Vaping, Smoking, or Eating Marijuana
The safety and long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes or other vaping products still aren’t well known. In September 2019, federal and state health authorities began investigating an outbreak of a severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and other vaping products . We’re closely monitoring the situation and will update our content as soon as more information is available.
Over the past decade, marijuana laws have continued to change across the United States.
What was once vilified as a potentially dangerous “gateway drug” is now being recognized by many states (33 plus Washington, D.C., to be exact) as having medicinal properties that can help manage a range of health conditions, from anxiety and cancer to chronic pain and more.
Marijuana is now also recreationally legal in 11 of those 33 states. (Note that marijuana is still classified as illegal by the U.S. federal government.)
In states where marijuana is legal, it’s being sold mostly in three different ways:
- to be smoked
- to be eaten
- to be vaped
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you might be wondering how best to consume it, especially in light of recent federal investigations into the safety of vaping .
Here’s what we know.
For decades, health experts warned the public about the dangers of inhaling tobacco smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
For marijuana, some research suggests some compounds in it, known as cannabinoids, may have a few benefits.
One of the more well-known cannabinoids is called CBD. For this reason, some people believe smoking marijuana is less dangerous than smoking tobacco.
Cannabinoids, such as CBD, are different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical in marijuana that gets a person “high.”
What about smoking?
Inhaling smoke of any kind — whether it’s cannabinoid-containing weed or tobacco or another substance — is bad for lung health, according to the American Lung Association.
Most marijuana users hold smoke in their lungs longer than tobacco smokers, putting them at greater risk for exposure to tar — which is harmful to the lungs.
Some negative health effects associated with chronic weed smoking include:
- air pockets between the lungs and lungs and chest wall
- chronic bronchitis
- excessive mucus production
- possible increased risk of infection in immunocompromised people, such as those with HIV
- possible increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections
- weakened immune system
What about vaping?
Vaping marijuana involves inhaling heated oil through a vaporizing device, often referred to as an e-cigarette. Vaping marijuana can also refer to using a vaporizer, such as a Volcano , to produce vapor from dried plant material.
Some people believe vaping is safer than smoking because it doesn’t involve inhaling smoke. But the reality is, when it comes to vaping marijuana, there’s much less known about the negative health effects.
The most recent research suggests vaping THC oil could be quite harmful to lung health. The greatest concern at the moment is the severe effects of inhaling vitamin E acetate. This additive chemical has been found in many vaping products that contain THC.
As of Dec. 27, 2019, nearly 2,561 cases of lung injury (EVALI) caused by inhalation of vitamin E acetate, or “popcorn lung,” have been reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands) and have led to 55 deaths during that time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
Some of the people affected by vaping illnesses include children.
The CDC recommends people avoid using e-cigarettes and vaping products, particularly those containing THC oil, because they’re likely to contain vitamin E acetate.
Early research shows vaping liquids and oils — even once — can harm your lungs. Because vaping is new and hasn’t been well studied, there could be harmful effects of vaping that aren’t yet known.
Some states with legal marijuana are proactively warning marijuana users that vaping liquids has been known to cause severe lung injuries and death.
To stay up to date on the latest vaping-related illness news, check the CDC website for regular updates.
Smoking uses dried plant parts or concentrates
There are several ways to smoke marijuana:
- One way is to roll dried parts of the flower into a joint using cigarette paper.
- Some people mix their marijuana with tobacco, so it’s a bit less potent (this is called a spliff).
- Some people use bongs or pipes to smoke.
- Sometimes people smoke more potent forms of marijuana than the flower, called concentrates. These include hash and kief.
Vaping uses concentrated extracts or ground dry herb
When people vape, they consume concentrated marijuana. It seems to be a much more potent delivery system than smoking. In other words, you’ll get more high from vaping than from smoking.
Vaping can be more intense
Researchers have determined that the effects of vaping marijuana are much stronger than smoking.
In one study , researchers found that first-time and infrequent marijuana users were more likely to experience adverse reactions from the enhanced delivery of THC caused by vaping when compared to smoking.
Both take effect fast
Both smoking and vaping have an almost immediate effect on the body. Their effects peak within 10 to 15 minutes.
Most experts recommend starting vaping or smoking very slowly, taking in a small amount at first and waiting 20 to 30 minutes before having more.
A note about marijuana strains
There are many strains of marijuana, each having slightly different effects on the body. Sativa strains are thought to be more stimulating. Others, called indica, are more relaxing. It’s worth noting marijuana strains can affect people quite differently. Just because a certain strain has purported properties doesn’t mean you’ll get those exact effects.
If you’re trying to untangle the sticky subject of marijuana today, let’s look at what’s known about vaping versus smoking weed.
How Does Weed Affect Muscle Growth?
Weed and muscle growth? Well, that’s controversial.
These days, most people know that weed isn’t that bad for you. It can be debated whether it’s actually more healthy than alcohol.
But does smoking weed affect muscle growth and athletic performance?
Does it affect the hormonal milieu in your body? Does it promote weight gain or even weight loss?
First of all, I do smoke weed occasionally, but that’s not what it’s about today.
But lately, I reconsidered that habit of mine. If you studied the effects of cannabis use on the testosterone levels – you’d reconsider it as well. But more on that later.
Cannabis, marijuana, sativa, weed, dope, ganja – there are many names. you might remember the legendary scene from the classic Pumping Iron, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger smoked a joint.
So, hey – if the king of bodybuilding could build ones of the best bodies on this planet while smoking weed, then everybody can do that, right?
