Is vaping the same as smoking a myth or truth? Have you ever thought about it? Vaping is a process by which one inhales vapor produced by an electronic machine and then exhales it. The process is similar to smoking, right? Yes, the process is the same, but to vape, one requires an e-cigarette. It is an electronic device that contains a coil inside it. When one switches on the device, the heat of the ‘coil’ vaporizes a liquid present inside the machine. The user inhales and exhales the smoke. Vaping has become a huge trend in recent times.
It is so popular globally that estimates say vaping sales will cross $40 billion by 2023. Around 5% of all Americans vape, with 33% vaping daily. The state with the highest e-cigarette usage rate is Oklahoma (as of 2017). Young adults vape the most, according to surveys. But is vaping less harmful than smoking? It is a myth. Vape liquids contain nicotine, the same compound found in tobacco in cigarettes. Nicotine would do the same damage, whether e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes. Thankfully, there are vape liquids that may also have medical benefits. One such liquid is the THC Vape liquid. We will know about it as we progress in the article.
THC is one of the essential constituents of the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is the short form of Tetrahydrocannabinol and has psychoactive properties; Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni were the two people who isolated the compound for the first time. One may find it in the form of lipids in plants. People worldwide believe the ‘compound’ to have many health benefits.
Nabiximol contains THC as an active ingredient. It helps people with multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, bladder problems, etc. Canada recognizes Nabiximols as a prescription drug, while the UK acknowledges it as a Botanical drug. Some other medical benefits that require more research to prove whether or not it is beneficial are pain relief, help with stress and depression, muscle spasm, mind relaxation, etc. We will discuss whether or not THC is legal in the USA in a separate section of the article.
THC vaping means inhaling the vape and releasing it. When the user inhales the vapor, THC goes into the lungs and gets absorbed into the bloodstream. The molecules of the compound travel pretty fast in the blood, and within roughly 20 minutes, it reaches every tissue of the body. It also ‘reaches’ the brain. The compound then ‘reaches’ the blood-brain barrier and passes through it. However, not all the molecules can penetrate the barrier.
With the penetration complete, the compound comes in contact with the ECS of the human body. ECS stands for Endocannabinoid System. The system contains receptors that influence appetite, stress, pain, etc. It is said to control the release of roughly all the neurotransmitters. By affecting the ECS, THC may be able to relieve pain, depression, and stress and trigger psychoactive effects in the human body.
THC is psychoactive as it makes one feel intoxicated. The feeling of trance, also known as euphoria, is the feeling of intoxication when one consumes THC. The various “strains of cannabis” have different amounts of the compound. Thus, other people have different choices of ‘strains.’ The prefrontal cortex is the section of the human brain concerned with imagining stuff and creating artificial happiness. By influencing the working of the cortex, THC can produce a ‘made up’ feeling of joy. The reason why one feels alleviated after consuming the compound is this.
There are several other experiences that people record. One may start feeling an increase in the taste and aroma of food, while some may fail to keep track of time. Some people think that time passes very slowly after one consumes THC. Many people also report having a rush of ideas in their minds a few minutes after finishing the compound. Abnormally high doses of the compound may lead to severe consequences. Conditions like hallucinations, ataxia, and acute psychosis are some of the harsh effects one may put oneself into after overdosing on THC.
The psychoactive effects of THC, when smoked, show more profound results. One who consumes the compound orally may feel the impact later than a person who smokes the same. The manifestation of the effects may take up to six hours when ingested orally. In the short term, the compound may increase the heart rate and deteriorate motor activity by affecting the CB1 receptor in the ECS. However, THC vape products may help with depression, anxiety, and stress. Overuse of the compound may increase the chances of the same conditions. These are the various reasons people should never go off their limits while using THC vape products.
Yes, and No, both can be an answer to the question. After the acceptance of the Farm Bill in the United States, hemp cultivation became legal. Cultivators could now grow hemp and extract the chemicals and compounds from the plant to sell it in various products. All the products should contain less than 0.3% THC by dried weight. Thus on a Federal Level, THC is legal in the USA. But why did we say ‘No’ in the first place?
The answer to this question is the different laws in different states. As of April 2022, Marijuana is legal for consumption (medical use) in 37 US states and the district of Columbia. As many as 19 US states permit using THC vape products for recreational purposes. The compound is illegal in Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Drugs containing the compound legalized in the USA are Marinol and Syndros. Before buying any THC vape products, one should always check local laws.
Although THC has many side effects, people widely believe the compound has outstanding medical benefits:
- THC may help with chronic pain, one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.
- It may relieve pain by affecting the CB receptor of the ECS.
- The ‘compound’ may help with anxiety, sleeplessness, and PTSD by freeing the clutter inside the mind.
- One may find it helpful when suffering from insomnia by relaxing one’s mind.
- Many people worldwide claim that THC may help with multiple sclerosis and Epilepsy.
One should take all these medical benefits with a pinch of salt because there isn’t much evidence to prove the authenticity of these claims. The number of side effects overshadows the number of benefits. People neglect the short-term effects of THC vape products and suffer from the long-term ones. There is no loss in trying, but we recommend not becoming an addict to the compound.