Why is smoking weed “better” than smoking cigarettes or vaping? Aren’t you inhaling harmful foreign substances in all cases?


Why is smoking weed “better” than smoking cigarettes or vaping? Aren’t you inhaling harmful foreign substances in all cases?

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The burning of stuff and inhaling it does cause a lot of the problems that smokers have. So smoking weed can have the same impact, but the biggest difference is the dose. If you get a preroll from a dispensary (like 0.8 grams usually), you might finish that in a day, but most people would either split it or space it over 2-3 days.

Compare that to people who smoke a pack of cigarettes (20) per day. That’s 15x more stuff being burned and inhaled.

Vaping isn’t burning anything, but you’re subject to whatever is being vaporized. I don’t know enough about long-term vaping to speak on those dangers.

Studies so far haven’t found a link between smoking marijuana and cancer. One of the difficulties in the past has been the fact that marijuana smokers are also more likely to smoke tobacco. Now that cigarette use is disappearing maybe we’ll get better data. Cannabis users are also starting to vape more rather than smoke.

It is not.

Both have combustion products such as tar – which is what causes chronic bronchitis. Usually weed is smoked without a filter – which makes it worse – but given that few people go through 20 or more joints per day, the total amount will be lower. Cigarettes also have various additives which are a constant cat-and-mouse game between the producers and regulators.

Inhaling smoke is always harmful. It’s a question of degree – more inhaling of smoke is worse for your lungs than less. (We don’t yet have enough longterm data to know very much about the longterm effects of vaping.)

The other pivotal issue is the substance in question: nicotine vs. THC. Nicotine is the active ingredient in cigarettes and vape liquid that’s addictive. It causes chemical dependence, meaning that it affects the brain in a way that causes users to crave it and experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis that causes users to get high, and it does not cause chemical dependence or cause withdrawal symptoms. (Some people do become “psychologically addicted” to weed, but chemical dependence doesn’t happen.)

Another important difference between a joint and a cigarette is the other ingredients. In addition to having nicotine, cigarettes are known to have dozens of cancer-causing chemicals in them, as well as heavy metals, radioactive compounds, and poisons ([source](https://www.verywellmind.com/harmful-chemicals-in-cigarettes-and-cigarette-smoke-2824715)). These are not inherent to the nicotine; they’re added during [manufacturing](https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/products-ingredients-components/chemicals-every-cigarette) for various reasons. Nicotine, while addictive, doesn’t cause cancer (for whatever that’s worth).

In a joint, typically the only ingredient is cannabis plant matter. There are no chemical additives (ideally; this is one of the reasons why regulating drugs is important, so you know what you’re getting and that there’s no Weird Shit in there), just the chemical compounds naturally present in cannabis. None of those chemical compounds are currently known to cause cancer or or any other health problem. [Inhaling cannabis smoke can be harmful](https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/health-effects/effects.html), though, particularly if you inhale a lot, regularly, and for a long time (mostly issues like mucus in the lungs, smoker’s cough, and bronchitis).

It really is a case of the degree of harm. No reasonable person can argue that regularly inhaling smoke is good for you, but cigarettes are definitely far more harmful to health than a joint that has only cannabis (sourced from a reputable regulated supplier).

Yes smoking anything is worse than not smoking anything into your lungs. It doesn’t matter what the smoking weed vs cig brigade says or pulls out studies ( no study has yet proven how “less” harmful either of activities are). Smoking weed deposits resin and tar in your lungs, if your bong pipe gets all crummy after a few hits so does your lungs. You don’t need a scientific experiment for this. It doesn’t matter if the human lungs are used to wood burning chemicals, you don’t have to put it in your lungs willingly every day and hope for a study to relieve your body of the cost of smoking. It won’t happen.

Switching to an edible form of THC is the only “safe” way to have it. Rest you can have anything anytime anywhere in any way you want to depending on what you need.