Slowly and steadily, Canadians are discovering the pleasures of THC vape pens and CBD vape pens. According to a recent survey sponsored by Civilized, roughly eleven percent of Canadians and nine percent of Americans prefer vaping over all other cannabis consumption methods. But with so many innovations in vape technology and tastier extractions, the number of people who like vaping in Canada is growing.

It’s only natural that there may be a few questions with so many Canadians curious about vaping. One of the biggest questions is about the benefits of CBD versus THC pens in Canada. For the uninitiated, these are two similar compounds extracted from cannabis, but which deliver remarkably different results. 

How do you choose between a THC vape pen and a CBD vape pen as a patient or recreational consumer? 

Smoking Joints vs. Vape Pens: What You Need to Know

New to vaping? Let’s review the basics about what’s happening when you pull on a THC vape pen versus smoking a joint.

According to a 2015 scientific review, “Vapourizers heat the entire plant without igniting it, releasing the cannabinoids in a vapour that is relatively free from the byproducts of combustion.” The vapour is inhaled for near-immediate absorption through the lining of the lungs into the bloodstream.

There are several different kinds of vaping devices. These include the table-top varieties like the world-famous Volcano, handheld varieties for flower and concentrate, plus vape pens for oils and liquid cannabis concentrates. Vape pens are undeniably the preferred option because they are affordable and discreet.

On the flip side, smoking requires ignition of the flower or concentrate, usually in a joint, blunt, pipe or bong. Fire transforms the material into fine-airborne particulate matter, also known as smoke. The smoke travels through the lungs, much like a vapour, and the cannabinoids absorb into the lungs.

What is Better for Your Lungs: Smoking or vaping

The National Academies Press released a 2017 report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. In this report they confirm no long-term side effects related to smoking, but chronic smokers could develop short-term respiratory issues related to their habit. Upon cessation, the bronchial infection also stops.

Although there is less information available on THC vape pens in Canada, the current body of work suggests vaping is healthier for the respiratory system than smoking. As per the 2015 scientific review, “The majority of studies suggest that vapourizers adequately reduce risk of pulmonary symptoms.” Furthermore, “These results are consistent with self-report research, which suggests that users experience less respiratory irritation when using a vapourizer compared with a classic burning technique.” 

So with the benefits of vape pens stacking up, now it’s time to choose. Are THC vape pens and CBD vape pens better? It turns out, it all depends on the effects and benefits you are looking for.

The Benefits of a THC Vape Pen

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most memorable cannabinoid found in cannabis because it causes intoxication. It’s the single cannabinoid, out of more than a hundred, that gets you high. Therefore, it has very particular medicinal and recreational applications.

The High

The most notable benefit of a THC vape pen is the experience. There is nothing quite like the intoxicating euphoric effects of THC. Expect giggles and laughter, with layers of other exciting benefits like creativity, relaxation, and more. Chances are if you enjoy cannabis for the recreational benefits, THC plays a big part in this reasoning. THC vape pens in Canada all deliver a chill, mellow high.

Pain Relief

If we transition into THC’s medicinal benefits, there is already solid science exploring THC for the pain-relieving qualities. In 2017, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published “Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review.” In this review, the authors noted, “THC has been shown to produce analgesic and antihyperalgesic effects in animal models,69,70 and experimental research examining the effects of cannabis on human pain responding has focused either on healthy adults or clinical pain samples.” Pain is consistently one of the top reasons why patients use medical marijuana.

Headaches and Migraines

A recent discovery about THC is its capacity to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines. According to a study published in 2019, “Patients reported reductions in headache (89.9%) and migraine severity (88.1%)” following cannabis use. While there were no significant differences in the cannabinoid profile, almost all strains reported included a THC component. The authors concluded, “A 47.3% decrease in headache severity and a 49.6% decrease in migraine severity were reported following cannabis use.”

The Benefits of a CBD Vape Pen

With so many medicinal and experiential benefits of THC vape pens in Canada, you might wonder why anyone would ever choose otherwise. Can a CBD vape pen compete? It turns out, as a non-intoxicating substance, CBD has a lot to offer. It’s often more useful during the day and for a broader demographic than THC is. Here are a few of the most commonly cited benefits of CBD vape pens.

Non-Intoxicating

First and foremost, the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) are it’s mellow, non-intoxicating vibes. No matter how much you puff, you’ll never feel high or impaired. CBD offers many overlapping benefits to THC, but without the mental fog. That means people often prefer it when getting stoned isn’t an option, like for school and work. 

Anti-Anxiety

Almost a decade ago, researchers in Brasil put CBD to the test. They worked with a small group of participants diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and subjected them to a simulated public speech. The team gave one group a big dose of CBD, and the other a placebo. This study confirmed that CBD measurably reduces the physical and mental experiences of stress. That means a lower heart rate, blood pressure, and reported anxiety, thanks to CBD.

Soothes Arthritis Pain and Inflammation

CBD for arthritis is a relatively new development, but one many people are already taking advantage of. Several animal-based models have determined that oral and topical CBD reduces inflammation related to arthritis, including osteoarthritis. In fact, according to a 2019 American poll, it’s the fourth most common reason why people use CBD medicinally.

What About a Combination? THC:CBD Vape Pens

But what if you want the best of both worlds? It turns out you can reap the pain-relieving benefits of THC with the mellow vibes of CBD. With CBD+ Indica THC or CBD+Sativa THC, you’ll find the balanced therapeutic benefits you need. Cannabidiol helps reduce the strength and duration of a THC high — making it a much mellower and functional option for daytime relief.

THC Vape Pen vs. CBD Vape Pen: Choosing What’s Right for You

Each cannabinoid has medicinal value. It turns out THC may be better for pain relief and headaches, while CBD has anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. Sometimes, these therapeutic benefits overlap or complement each other. Depending on your health concerns, you may want THC, CBD, or a combination of both.

Or, maybe you are seeking recreational experiences. Right now, THC is the only known intoxicating cannabinoid and the only one you’ll need to get high. But if you want total relaxation without the high, don’t forget about the value of CBD vape pens.

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