We are constantly on the go, and convenience matters to us more than ever before. Vape pens provide a way to smoke on go. It goes beyond that by letting the smoker get high anywhere, anytime. Vaping leaves little trace of odor and allows for a discrete smoke. Sounds great, right? Wrong. Since they hit the market, the dangers of cannabis vape pens have never been more evident.

Here’s why:

Cuticle Wax and Vape Pens
The temperatures of vape pens tend to be lower than burning cannabis with fire. Typically, this burns away impurities and other potentially unhealthy residues. However, cannabis plants contain fatty lipids called cuticle wax. Smoking cannabis flower with fire, whether it’s a bowl, bong, or joint burns away cuticle wax. But the lower temperatures of vape pen don’t adequately burn away the wax. This has the potential to cause respiratory problems. Wax sticks to the lungs when inhaled. Smoking cannabis through standard leaf and fire typically burns away the wax residue so it’s less of a concern. On the other hand, vape pens don’t heat up enough to alleviate this concern. This leaves room for long-term health concerns in the lungs. These problems that haven’t been explored near enough.

Can you find cannabis oil without cuticle wax? Yes, look at the labeling or check with the brand about winterization. WInterization removes oils, waxes, and other fatty substances that require higher temperatures to remove. It’s better to be safe than sorry if you can’t find this information.

Research Limitations
Vape pens are still relatively new. Cannabis is not federally legalized even though several states have legalized marijuana. This leaves a grey area and a potential gap in research into cannabis use. Research is still limited to studies on cannabis intake. Even more, vape pens have little research and several limitations to research. The gap means that long-term (and short-term) health consequences are not near as known as they should be at this point. For instance, little is known about the immediate dangers of vape pens. We should take caution before smoking cannabis from vape pens with little knowledge of health concerns.

Thinning Agents in Cannabis Oil
We already saw the dangers of cuticle wax, but here’s another: thinning agents. These harsh chemicals are used to thin out the thickness of oils. Cannabis oil is reputably thick, and that’s another characteristic of wax (or dabs). The thickness makes it hard to burn through a vape. As a result, thinning agents lessen the thickness so that it can be smoked smoothly. Propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol are common thinning agents found in cannabis oil. These harsh chemicals can potentially turn into formaldehyde and acetaldehyde when burned, especially in higher temperatures. They can also cause additional respiratory and breathing concerns.

Pesticides in Cannabis Oil
Plants and oils alike are subject to the handle and care of farmers. Mold and other mildews potentially grow on cannabis plants so farmers have to combat it. They regulate this through pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. This leaves room for more dangers of cannabis vape pens, as the high temperature burn these chemicals. It allows for greater risk for the release of toxic chemicals. Relaxed regulation laws provide more opportunity for grass and cannabis oil with harsh chemicals to be sold in dispensaries. Furthermore, products sold from alternative sources have little to no regulation. Best to be safe.

The Potency of Cannabis Vape Pens
Cannabis vape pens contain potent amounts of THC and CBD. High temperatures of vape pens and higher concentrations of substances offers the user a high different than grass. For instance, some people report feeling higher from a pen than grass. This is an added benefit of the already convenient vape pen. Less is known about increased consumption of oil let alone cannabis oil. These higher potencies leave room for potential health risks.

The dosage listed on oils is sometimes faulty. Again, little regulation leaves room for error and misrepresentation. Cannabis oil often has a higher content than advertised, and people know little about what is going into their bodies.

How can I vape safely?
I am not sure that there is a right answer to safe vaping right now. However, you can check the ingredients and chemicals listed on the product label. You can steer clear of know toxins. Also, be sure and follow up with companies both on the oil side and vape side. You can thoroughly research online for specs and reviews about different products. If anything, look for lab testing and steer clear of products avoiding scrutiny. Transparent companies and products are more likely to give information readily. They may also have ingredients and processes listed clearly with accessibility.

Benefit vs. Cost
The benefit vs. cost of vaping are different for everyone. Cannabis vape pens are convenient and discrete. You can smoke anywhere, whether you’re at a show, on the sidewalk, at home, or with family and friends. It’s these benefits that draw users to vape pens. However, little is known about the dangers of cannabis vape pens. We can infer from news articles and information we have that suggest dangers are abundant. The unknowns leave room for future fears and health concerns. We may not know for a while about all of the dangers, but we can be smart and safe in the meantime. The cost is the unknown. There is a potential for inhaling harsh chemicals, respiratory damage, and disease in the future. Does the unknowns outweigh the high and accessibility of vape pens? It’s a personal choice that you have to decide for yourself. We should be adamant about research. And when it comes to substances we put in our body, we need to brand snobs. Know who you are dealing with and what they are dealing with. Remember, stay up to date as research on the dangers of cannabis vape pens. Be brand savvy and know your product.