I noticed sometimes when i’m using the Volcano Vaporizer im getting a bit of a sore throat afterwards. Its not too bad and unlike smoking, where i get nasty cough and feel the impact on my lungs immediately. It feels more like my throat is simply a bit more sensitive and sore than usual.
None of my friends who use this device experienced anything like this, they are all very happy with the Volcano. So i was wondering wether i have simply very sensitive lungs (which is the case by the way, especially since i stopped smoking cigarettes) or maybe the Volcano Vaporizer isn’t so healthy and harmless as its marketed after all. I got my doubts because all of my vaporizing buddies also smoke cigarettes and i got the thought that maybe their lungs simply aren’t as sensitive from all the smoking. So i decided to do some research on the topic.
I started out on looking into the technology of the Volcano Vaporizer itself, the way this device is working. Honestly i had no clue how exactly this vaporization process was working and what the advantages of it were compared to simply burning the plant material.
I found out that with the vaporization method hot air flows through the plant material with a controlled temperature between 103°C (266°F) and 230°C (446°F). Through this process the active ingredients and flavourings within the plant are released into the air and can be inhaled. This is basically the same method as simply smoking the plant material, the difference being that with smoking the plant material the desired temperature is reached by burning the plant material. This has several disadvantages compared to vaporizing.
From the health aspect, by simply burning the plant material you do not only inhale the wanted active ingredients and flavourings, but also the toxic combustion by-products. These toxic by-products are responsible for the long-term damage in the lungs which can be caused by smoking. I don’t think i need to list those here, we are hopefully all aware of those anyway.
Economically there is also a huge loss in effectiveness in the process of burning. Due to the uncontrolled burning temperature a lot of the wanted active ingredients simply get destroyed in the process. With the vaporizing method the temperature can be controlled and the active ingredients don’t get destroyed which results in an increased effectiveness. You can actually use the same plant material two or three times and still get an effect, even though the effect gets weaker each time. For me this is actually the biggest advantage even over the health aspects, because i simply save a lot of money by "re-cycling" the material.
The third aspect is that by vaporizing you don’t get toxic combustion by-products which simply results in a more "tasty" experience. These by-products not only cause damage to the lungs like mentioned above but they also distract from the flavourings in the plant material as they overlap them. I was actually very pleasantly surprised the first time i vaporized by how tasty it was. You can notice much more subtleties in the flavour of the plant material than you would by smoking.
So while this all sounded very good to me in theory i still had my doubts about this device. I can understand how this technology works but still i got this sore throat feeling sometimes after vaporizing, so i looked into some scientific studies about the Volcano Vaporizer.
A study from the Institute of Technology at the University of Leiden came to the conclusion that "the final pulmonal uptake of THC is comparable to the smoking of cannabis, while avoiding the respiratory disadvantages of smoking". (Evaluative study on the Volcano Vaporizer, Division of Pharmacognosy, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands)
So far so good but still why the irritation in my lungs? Don’t get me wrong its not a huge thing and it goes away after a while and is very different from the felt impacts on my lungs by smoking. But i just wanted to find this out and decided to dug a little deeper.
And finally in another study by D. Gieringer published in the journal of Cannabis Therapeutics i found the little sidenote that "A puff of strong vaporized cannabis will occasionally elicit a cough. This could be entirely due to THC". (Study on the effectiveness of the Volcano Vaporizer, Dale Gieringer, Journal of Cannabis therapeutics, Vol. 4 2004)
So at last i could be at rest about my Volcano Vaporizer again and finally use it with a clear conscience again. You may wonder why i am so picky about this and delve so deep into this topic but you have to know that used to smoke cigarettes for nearly 10 years and after i quit that my lungs got very sensitive to any kind of smoke. Yet i didn’t want to let go of my favourite herb and that’s why i ended up with the Volcano and i was very happy with it until i discovered this little detail.
Since i tend to tell all my friends how happy i am with the Volcano Vaporizer and encourage them to get one too and stop destroying their lungs i simply wanted to make sure i can do this with a clear conscience.