Smoking Weed: How To Stay Safe
High-quality cannabis is costly. This causes many people to buy it from cheaper and less credible sources…
In addition, when it comes to smoking weed, there are certain precautions you should take note of from buying weed to inhaling it.
Most people were taught to hold every toke as long and as hard as they could. Many people have done this for years. Though there are a plethora of health benefits to using cannabis, inhaling the wrong way could not only be dangerous, but also less effective.
Recently, cannabis users are beginning to understand that they don’t have to keep it in their lungs for so long. There are different ways to inhale cannabis to both maximize your enjoyment and protect your stash and your lungs. Here is how to save money, stay safe, and get the most out of your vaping and/or smoking experience.
Smoking Weed: How THC Absorption Affects Our Lungs When Inhaling Cannabis
Smoking Weed: How To Stay Safe
Let’s examine the inhalation technique before we go into detail about how cannabis is smoked (or vaporized).
When smoke is inhaled, cannabinoids, such as THC, pass through your mouth and into your trachea. Before reaching the lungs. Once in the lungs gas and particles are absorbed through small air sacs called alveoli. (There are 300 to 500 million of them in each human lung). At this point, it is possible to transfer cannabinoids such THC to the bloodstream.
THC absorption isn’t possible until cannabis smoke reaches the lungs.
Regardless of how fast the process is, it’s important not to forget that there is no absorption taking place in the mouth/trachea. (At least, not of any significant volume.)
Smoking Weed: How To Stay Safe – Your Lungs Have A Massive Combined Surface Area
Dr. Sunil Aggarwal is a Seattle-based scientist. He is also a physician and cannabinoid integrative medicines specialist. Sunil Aggarwal says the complex topology of human lungs is a result of their unique structure. These complex lungs have a combined area equal to that of a tennis court.
This would be 540-810 feet, or approximately 80 times the area of your skin.
It is simple for us to compare our lungs to hollow vessels that push mostly nitrogen and some other oxygen, in order to stay alive. However, lungs are made of elastic and fleshy cells that allow for constant inflation or deflation.
These remarkable organic devices are packed with intricately folded tissue and 1,500 miles (2,400km) of air pathways that serve a single purpose: The exchange between gasses and the environment. The lungs are, after the heart and brain, the most important and essential organs of the body.
Smoking Weed: How To Stay SafeThe Absorption Rate Of THC
Aggarwal stated that THC absorption is complete in less than a millisecond (a few thousandths to a second). Furthermore, human standards of absorption occurs in a matter of seconds after taking a deep breath.
Needless to say, what we inhale deeply affects our bodies. This is even more reason to be very selective about where you source your cannabis and how you smoke it.
Additionally, inhaling the cannabinoids into your lungs can take less than one minute. Once they reach your brain, they surpass the blood-brain barrier. This process is different because it’s something that many other molecules can’t do.
In other words, the brain is very particular about the molecular friends it allows to join for drinks and dinner. Once inside the cerebrum, these medicinal molecules search out the CB1 cannabis receptors. THC molecule exhibits a high affinity for the CB1 receptors. This is a crucial aspect of cannabinoid communication and how they interact with our bodies through the endocannabinoid system.
Holding In Your Tokes When You Inhale Is More Harmful Than You Might Realize
There are many people who swear that holding their breath when they inhale increases their euphoria or psychoactive effects. This smoke, along with other side effects of oxygen deprivation, contains toxins as well as carcinogens.
We must ask ourselves, is this really something we want to hold in our lungs?
If your vape is sourced from a credible source, you don’t need to worry about harmful chemicals. However, since the vaping and cannabis market is largely unregulated, be weary of buying vapes from places who don’t provide Certificates of Analysis (COA). Many manufacturers are making vapes with lingering toxic chemicals and heavy metals and have the potential to cause serious damage to people’s health.
Furthermore, it is very important to be conscientious about where you cannabis products are coming from and always make sure whatever you are buying comes with a COA to ensure safety and accuracy.
Smoking Weed: Waste
Additionally, many of us have wasted considerable amounts of cannabis by inhaling incorrectly over the years. THC and other cannabinoids don’t get absorbed beyond the first bronchial splitting. Therefore, any smoke or vapor exceeding the lungs’ capacity will naturally fill the trachea. That smoke will then entirely be gone. In essence, it gets wasted.
It is ironic that holding in one’s toke was an intentional strategy to maximize the value of one’s medicine, when in reality it does the exact opposite.
In fact, it was simply an inaccurate approach due to 80 years’ worth of prohibition and misinformation.
Smoking Weed: Suggested Smoking Techniques
There are many options to ensure that all cannabinoids in smoke, vapor, and joints reach your body effectively. For starters, source a high-quality cannabis product, and inhale with caution and discretion. Don’t take huge pulls and hold it as this can waste some of the smoke and is not effective in getting higher or receiving more benefit. You are better off taking small hits and taking it slowly until you feel the effects.
Inhale slowly and smoothly, whether it’s smoke or vapor.
The last third of the inhale is when the smoke reaches the deepest parts of our lungs. Deep, long breaths can also help ensure that the lungs are not exposed to smoke, vapor, or other substances. This actually improves lung function when smoking. THC, and other cannabis compounds, act as bronchodilators, so in effect, they open up the lungs. This is why it is so important to source high-quality products because your lungs will be dilated and more susceptible to harmful chemicals and other toxic chemicals. THC can widen your airways and even improve respiration.
However, keep in mind that there are also carcinogens present when you smoke cannabis, so this is not to say that smoking is a health benefit.
You should wait 5-10 minutes after taking your first puff to feel the effects.
Check in with your body and see how you are feeling. Then you can gauge whether you want to take more. The effects and way you smoke are dependent on your intention as well.
Ask yourself, what are you doing with the medicine? What do you want from the medicine? What’s your intention? It’s up to you.
Smoking Weed: Spreading The Word
You can help both protect people and this precious herb by sharing your knowledge next time you smoke or vape with someone. Always source from credible sources and look for third-party lab testing. Additionally, make sure you are inhaling smartly and safely. The most important aspect of staying safe while smoking weed is sourcing quality flower or vapes.
As more research becomes available and people gain greater insight into the complexity and nuances surrounding cannabis plants, people will naturally gain more knowledge on the best ways to consume cannabis.