5 Healthiest Ways to Smoke Weed in 2021
When you think about smoking marijuana, what comes to mind? A joint, a blunt, or maybe even a pipe? These are all common associations between weed and smoking. In fact, the most common way to consume cannabis is smoking a joint. However, this isn’t the safest way to smoke weed to avoid lung damage. Why is that? Well, when you put flame to plant matter, such as weed it produces a hot smoke, tar and ash. All of these things enter your lungs and can cause a burning sensation, irritation and can make you cough.
So, if your friend asks you, “does smoking weed hurt your lungs?” The answer is – possibly. Of course there are variables like the quality of weed you buy, the strain type and the form of consumption. Our goal in this article is to explain the healthiest ways for smoking cannabis and the types of products you can buy to support a healthy smoking lifestyle.
Different ways of smoking cannabis: vaping, or vaporizing
So, let’s start by answering the most common question on this topic, “what is the healthiest way to smoke weed?” You guessed it, vaping! When you use a vaporizer or vape pen you don’t inhale any carcinogens and you don’t breathe in any smoke the way you do with a joint or blunt. Since the heat on a vaporizer is adjustable, you use just enough heat to activate the cannabinoids (THC and CBD) and terpenes (aroma and flavour) in the bud.
Let’s break down how a vaporizer works exactly. It heats up your flower into a vapor. Then that vapor rises through the chamber and gets inhaled through the vaporizer’s mouthpiece. Other vaporizers heat the air below the flower. The hot air goes into the weed and releases cannabinoids and terpenes into the air.
Although a vape pen can cut down on lung damage caused by heat, you may still feel slight irritation. So then, is vaping weed bad for your lungs? Well, vaping reduces the degree to which the plant is burned, which means there is considerably less damage to your lungs. Overall, vaping is one of the healthiest ways of soking marijuana compared to traditional joint smoking.
What to know before buying a vaporizer
When looking at products to buy, opt for a vaporizer that allows you to customize the temperature setting. As a general rule of thumb, it’s beneficial to set the temperature of your vape pen between 330 to 370°F (165 to 187°C). This is a moderate temperature range that prevents the burning of plant embers, while you also get a strong high.
Temperature also comes into play when discussing terpenes. When the flower is heated at low temperatures, terpenes express their chemical properties more vibrantly. In essence, your experience will be much better and more enjoyable. You’ll also taste the flavour and smell the fragrance more fully.
Lastly, temperature control is an important feature because it impacts the degree of your high. The amount of heat determines the level of psychoactive effects you feel while smoking cannabis. When looking for a particular kind of high, use these temperature ranges as your guide:
- Mild: 290 to 330°F (143 to 166°C)
- Moderate: 330 to 370°F (166 to 187°C)
- Strong: 370 to 445°F (187 to 229°C)
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best vaporizers on the market.
Wulf Vape LX Vaporizer – $90
This product has a digital temperature setting that allows you to adjust the heat from 130°F to 430°F. The outer shell is made from fine ceramics and is durable enough to be taken with you anywhere. There is a mouthpiece that comes with your purchase of this product as well. And, to top it all off, you can get to vaping within 20 seconds flat! Some customers have referred to the LX as the Rolex of vape pens.
Why we love smoking cannabis from a Wulf!
- Controlled digital temperature settings from 130°F to 430°F
- The ceramic chamber helps extend your vape sessions without enduring a burnt taste
- Heats up in as little as 20 seconds
- Excellent price for the stellar quality
Vape Dynamics Hera 2 – $159
Whether you want to light up herb or concentrates, the Hera has you covered.
The Hera 2 by Vape Dynamics is a dual-use vaporizer that can be used with dry herb or concentrates. It’s made with stainless steel and has a touch screen that allows for easy temperature adjustments. With a simple press of a button, this vape pen turns on and lets you set the temperature anywhere from 350°F to 450°F.
What we love!
