Vape Pens… Love ‘Em?

By: Katie Burke

This article is a tad bit challenging as there has been very little research done on vape pens. Due to the lack of studies, there’s no real way anyone could responsibly report the long-term effects of smoking marijuana out of a vape pen compared to a blunt, joint, pipe, or bong. There are, however, hypotheses based on suggestions and popular beliefs.  For example, most reports suggest marijuana is “safer” than smoking cigarettes, but there haven’t been enough long-term studies completed to come to a definite conclusion. Short-term studies (60 days or less), done on habitual marijuana smokers showed increased lung health when a person switched from smoking a joint to smoking a vape pen. Participants claimed to have stopped coughing up phlegm and were breathing more clearly than when smoking blunts, joints, pipes, or bongs daily.

Vape pens give people the freedom of smoking marijuana anywhere without engulfing yourself and the people around you in burning weed. The smoke that comes from a vape pen is a more clean, white smoke with much less odor. Vape pens are great for someone on the go. When I go to a bar, event, or nightclub, I can conveniently take a hit off the vape pen without tons of people looking around and asking me for a hit. It’s not that I don’t like sharing but, when I’m trying to be discreet, and people are asking if they can get in on my blunt, damn it, they blow my cover. Because I’m not a famous rapper or even an Instagram bathroom model, I don’t have the freedom of walking around the nightclub without getting blown. Discretion is entirely necessary, and vape pens come through every time.

Did I mention vape cartridges are also way cheaper than buying flowers? I would consider myself a habitual marijuana smoker. I smoke on average two times per day, seven days per week. I wouldn’t say I’m a loner stoner, so it’s accurate to say I go through about a half ounce per week, which is approximately $100-$125 per week on marijuana.  The cartridge that contains pure THC and goes into a vape pen only cost $25. I could go through a max two of those per week, while some weeks it’s just one. Using vape pens make it a lot easier for me to stop smoking once I achieve the desired effect, instead of smoking a whole blunt.

It seems as though a major con to smoking a vape pen is they can explode due to their lithium-ion batteries. From my research, I have surmised that lithium-ion batteries have a strict operating window that people would want to adhere to. Whether it’s a hoverboard or a vape pen, these batteries have a small window in which they should operate. The batteries are best kept between 50 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures workout perfect for us San Diegans because our temperature averages 70 degrees. However, in the winter, 90% of the United States will get colder than a mere 50 degrees. I would advise people to learn more about the brand they are buying and to adhere to the warnings of vape pens.