With so many options in today’s market, it’s no surprise that a large number of medical cannabis patients have questions about the benefits, drawbacks, and differences between the two most popular consumption methods: smoking and vaping. But how do these differences come into play when we’re talking about smoking or vaping delta 8 flowers?
What is Delta 8 THC?
In chemistry, “delta” refers to the double bond on a molecule’s carbon chain. In the case of THC, we have a few different variations. With delta 8 THC, the double bond is on the 8th carbon chain, whereas with the more common Delta 9 THC, the double bond is on the 9th chain. In cannabis plants, delta 8 is only present in trace amounts. As delta 9 ages, a small portion oxidizes (loses electrons) and converts to delta 8. As a result of this chemical process, Delta 8 THC remains stable when exposed to air, meaning it could have more potential medical applications than delta 9, although Delta 8 is less potent.
The high you get from Delta 8 THC can vary based on tolerance, personal body chemistry, or strength and type of the product used. For example, if you smoke Delta 8 flowers, the high will be different than delta 9 flowers, but if you eat edibles, all of them will have a similar effect in the body because of the way our digestive system processes cannabinoids. Typically, a Delta 8 THC high is said to be clear-headed, energetic, and uplifted than Delta 9 THC.
Because of the milder head high, Delta 8 THC is great for helping people deal with anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health disorders. And while studies remain limited on this particular cannabinoid, it has been determined to have a few health benefits of its own such has neuroprotective, antioxidant, and analgesic properties.
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What are Delta 8 Flowers?
When you hear THC, you probably thinking marijuana (cannabis high in Delta 9 THC), but that would be incorrect in this case. Although Delta 8 can be extracted from marijuana in some cases, typically CBD is converted into this cannabinoid instead, because it exists in such trace amounts that A LOT of cannabis would be needed in order to extract the large quantities of delta 8 required to make quality products.
The way Delta 8 THC Flowers are made is simple yet very innovative – they are simply CBD flowers infused (or sprayed with) Delta-8 THC distillate. First the hemp flower needs to be prepped, meaning it needs to be properly trimmed with as much of the stem removed as possible.
Next, the distillate needs to be prepped so it can be sprayed over the buds. The distillate needs to be less viscous, which is the measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow. There are a variety of ways to do this, but the most common method is to add terpenes. Then the flower is put into a tumbler on a speed low enough to evenly distribute the distillate without breaking up the buds. And the last step, the Delta-8 THC is misted over the flowers.
Smoking vs Vaping Delta 8 Flowers – Potency
Whether you’re talking about medical or recreational cannabis users, most of the time, consumers or all varieties are trying to get the most bang for their buck… and by that I mean, they’re looking for the strongest flower strains and products. When it comes to this aspect of the smoking vs vaping debate, typically vaporizing your Delta 8 THC flowers is the way to go.
The reason for this is because vaporizers heat your buds up to a specific temperature, which is much lower than when you burn your flower by smoking it. These lower temperatures allow you to get all effects of smoking and then some because all the natural plant terpenes are not getting burnt.
Contrary to popular beliefs, cannabinoids are not the only compound in cannabis that contribute to the medical benefits and psychoactive effects. Terpenes play a very important role in that as well, in addition to being the main compounds the store the plants flavor and aroma. When you smoke Delta 8 THC flowers instead of vaping, the high temperatures from the fire instantly combust and destroy some of the terpenes.
Honestly, this is hard to say because it depends a lot on personal preference. Logically, it would make sense to say that you get improved flavor when vaping Delta 8 THC flowers because the terpenes aren’t being destroyed, but that’s not always the case. Me personally, I’m old school and prefer to smoke a joint or bowl or vaping dry herb (although I do love dabs too), and I know many people who feel the same way.
Now again, conventional wisdom would say that if you’re looking to get the most flavor out of your flowers, vaping them will be your best bet. Since the vaporizer is utilizing these safe, lower temperatures, you’ll be able to experience each strains unique blend of terpenes on a whole different level.
Smoking vs Vaping – Lung Health
Another notable difference between smoking and vaping – and perhaps the most important one – is the impact these two consumption methods have on our lungs. Although cannabis is generally regarded as being safer than cigarettes, it is common knowledge that smoking anything can lead to negative health outcomes. All forms of smoke are known to irritate the lungs and cause inflammation.
Additionally, smoke produces carcinogens, which are substances known to damage living cells and even cause cancer. All this damage to the lung tissues will eventually decrease overall oxygen intake, making it difficult to breath and engage in physical activity. Despite being one of the most popular ways of using cannabis, as you can see, it smoking does come with a certain level of risk.
Alternatively, vaping Delta 8 THC flower is a much safer option when compared to smoking it. Because to the substantially lower temperatures used by vaporizers, vapor instead of smoke. Vaping isn’t completely risk-free, as studies have known that tiny particles released while vaping may still irritate the lungs, but it does seem to be a healthier alternative based on the information we have available so far.
Smoking vs Vaping Delta 8 Flowers – Final Thoughts
As you can see, we have a pretty clear winner here when it comes to finding the best way to consume your delta 8 THC flowers: vaping. When vaping delta 8 THC flowers, you’ll get to experience better flavor, less risks to your health, and a more potent high… which is pretty much meets all the main criteria for the modern day cannabis user.
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