- Dual-use, meant for dry herb and concentrates
- Ceramic and stainless steel hybrid dual-chamber
- Compact discreet design with a touch screen
- 100 different temperature settings from 350°F to 450°F
- Replaceable battery with 90 minutes of battery life
Pax 2 Vaporizer – $149
The Pax 2 Vaporizer is one of the latest models from the Pax vaporizer line. It’s 25 percent smaller than the previous version, and 10 percent lighter with its sleek, ultra-slim design. This vaporizer is made with a premium aluminum shell, and has a 25 percent larger heating chamber. The extended chamber gives you the ability to have even longer pax smoking sessions. Customers like this product even better than the Pax 2 bong.
What we love!
- Four temperature levels that range from 356°F to 419°F
- Only takes 45 seconds to reach desired level of heat
- The vaporizing bowl is made from stainless steel
- Long battery life: you can vape for 90 minutes before recharging
- Designed for easy cleaning!
Bongs (aka water pipes)
The second healthiest way to smoke weed besides vaporizer is a water bong. When smoking from a bong, you’re lighting the cannabis plant on fire, which releases unpleasant plant properties into your lungs, such as tar and ash. So, if a friend asks you “what does weed do to your lungs,” you’ll know what to say.
In the process of putting a lighter to weed, it destroys some of the plant’s cannabinoids. But, the good news is, the water inside the bong filters out a lot of the unwanted nastiness, especially when you use a glass pipe filter.
Just so you know, when someone talks about a pipe vs bong, they’re in fact, talking about the same thing. The names are interchangable. In fact, the bong, is also called a water pipe, pot pipe or bud pipes and many other names. The mechanism of a water bong cools smoke down when it passes through the water. As a result, you usually have a smoother toke. Furthermore, the water filters out any ash and prevents it from reaching your airway. Tar filtration is also taking place when smoking from a bong. That’s why the water turns a brown colour.
Some people may wonder, “are bongs healthier than smoking joints or smoking from a can.” And the short answer is yes. We talked about the effects smoking joints can have on your lungs, and smoking from a can isn’t much better. The aluminum and other chemicals used to make the can are bad for your health. And it’s even worse when it enters your body through your lungs.
But, to ensure smoking from a bong is a healthy option, you must keep it clean. It’s not uncommon for mold and bacteria to grow inside pipes and the chamber. And ensuring the bong’s cleanliness means that you’ll get an unadulterated flavour from your cannabis.
Cheech & Chong™ Glass Framed Water Pipe – $159
The Cheech and Chong™ water pipe is a well-crafted water pipe with a wider base that can hold a good amount of water. Having extra water storage means you can easily control the drag resistance when you inhale. So how high you get is in your hands, and it makes it one of the healthiest ways of smoking cannabis! Since this is a beaker-style water pipe, you don’t need to clean it or change the water as much as you would with other pipes. This product is one of the best bowls for weed, hands down.
The Cheech & Chong™ Glass Framed Water Pipe comes in four different colours: amber, teal, green and colour-changing shades. When you buy this product you also get:
- Cheech & Chong™ glass collectible rainbow tie-dye box
- Certificate of authenticity
- Cheech & Chong™ glass sticker
- Cheech & Chong™ glass mini catalog
What we love!
- 15.5 inches tall with a wide base
- Stable beaker-bottom bong
- Built-in inline showerhead perc
- Extra water storage means you control the intensity of your high
Grav Labs – Upline Taster Pipe – $16
The Upline Taster Pipe by Grav Labs is compact and discreet, so you can put it in your pocket and take it on the go. When you take a hit, the smoke cools before passing through the Upline spines. This unique design made of durable glass is something you’ll have for a long time. The clever design of the mouthpiece catches ash, so you get a clean hit every time.
What we love about smoking marijuana from the Grav Upline Taster Pipe!
