Have you been considering vaping cannabis for a while now but are hesitant due to any possible health effects? Well, not to worry as today we will be talking to you about whether vaping cannabis can cause Pneumonia and any other effects it may or may not have on you. But before we get into this article let’s make it very clear that we are discussing vaping dry herb, not oils – as those are 2 completely different things.
What is dry herb vaping?
When dry herb vaping, you use a dry herb vaporizer, which is a device that heats up dry cannabis flowers in order to create a vapor that contains plant material. The flavors and aromas of the dry herb are extracted during the process, and users of this type of vaporizer will feel the effects when inhaling the vapor. It is important to note that dry herb vaping is different to vaping oils in an e-cigarette/oil vaporizer.
What is THC oil vaping?
THC vape oil – also known as THC e-liquid or THC vape juice – is a concentrated form of THC that has been distilled into a liquid that you can vape. Vaporizers heat this liquid and turn it into vapor, which you can then inhale. These vaporizers are different from dry herb vaporizers. THC vape oil is made specifically for vaping. You can also get THC or cannabis oil that is intended for ingestion.
What is Pneumonia?
To put it short, Pneumonia is swelling or inflammation of the tissue in one or both lungs. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection and can also be caused by a virus. There is also aspiration pneumonia which is caused by breathing in a foreign object, such as a peanut, or a harmful substance, such as smoke or a chemical – which is why some people believe that dry herb vaping could possibly cause pneumonia.
How do you vape weed?
Dry herb vaporizers have a chamber where dried cannabis flower is added. As the device is heated, the active therapeutic compounds in the cannabis are delivered in a concentrated vapor. The cannabis is heated to just the right temperature so that it does not burn, which minimizes any tar or carcinogens that you may inhale when using a pipe or other combusted forms. Many herb vaporizers also have temperature settings that you can change to control the amount of flavor and vapor you are inhaling. If you’d like to read more on vaping weed, click here.
Health effects of vaping weed
There are lots of different effects that vaping cannabis can have on your health, many are positive however there are of course some possible negatives, as there are with all medicines.
Research has proved that compounds within Cannabis can help numerous health conditions and diseases – to give some context, cannabis contains active ingredients called cannabinoids. 2 of these – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – are the
Another cannabinoid drug, called Nabilone, is sometimes used to relieve sickness in people having chemotherapy for cancer.
Clinical trials are also currently underway to test cannabis-based drugs for other conditions including cancer pain, the eye disease glaucoma, appetite loss in people with HIV or AIDS, and epilepsy in children.
Cannabis is commonly used all over the world and even here in the UK medically, to help with many health issues, from Crohn’s disease and reducing side effects of chemotherapy to:
- mental illness
- chronic pain
- immune system diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
So if you are suffering from any of the medical conditions listed above, medical cannabis could help to reduce your symptoms. However, if you are looking to use it for other purposes, may that be mental health, appetite, insomnia and so on, you may find this list of other benefits more suitable for you:
- feeling chilled out, relaxed and happy (euphoric)
- laughing more or become more talkative
- Increased appetite (“the munchies”)
- feeling tired or sleepy
The Possible Health Effects
With every medicine it comes with good sides and downsides, for vaping cannabis there aren’t many downsides, however, there are a few possible health issues that you should be made aware of, such as:
- feeling wheezy or out of breath
- developing an uncomfortable or painful cough
- making symptoms of asthma worse in people with asthma
It must be noted that there are different health effects depending on the method of inhalation you are using – for example with flower there are very little health issues related. However, if you are using a THC liquid or oil, you could be more susceptible to Popcorn Lung. This is another name for bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), a rare condition that results from damage of the lungs’ small airways. It is important to know that this isn’t pneumonia and has only been reported from users vaping an e-cigarette/oil vaporizer. There haven’t been any links between dry herb vaporizers and Popcorn Lung.
BO was originally discovered when popcorn factory workers started getting sick. The culprit was diacetyl, a food additive used to simulate butter flavour in microwave popcorn. Diacetyl is frequently added to flavored e-liquid to enhance the taste. Inhaling diacetyl causes inflammation and may lead to permanent scarring in the smallest branches of the airways — popcorn lung — which makes breathing difficult. Popcorn lung has no lasting treatment.
Safest Vaporizing Method
When it comes to deciding which vaporization method is the safest, it always helps hearing what a Doctor thinks and would recommend, Dr Tishler said “Not all vaporizing is the same. I recommend vaporizing the whole cannabis flower. The little pen-shaped vaporizers that have become very fashionable and use cannabis oil should be avoided,” he says.
“The cannabis in those devices is most often thinned with propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol. Neither of these are safe to heat and inhale. There are alternatives for patients who find loading a conventional vaporizer with ground cannabis is too much for them. I’d recommend looking into a pod-based device.”. So to summarize, Dr Tishler recommends dry herb vaporizing as the safest method. THC Liquid vaporizers can contain other chemicals that are not as safe to consume and could have long lasting health effects. If you want to check out our dry herb vaporizers, click here.
How Vaping Weed Can be Related to Pneumonia
So as we mentioned earlier when going through the health effects, there is nothing that suggests vaping cannabis through a dry herb vaporizer is related to pneumonia and there haven’t been any medical cases recorded of this happening. However, the effects of vaping cannabis could be confused with the symptoms of Pneumonia as some of the symptoms are:
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood or blood-tinged mucus
Coughing is a common side effect of vaping cannabis as mentioned before. If you have asthma already vaping can worsen it which could cause shortness of breath. However, these symptoms are completely separate to Pneumonia and could be confused with it.
If you are ever concerned about any chest pain or other symptoms associated with breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath and chronic cough, then see your doctor or GP just to check things through for peace of mind.