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Some medical marijuana medicating methods can be potentially hazardous to patients’ health, says San Jose medical marijuana dispensary MedMar Healing Center. The South Bay cannabis club’s staff makes it their business to educate their patients and the community about the importance of safe and responsible consumption practices, and offers a wide range of alternatives to the traditional method of smoking marijuana.
Although medical marijuana is nontoxic, smoking it can be hazardous because toxic compounds are created in the combustion process, and certain methods of creating fire contain harmful chemicals.
“If you smoke, what you use to light your medication can be harmful to your lungs,” said MedMar representative Doug Chloupek. “It is best to stay away from lighters and instead use items such as bee-line honey wicks. And if you must use a lighter, stay away from butane gas and torch lighters.”
A healthier option for those who prefer inhaling their medicinal cannabis is to use a vaporizer instead of a traditional bong or pipe because vaporization heats the plant matter enough to release the medicinal compounds, but not to the point of combustion.
A Cal NORML/MAPS vaporizer study determined that vaporizers that heat medicinal cannabis to temperatures between 266° to 446° Fahrenheit (the point where medically active vapors are produced, but below the threshold of combustion where smoke is formed) generally produce a healthier inhalant than smoking devices. Vaporizers allow the patient to inhale the therapeutic cannabinoids without any of the harmful smoke and carbon monoxide that pipes and bongs produce.