- 16 x 2.5mm durable glass construction
- Only three inches long
- Pinched mouthpiece that catches ash
- Compact, discreet design for easy mobility
Grace Glass Milky Beaker Bong – $70
The Grace Glass Milky Beaker Bong is made from glass and designed with a spiral percolator to filter and cool down the smoke. The results – a nice, smooth, clean hit! The bong comes in two colours: milky white and black or all white. This beaker bong measures in at 34 centimeters (13 inches) tall, has a 18 millimeter bowl, a splash guard and ice notches, so it’s ready for use straight from the box.
What we love!
- Sturdy glass makes it difficult to break
- The milky colour scheme for a unique and sharp appearance
- Spiral percolator makes each hit smooth and cool
The third healthiest way to smoke week is dabbing. When you hear the term dab, that refers to concentrated doses of cannabis. They are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using butane or carbon dioxide. The end result is a sticky oil that’s often called wax, shatter, or budder. Because of the extraction process and method of delivery, dabbing can be the cleanest way to smoke weed. It can also produce the most powerful effects and biggest highs.
From a health perspective, dabbing with pure, clean cannabis extracts is easier on the lungs. When being compared to traditional weed smoking, the dab or wax eliminates most of this unwanted plant material, like resins, but still contains the essential cannabinoids. So, it’s a win win.
Oil rigs, also called dab rigs, are a customized version of a pipe that are specifically used for smoking dab. If you’re fairly new to smoking weed, this is not a recommended method of consumption as the high can be very strong. However, if you’re a seasoned toker, then an oil rig might be perfect for you.
DC Glass – 10mm Female Cacti Dab Rig – $260
This 10mm Female Cacti Dab Rig from DC Glass is made with high-quality scientific glass. It features a fun and beautiful cactus shaped water chamber and has a fixed 3-hole diffused downstem with female joint.
What we love!
- Cactus shaped water chamber
- Slender mouthpiece
- Beaker base bottom has a diameter of three inches
- Rig joint size: 10mm female
- Perc: fixed 3-hole downstem
Purr Glass – Ceramic Beaker Bong with Ice Catcher – $189
This ceramic beaker bong from Purr Glass is made from high-grade glassware. With a flared mouthpiece, ice catcher and showerhead perc it competes well against other oil rigs on the market today. Some unique characteristics of this bong include the ceramic aesthetic and its durability.
What we love!
- Joint size: 14/18mm female
- 10 inches tall with a 4 inch diameter base
- 14mm male bowl with a pinch handle included
- Flared mouthpiece, removable downstem, showerhead perc
- Large pinch handle to ensure a superior grip
Joints and blunts
Since the beginning of time people have been using papers to roll tobacco and weed. But, joints and blunts are the least of healthiest ways of smoking cannabis. By smoking this way you can cause lung irritation, coughing, and respiratory issues. To reduce the harshness of smoking a joint or blunt, you can add a filter. Secondly, smoking top-shelf, dank weed can result in fewer irritants, contaminants, molds or other chemicals and reduces the negative effects.
When comparing blunts vs joints health, it is better to smoke a joint because blunt papers contain tobacco. If you love joints and can’t give them up, then look for natural, organic rolling papers. Some good brands include Bambu and Zigzags.
Although this isn’t a smoking method, it’s a really healthy way to consume weed. Some even say it’s the best way to consume weed. Inhaling isn’t involved, and the timing of release is different. Smoking reaches your lungs immediately, so the effects can be felt instantaneously. However, with edibles it takes time for your body to digest the cannabis. Therefore, the effects are slower, but can last a lot longer than smoking. If it’s your first time taking an edible, start slow with 5 to 10mg. And then wait several hours before increasing the dose.
Here are some good single-dose edible options for you.
Calivolve CBD Mint Truffle – $30
As if chocolate wasn’t relaxing enough, now try it with CBD!
Each CBD mint truffle is handcrafted and made with hemp, ashwagandha, maca, and peppermint oil. All the ingredients make for a relaxing, healing CBD experience. Bring relief to your mind and body with these dark chocolate mint truffles. There are four individual pieces, each with 20mg of CBD.
