Study: Vaporizers Reduce Lung Problems Associated With Cannabis Use

If you keep up with our blog here at, you're probably well aware of the general concept behind vaporizers: these devices heat herb or oil just enough to create a breathable plum of mist-like vapor. Since the heating is strictly controlled, there's no fire or combustion taking place; subsequently, there's no smoke being produced. But how exactly do vaporizers benefit the user?

A new study sought out to answer this question. A consortium of esteemed scientists and medical experts analyzed the effects of smoking cannabis versus vaporizing cannabis on users' lungs. Before we reveal the findings, though, let's first talk a little bit about the effects of smoking.

When you smoke something -- whether it's cannabis, tobacco or any other substance -- chemical changes occur that transform the substance into something entirely different. Granted, there are still concentrations of the substance's active ingredients that remain intact, but new chemicals are created as a result. Unfortunately, many of these newly created chemicals are toxic to humans. Cigarette smoke, for instance, contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer in humans.

Vaporizing takes a different approach by mitigating the risks associated with smoking. Going back to the basic principle of how vaporizers work, there's no fire or smoke; therefore, there's none of the harmful toxins associated with smoke. 

Previous studies have shown that users who smoke cannabis are more likely to succumb to upper respiratory infections and lung disease. Again, this is due to the fact that smoking causes chemical reactions to occur, creating new, potentially toxic chemicals. 

Researchers from this recent study, however, say that vaporizing cannabis reduces the risk of lung problems. They found that cannabis users who switched from smoking to vaping experienced lower levels of lung irritation, as well as improved lung function.

"Our pre-post design clinical trial showed that users with respiratory irritation improved symptoms and lung function after switching to a vapourizer. In short, vapourizers show promise for cannabis users who want to avoid pulmonary problems and prefer a more rapid onset than edibles provide," wrote the study's authors.

This study was published in the journal Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy.

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