In this article, you will learn more about the effects of smoking weed in the context of muscle growth and fat loss.
We all know that certain athletes train and live in completely different conditions.
It would be simply stupid if one wanted to transfer the principles of a well-trained Schwarzenegger to a natural beginner.
What follows is a scientific, objective review of weed, based on the lead question, “What if cannabis was an ordinary supplement?
Let’s get right into it.
How does Weed affect Muscle Growth & Fat Loss?
The concept of homeostasis has its roots in biology and refers to the active balance between anabolic (i.e. tissue building) and catabolic (i.e. tissue degrading) activities that cancel each other out.
This ensures that the status quo is kept and no changes are realized. (End result is, for example, a relatively constant body weight with the same composition over many years).
Attempting to reduce body fat mass or grow muscle is – at least for the most part – a significant departure from the body’s homeostasis.
An intended departure that affects either the anabolic or catabolic activity of the body.
If your body gets signaled that it HAS to adapt, a change takes place in the body tissue (as the catabolic side dominates, you lose muscle or fats, if the anabolic side dominated, the other way around).
When this process is complete, your body will go back to homeostasis will reach a new equilibrium in which it will adapt to the current condition of the body.
The reason why I mention all this is due to the way weed works – which, of course, also applies to smoke. Or to put it more specifically:
1. Cannabis can improve survival at the cellular level or induce cell death.
2. Cannabis can inhibit or even induce/enhance the action of the adenyl cyclase enzyme. – Important for human tissue.
3. Cannabis can provide a balance between neurogenesis and neurodegeneration.
4. Cannabis can both increase and reduce estrogen.
5. Cannabis can reduce or increase carnitine palmitoyltransferase expression and activity – depending on the cell type.
6. The activity (agonism) of cannabinoid receptors of THCs can even be counteracted by other components of cannabis.
The use of cannabis seems to be able to affect a whole range of body functions through the cannabinoid system. Some reactions appear to have a positive effect on homeostasis some don’t. Pretty confusing isn’t it?
Weed: Ingredients & Metabolism
Weed, or known as cannabis, contains the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol. the actual name is delta-9-tetrahydohydro-cannabinol, but let’s stay with THC.
THC affects not only the nervous system but also the endocannabinoid system and thus has a certain influence on the perception and the psyche of humans.
The exact potential for addiction and harmfulness is a controversial topic in today’s society.
As with alcohol, chronic cannabis users show tolerance development, but there are many advocates who claim that cannabis use is less harmful than alcohol and can even be healthy.
Cannabis use is a double-edged sword – a coin with two sides, it has advantages and disadvantages.
It is the only plant known to date that acts on the endocannabinoid system of the body (consisting of the receptors cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2)).
The perceived “high” is the result of acute consumption. Only a few know that the THC is stored in the fatty tissue, from where it finally licks “droplets” and enters the circulatory circuit (which is why you fail at a drug test weeks after consumption).
The metabolism of THC occurs through hydroxylation and oxidation reactions via the liver.
The THC leftovers are excreted via urine.
Weed & Testosterone
Now it gets a bit more interesting.
What is the effect of weed on the body’s own testosterone levels?
Studies in rats given a dose of 3-6 mg/kg for a test period of 36 days show that testosterone levels have been reduced by as much as half (already at 3 mg/kg).
The decrease is thought to be due to the decrease in 3?HSD activity, an enzyme crucial to testosterone synthesis.
Another study shows an inhibitory effect of gonadotropin-induced testosterone synthesis as a result of THC administration.
In addition, there is also a correlation between THC and progesterone, a sex hormone.
Testosterone reduction was also demonstrated by Barnett in 1983.
In this study, the subjects received intravenous THC over a period of 50 minutes. The testosterone level in the test group decreased significantly over the subsequent hours compared to the placebo group (5.5 +/- 0.5ng / mL placebo group vs 3.5 +/- 0.5ng / mL THC group.)
All points in one direction:
“In humans, the results are somewhat mixed. Not all studies show a decrease in testosterone yet the significance of the result is a ‘minor, statistically insignificant’ drop to 1 / 3rd suppression of testosterone levels. Overall, it appears to be a suppression of free levels of testosterone in males and females after smoking cannabis. “(Source)
Interestingly, such results were not found in isolated THC administration, suggesting that other components of cannabis sativa are responsible for the decrease in endogenous testosterone levels. (Source)
I think it should be clear: if you want to build muscle mass, you need high testosterone levels, because the more testosterone, the better.
Further hormonal effects from smoking weed affect some other key hormones.
The Cone study notes a short-term increase in growth hormone (from 1ng / mL to 2ng / mL) compared to the control group.
The luteinizing hormone, on the other hand, decreases in acute cannabis use (in the male: responsible for sperm maturation, in the woman responsible for ovulation), although this effect does not seem to be of a long-term nature.
Smoking weed also causes an increase in the circulating cortisol level (stress hormone).
Weed and Body Fat
One last point that may be worth addressing is the impact of cannabis use on body fat.
Cannabidiol (a phytocannabinoid) contained in cannabis has the properties of an adrenergic ?-2 agonist (which is responsible for the stimulation of adrenoceptors).
Thus, the substance acts in the exact opposite direction of the popular fat burner supplement Yohimbine. This basically means that it has a beneficial effect on the maintenance of fat deposits. -No one wants that.
So if you want to lose body fat, you’d better drink a cup of green tea instead of rolling a joint.
Does smoking weed affect muscle growth and athletic performance? You will learn more about the effects of smoking weed on muscle growth and fat loss.