Dr. Echo Rufer is head of biocompatibility and toxicology for PAX Labs, based in San Francisco, and an expert on different methods of smoke inhalation. After studying research on combustion versus vaporization, drawing on studies like the seminal 2008 paper in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics which concluded the superiority of vaporizers over combusting materials with fire, Dr. Rufer, formerly of Apple, feels bullish on her most recent health report: vaporizers are the most efficient, safest consumption method for consuming cannabis. “Vaporizers, put simply, with customized heat control, act like gatekeepers: it’s about the stuff you’re not getting, that you don’t want,” says Dr. Echo, who adds that using fire to heat cannabis releases some of the same unwanted carcinogens found in cigarettes. “Vaping cannabis at a lower temperature reduces toxicity, thus you essentially have less exposure and less risk.”
Up to 50% of cannabis terpenes are lost when smoking a joint.
The case for cannabis vaporizing being healthier than traditional flame combustion is made clear in Dr. Echo’s research and well known industrywide. Lesser well known, perhaps, is the actual cannabis smoking experience, improved with a vaporizing device. Different members of the PAX lineup, notably the PAX 2 and PAX 3, have different temperature settings that allow for precise temperature control, which allows users to customize their smoking experience.
Meanwhile, as much as 50% of cannabis terpenes are lost when smoking a joint, and so the premium experience of topshelf cannabis is destroyed in combustion. To be precise: consuming cannabis with fire can burn between 800 to 1,000-degrees-celsius. Heating cannabis with a PAX vaporizer allows the cannabis to burn somewhere between 220-400-degrees. Lower temperature for cannabis combustion means less of the good stuff is lost.
“Terpenes vaporize better and give better flavour at lower temperatures. They are also less likely to degrade on low heat than when burned extremely hot,” concludes Dr. Rufer, making the case once again for the superiority of vapes over traditional fire consumption. “It’s an exciting time for cannabis consumers because the advances we’re making at PAX with vaporizers offer better methods of consumption for cannabis consumers.”