER
In the last several years, Vaporizers have become a popular trend for those people looking for a healthier alternative to smoking. Smoking is the culprit for numerous diseases that affect the heart and lungs including heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. The World Health Organization has estimated that tobacco smoking has caused over 100 million deaths during the 20th century. Smoking causes more deaths each year than murders, drunk driving and drug abuse — combined. Even second-hand smoke kills. More than 600,000 deaths were attributed to second-hand smoke in 2004 alone. Fortunately, however, the smoking rates have dropped in recent years from 42% in 1965 to 20.8% in 2006. Vaporizers play a vital role in helping reduce this number even further.
Quite simply, Vaporizers are medical devices that help release the active ingredients from your herbal blend without reaching the point of combustion (smoke). When plant matter reaches the temperature of around 454 degrees Fahrenheit, combustion or “burning” begins to occur. This process involves the release of numerous carcinogens and other harmful by-products that are very dangerous to the heart and lungs. Instead, by heating the herbs at a much lower temperature of around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, only the active and essential compounds are extracted from your herbal blend. The extracted vapor contains virtually zero particulate matter and a reduced amount of noxious gases. Furthermore, since the herbs are being heated at a much lower temperature, fewer herbs are needed for the desired effects.
In 2007, a study by the University of California concluded, “Using CO as an indicator, there was virtually no exposure to harmful combustion products using the vaporizing device. Since it replicates smoking’s efficiency at producing the desired THC effect using smaller amounts of the active ingredient as opposed to pill forms, this device has great potential for improving the therapeutic utility of THC.” Another study performed at Leiden University found, “Our results show that a safe and effective delivery system seems to be available to patients. The final uptake of THC is comparable to smoking, while avoiding the respiratory disadvantages of smoking.”
There are two basic types of Vaporizers used today. Conduction and Convection. Conduction-Style Vaporizers utilize a heated metal “plate” to hold your herbal blend and help release the active compounds. The direct contact between the hot metal “plate” and the herbal blend create a light vapor that can then be inhaled. This particular style is quite outdated and not many of these Vaporizers are manufactured anymore. The most common type of Vaporizer found these days is the Convection-Style Vaporizer. This method never allows the herbal blend to actually touch the heating element. Instead, the user inhales through plastic tubing, which effectively pulls hot air over the herbs. This process creates a rich and robust vapor that is extremely flavorful, potent and much healthier when compared to smoke.