Sales of cannabis vaporizers are increasing, appreciated by those who want to consume cannabis more “healthily.” It’s still illegal, but it’s less harmful,” says an addictologist.
“Every time I smoked a joint, I would go back… back to smoking cigarettes. During a trip to the United States, I found a grass sprayer. It may sound strange, but it has allowed me to burn healthily.
Jonas, 42 years old, manager of vaporisateur-cannabis.org, is one of those new cannabis users… concerned about their health! A paradox that makes the happiness of sellers of portable electronic vaporizers, on sale on the Internet and in some electronic cigarette stores.
The principle? An alternative to the traditional joint.
With these devices, no combustion or smoke. Cannabis herb is heated to 190°C to release steam. In this way, only the active ingredients of the illegal plant are extracted.
Vapes are very popular in the United States
“Today, people want to inhale clean and eat healthily,” says Grimhild in his store, one of the few specialized in “vaping’,” in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Here, officially, the vaporizers are only used to suck up laurel, chamomile or marshmallow vapor. “Many want to adopt it and give up the electronic cigarette, which they find too toxic. On the Internet and in our shop, we sell up to 5 to 10 a day,” says Grimhild.
These devices, very popular in the United States, are used in clinics in Germany, Israel, or Switzerland, countries that have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis, in the form of CBD, a molecule of hemp, to calm anxiety and pain. Some look like electronic cigarettes; others fit in the palm of your hand. Prices vary from 75 to 300 €.
Less toxic than smoking joints
“When you smoke hemp mixed with tobacco, you swallow tar, heavy metals, carbon monoxide,” says Florent of the Norml association, which advocates for a relaxation of cannabis regulations. On his site, we recommend the use of the vaporizer rather than the “firecracker” that “blackens the lungs.”
The same is true for Olivier, 28 years old, project manager: “I started running. I also stopped drinking and smoking. But I’m not going to quit cannabis. That’s why I went to the vaporizer. Besides, it is economical, and you can smell the aromas more. Some friends followed me.
Amine Benyamina, addictologist at the Paul-Brousse Hospital in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne), confirms that if you can’t do without grass, spraying is “less harmful”: “All combustion products should be avoided. With this process, tobacco, which contains more than 4,000 substances, most of them toxic, is avoided. They are right to use it,” he concludes. This technique is even indicated in therapeutic hemp.
Another particularity of these new seals is that the steam is almost odorless; the devices are becoming more and more discreet. “I’ve already vaporized in the street, but also in meetings and even… on the plane, without anyone noticing,” Jonas boasts. It is enough to make it difficult for the authorities to track down drug smokers.
More about weed vaporisation
Vaporization is a gentle heating process for all types of plants to release their active ingredients in the form of steam. Vaporizers use either hot air (known as convection), a hot surface (known as conduction) or a combination of both.
Convection would be preferable because it provides better temperature control, more uniform heating, and better taste. But some will prefer conduction because it heats up faster, it is often easier to miniaturize and it often costs less, but there is a greater risk of combustion.
Although vaporization and combustion use heat to release the active ingredients from the herbs, the major differences are the temperature used and the by-products resulting from each method.