Many patients worry that smoking marijuana is dangerous to their lungs. Many doctors thus recommend vaporizing as an alternative. I wanted to make a visual tool to help explain that what’s dangerous about smoking in terms of disease and death is Tobacco, not Cannabis. This chart helps one visualize two important facts. One is that cannabis is not as harmful to the lungs as tobacco smoke, and according to the above link, may help generate lung cells. The second is that vaporizing and smoking are not that different in terms of harm for a couple reasons. One, cannabis is just not linked with any long term lung cancers or lung diseases. It can lead to more lung irritation and increased respiratory ailments such as chest colds, but so can living in a large city. Many patients report their lungs feeling better after smoking or having reduced symptoms of lung issues like asthma (perhaps due to its anti-inflammatory and bronchio-dilating effects.). The other reason why vaporizing has a similar (minimal) harm factor as smoking is because if not done correctly, it can still deliver extremely hot vapor to the lungs, causing inflammation anyway. Vaporizing, when done correctly, is delivering a substantial amount of marijuana (vaporized resin of the plant which contains THC) to the body.
So, don’t smoke cigarettes. Don’t smoke too much pot, and don’t assume that you’re making a big leap of health if you’re vaporizing over smoking marijuana. Especially if you’re using heavily every day. But rest assured that cannabis is just not as harmful a substance as many drugs and much of the air we breathe. This is why patients who want health, want to explore marijuana.