What we love!
- Besides full-spectrum hemp, these truffles include ashwagandha, an adaptogen herb that helps relieve stress and maca, for an energizing lift
- Made using a cold-pressed technique, providing the best quality
- Each truffle has 20 mg of CBD, for a package total of 80mg
Kiva 100 THC Chocolate Bars – $20
One of the best companies on the market selling edibles is Kiva Confections. Their chocolate bars come in eight different delicious flavors and have a slight taste of cannabis. So, the cannabis doesn’t overpower the yummy chocolatey flavour. Each bar contains 54 percent cacao, so you just might wind up in chocolate heaven.
What we love!
- The bar is equally divided into 20 pieces, with 5mg THC per dose
- Comes in eight different flavours: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, ginger dark chocolate, espresso dark chocolate, vanilla chai milk chocolate, blackberry dark chocolate, mint irish cream milk chocolate, and tangerine dark chocolate.
- Small list of ingredients, with all the good stuff and none of the bad
Whether you are new to smoking or have been smoking for years, knowing the healthiest ways to smoke is important. Not just for your lung and respiratory health, but also to get the most from your cannabis. Given all the options out there, vaping is by far the best way to smoke. With a vaporizer, you’re maximizing the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes in your flower. And unlike other methods of smoking you have the ability to control the temperature of the vaporizer. That is a major advantage! By controlling the heat temp, you can prevent lung pollution and irritation. The second best method is a water bong, or pipe. Water helps to filter ash and tar and cools down the bud before you inhale. Next is dabbing. And the least healthy way to smoke is with a joint or blunt. If you don’t love smoking, but still want to reap the medical benefits of cannabis, you can consume edibles. With individual dosing, it’s never been easier to control your high and enjoy the slow release and long lasting effects of cannabis.
Options are always good. And after reading this you might know which option is best for you. We hope you learned a lot, or at least something new and discovered some cool new products for your smoking pleasure! If you need a reminder at any time on the healthiest ways to smoke weed, check out this video.
Want to learn more about the healthiest ways to smoke your precious herb? Drop us a comment below and we’ll answer any questions you may have!
Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)
Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University . She’s the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing , and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.
Have you been wondering what the healthiest way to consume your Mary Jane is? Maybe you have a bet with your friends? We are here to settle that bet with this article on the 5 healthiest ways to consume your cannabis. Check out the methods and some products to help you achieve your next, very healthy high!
Is There a Safer Way to Smoke Cannabis? How the Methods Stack Up
If you’re looking for the healthiest way to smoke cannabis, keep in mind that there’s no totally safe way to do so — even with the purest, most pesticide-free bud. Cannabis smoke contains most of the same toxins and carcinogens that make tobacco smoke harmful to your health.
There are, however, methods that may be slightly less harmful than others. Here’s a look at how different methods compare, plus some smoke-free alternatives to consider.
The dangers of smoke inhalation are well known, so it’s not surprising that a lot of folks assume vaping is the healthier alternative to smoking. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
There’s mounting evidence that vaping can have serious health effects. Much of the concern comes from inhaling vitamin E acetate, a chemical additive found in many vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
However, this risk seems to apply only to vaping concentrates, not flower. A 2006 study suggests that vaping actual cannabis, not concentrate, is less harmful to your respiratory system than smoking. Still, research on vaping cannabis is pretty limited.
Lung health aside, there’s also a matter of potency. People who vape cannabis report experiencing stronger effects — regardless of the amount of THC in the product — than they do when smoking. This means a higher chance of overdoing it, or greening out, when vaping.
Maybe a teeny, tiny bit, but nowhere near enough to make a difference.
Bongs offer a smoother toke because you don’t get the dry heat from smoking cannabis rolled in paper. Though it feels less harsh when you inhale, your lungs don’t know the difference.
