It is true that any smoke or product of combustion potentially contains carcinogens or other products that are harmful to the lungs and body if inhales. Some studies may suggest a relationship between cannabis smoke and precancerous cellular changes. However, a review of the medical literature does not conclude a clear causal link between cannabis smoke and an increase in cancer occurrence in humans. Although in general, it is always healthier to avoid the inhalation of smoke and combustion products.
A vaporizer can be sued as an alternative to smoking in order to reduce potential risk from smoke, combustion products and heat. Some in the medical community believe repetitive heat delivery to the air passages and lungs may affect lung elasticity and overall, long-term performance. Risk may be reduced by decreasing the temperature of inhaled smoke or using alternative methods of dosing. Employing a water pipe decreases the temperature of smoke. However, it has been shown that water pipes are potential vehicles to spread illnesses, such as viruses and even tuberculosis and should be kept clean and sanitized. Alternatives to smoking include vaporization, as well as edible dose delivery in capsules, foods or teas. Transdermal delivery through the skin such as in creams and oils, salves, balms, infusions, poultices, soaps, etc. are also effective.
Cannabis is a psychoactive substance, as it is capable of producing profound changes to a person’s mental-emotional state. This is one of the reasons that cannabis is effective at producing a powerful sense of well-being.
The mental-emotional state of a person is very complex and constantly seeking a state of balance. The ingestion of any psychoactive substance has the potential of temporarily upsetting the balance and inducing symptoms such as anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, paranoia, panic attacks, and lack of motivation. Individuals predisposed to mental-emotional illness or suffering from mental-emotional illness such as schizophrenia, may be of higher risk to cannabis induced mental-emotional imbalances.
Most importantly, one must understand that any time a person ingests a psychoactive substance, there is a risk they may not feel the way they had intended, especially as a result of the ingestion of larger doses. Above all, it should be again noted that no one has ever physically overdosed from cannabis, and if any mental-emotional discomfort or anxiety occurs, it will resolve within hours as the medication metabolizes.
Always make sure you are in a safe environment before beginning the ingestion of cannabis or changing dosage. Cannabis use does not result in physical dependence, nor does discontinuing use lead to serious physical withdrawal symptoms in most patients. However, as a psychoactive substance, the potential risk for psychological dependence does exist. As a psychoactive substance, cannabis may affect a person’s decision making and physical coordination. Therefore, no one should operate heavy equipment or motor vehicles while impaired due to the influence of cannabis or any other substance. Cannabis metabolites can remain in one’s system for up to 30 days, therefore, patients should be aware that they may test positive for cannabis even when not impaired.
The legal and social status of cannabis may be the greatest risk proposed by cannabis usage. Cannabis is still considered illegal by the United States Federal Government, and as a result there is the potential for prosecution and punishment.