For almost 120 years, doctors have prescribed aspirin for almost any variety of pain. Perhaps CBD, with its ability to return the body to the harmonious balance of homeostasis, will become the aspirin of this century — once the federal government changes outmoded laws on cannabis and hemp allows us to learn what it can truly do.
In the meantime, based on existing research and the experience of many people who have consumed CBD, it may be a useful medicine for you if you or a family member has:
- chronic pain
- diseases related to inflammation
For many of these diseases, the cure can be nearly as bad as the disease. Add to that a medical system that often seems to default to surgery and pharmaceuticals rather than common-sense prevention, and a health-care system designed more to insure corporate profits than good health of the citizenry, and it’s no wonder that many patients and caregivers grow hopeless and desperate.
Vaping for harm reduction
Let’s start with the obvious: Inhaling burnt plant matter is not a healthy habit. We all know this. So people have figured out that you can inhale vaporized plant matter. This became widely adopted as a way to quit or cut down on smoking. So we have to discuss the liquid carriers of that medicine (vape juice), which developed and became popular as an alternative to smoking tobacco. But what we’re really interested in here is vaping as an alternative to ingesting medicine — and lets include THC as well as CBD — by smoking or through oral ingestion.
So, you might want to vape if you want to:
- Quit smoking tobacco or burnt cannabis
- Absorb your CBD or THC faster
- Consume your medicine discreetly, without the odor of smoke
- Cut down on or abstain from alcohol
If you are going to vape, you’ll have to decide on a vaporizer. Your choices include:
- Pre-filled pen vaporizers
- Portable tank-and-coil vaporizers
- Table-top vaporizers
To create inhalable vapor requires heating a substance up to 230 degrees, by convection and conduction.
We don’t know much about what happens when you inhale vapor, because so little research has been done. But a lot of people are vaping, one in 10 Americans, according to a 2015 study by Reuters and Ipsos, and there has not been a public epidemic of vaping-related health problems.
Many people may have adopted vaping as a habit because they can have an experience that’s like smoking, and avoid inhaling carcinogens. So it makes some sense, from a harm-avoidance perspective, to vape rather than smoke. But why would you want to inhale cannabis vapor?
It's about immediate relief
We’ll get to the medicinal applications of CBD shortly, but whatever you might be taking CBD for, here are the most practical reasons to vape it: When you inhale vapor, you bypass your digestive system, which slows down absorption, and your liver, which acts as a filter. Vaping allows you to absorb the medicine through your lungs and into your bloodstream faster; therefore your get a quicker, more potent dose of CBD or THC. In short, you get immediate relief.
You are also not burning plant material, which changes the chemical composition of the plant. When you inhale that smoke, you’re getting carcinogens, carbon and soot into your lungs. That doesn’t happen when you vape. So when you vape, you are doing less harm to your lungs.
Vaping not only allows for the same immediate effect you get from smoking, some say the THC high from vapor is ‘cleaner’ than what results from inhaling burnt cannabis. As with smoking cannabis, you can easily control, or titrate your dose when vaping, according to the number of puffs you take. If one puff doesn’t give you relief, you can try two or three. You don’t have to wait hours to see if you’ve reached the desired effect, as you do with medicine you take orally.
Also, when you ingest cannabis orally, the effect is typically more intense, yet there is that lag of up to two hours between ingesting it and feeling it. You can easily assume you didn’t take enough, ingest more, and eventually find that it’s way too much (which can be a real problem when you’re ingest THC). In other words, when you take medicine orally, you can go too far without knowing it.
When you vape, you can take smaller increments of medicine, see how they affect you, and make a wise decision about when you’ve had enough. Vaping is also discreet — more so than smoking your weed, as the vape can be fruity or savory, or basically odorless, and less noticeable (and less offensive) than cannabis or tobacco smoke.
If you like the taste of cannabis, some vape products, like pen-style CBD vaporizer Vape Bright, and vape-able (yeah, I just made that word up) CBD tincture Respira include aromatic cannabis terpenes.
That means you can have the experience of inhaling and exhaling a flavorful vapor that gives you a relaxing sensation — and may provide instant relief for other conditions — without getting stoned out of your gourd. (Not that there's anything wrong with that…)
Goodbye ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin? It might be time…