The law in Utah is very clear about how Medical Cannabis can be used. The state allows for multiple delivery methods, including tablets, capsules, and concentrated oils. Even vaping is allowed. Smoking is not. If you tend to prefer smoking, we invite you to try vaping instead.
We get that no delivery method is perfect for everyone. We also realize that a lot of patients like to vary delivery methods depending on how they feel on any given day. We think vaping should be an option on most patients' lists. Not only does vaping offer several benefits over other delivery methods, but it really is a fantastic way to experience Medical Cannabis.
One of the most talked-about benefits of vaping is that it delivers near-instantaneous results. Inhaling the vapor directly into the lungs immediately introduces the beneficial components of the product to the bloodstream. If you have used Medical Cannabis in tablet or capsule form, you know it can take quite a bit longer to start feeling the effects.
This is not to say that vaping is always the best way to go. It might not be. But at those times when you and your pharmacist agree you need near instant results, vaping is your best option.
Getting back to the law for a minute, the state has very clearly stated that Medical Cannabis is not to be introduced to flame in any way. That rules out smoking. So how does vaping work? While a vape pen has several parts that work together, there are two methods for vaporizing cannabis products. One utilizes unprocessed flower while the other relies on concentrated oils.
If you were to choose flower, you would use a vaping device that heats the flower to a temperature just high enough to release the chemicals you need – but without actually burning the marijuana. E-cigarette makers can do much the same thing with tobacco.
If you were to choose concentrated oils, you would use something like a vape pen to deliver your medication. The vape pen has an internal atomizer that heats the oil until it turns into a vapor. It is a lot like how a kettle turns water into steam on your stovetop. You inhale the vapor just as you would smoke.
From a strictly technical standpoint, the concentrated oils method of vaping has been around longer than the dry heating method. You might find oil vape pens more reliable and convenient. But of course, that's up to you and your pharmacist.
In closing, we want to address the safety question. We have heard so many claims over the years about how vaping is no safer than smoking. Most of the claims revolve around a substance known as vitamin E acetate, a substance that has been linked to popcorn lung. Understand that reputable manufacturers no longer use vitamin E acetate in their liquids, so that issue has been resolved.
We also want you to know that vaping is safer than smoking in the sense that your lungs are not being exposed to the thousands of toxic chemicals produced by combustion. When you smoke marijuana, you are inhaling many of the same chemicals tobacco smokers inhale. When you vape, it is a different story. Where there is no combustion there is also no exposure to its byproducts.
Vaping is a terrific way to deliver the medical benefits of cannabis. As a patient, we recommend you consider vaping as one of your delivery options. Talk it over with your cannabis pharmacist on your next visit to the dispensary. You just might find that vaping does more good than any other delivery method you've tried.