Well, both still involve inhaling smoke, so there’s that. But if you had to choose the lesser of two evils, joints are probably the better option. This is because blunts are made with hollowed-out cigars, and cigars and their wrappers are highly toxic.
Even after removing all the tobacco from a cigar, cancer-causing toxins, such as nitrosamines, can remain. Plus, cigar wrappers are more porous than rolling papers, so the burning is less complete. This results in smoke with high concentrations of toxins.
Then there’s the matter of size. Blunts are a lot bigger than joints, and they hold way more pot. Smoking an entire blunt is like smoking roughly six joints.
Dabbing is supposed to give you a “cleaner” high, but what does that actually mean? Not much.
Budder — another name for dabs or marijuana concentrate — delivers a lot more THC than other weed products, often as much as 80 percent more.
Dabbing is still pretty new, so experts still don’t know the full impact.
There’s evidence that exposure to high THC may lead to long-term mental health effects, like psychosis. The risk of misuse and addiction is also higher when using high-THC products, especially for young people.
Plus, unless you have high-tech lab equipment and are trained in extraction, your dabs may be far from pure. Research shows that dabs can contain contaminants and residual solvents that can to neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity.
Dabbing also has respiratory effects, even though you’re not technically “smoking.” There have been cases of people developing lung damage from dabbing.
The bad news? There’s no safe way to smoke cannabis. The good news? There are plenty of other ways to consume it.
Here are your main options:
- Edibles. Unlike smoking and vaping, ingesting cannabis won’t harm your lung health. The downside for some is that edibles take longer to kick in because they need to clear your digestive system before getting into your bloodstream. The upside is that the effects also hang around longer. You also have an endless variety to choose from, with everything from gummies to baked goods to cannabutter.
- Sublinguals. These are usually lumped together with edibles, but they’re not quite the same. Unlike edibles, you don’t actually swallow sublingual forms of cannabis, which include things like tinctures, films, and dissolvable tablets. Sublingual cannabis is placed under the tongue for absorption, and is absorbed through your mouth’s mucus membranes, so the effects are felt faster.
- Tinctures. Tinctures are made of alcohol-based cannabis extracts that come in bottles with droppers. You can add tinctures to drinks, but you can also get the effects faster by placing a few drops — depending on your desired dose — under your tongue.
- Topicals. Cannabis topicals are for people looking for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the cerebral effects. Creams, balms, and patches can be applied to the skin to relieve inflammation and pain. There’s also cannabis lubricant made for, well, sexy time.
- Suppositories. The idea of shoving cannabis up your butt (or vagina, depending on the product) may make you clench, but it’s definitely a thing. Most of the suppositories on the market are CBD-infused and used for therapeutic reasons, like pain or nausea relief, but some brands have upped their THC content for added effects.
If you’d still rather smoke your weed despite the risks, consider these harm-reduction tips to help make it a little safer:
- Don’t hold the inhale. Inhaling deeply and holding it in exposes your lungs to more tar per breath. Don’t be greedy; exhaling faster is better for you.
- Use rolling papers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rolling papers may seem like NBD, but some contain chemicals and flavorings that can be toxic.
- Stick to glass bongs and pipes. Plastic bongs can contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which have been linked to serious health effects, including cancer.
- Keep your stuff clean. Keep your bongs and pipes clean, and don’t roll your weed on dirty surfaces.
- Don’t share mouthpieces or pass joints. Sharing your stash is fine, but not your pipes, bongs, or joints. When you share these, you’re basically swapping spit with that person and putting yourself at risk for infections.
No matter how you dice it, there’s really no safe way to smoke cannabis, whether you prefer to roll one up or are partial to bongs. As cannabis becomes more popular, so do products that allow you to indulge without the smoke.
That said, if you’re partial to puffing and passing, a vaporizer that allows you to use flower, not concentrates, may be a less harmful option.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddleboard.
You can smoke cannabis in a variety of ways, but is one safer or healthier than others?