Safer Cannabis use – Pt1

With the combination of the Vaping illness epidemic and the more recent story about Willie Nelson’s statements re not Confused smile“smoking pot” to save his lungs from further damage, it seems reasonable to discuss ways to use Cannabis more safely.

I’ve read research stating that almost 50% of Cannabis users still prefer to smoke, in spite of the inherent dangers. Who am I to opine? I’m currently 73 and smoked my 1st joint in 1964. I still consume Cannabis daily but only smoke it some of the time. Several of my boomer buddies with long term usage report a similar shift in usage techniques

Next Best Alternative

 Vaping flower from a known source is definitely safer than smoking it.  ( A recent MA study reported by Dr. Peter Grinspoon on twitter showed that 95% of the Cannabis sold from legal dispensaries was free of contaminants )

Why is vaping (Cannabis or Hemp) flower safer? Several reasons

  1. No potentially dangerous chemicals are either created or liberated, only cannabinoids and other flower chemical components are made available to vapers.
  2. No contaminants are added to the vape stream via cartridge components
  3. Lower heat and no particulate matter make vaping safer for lungs
  4. Devices like the PAX 2 are easy to use and maintain

About 5 years ago when I moved to Austin I started to research flower vaping systems.

  • Early models were hard or impossible to clean making them unsuitable for regular use
  • Portability was another issue
  • Internal batteries were easily overcharged, making them easy to burn out
  • Premium devices like the Volcano were expensive and good for parties, but not practical as individual user devices
  • Enter the PAX

  • Cool design but the screen inside that separated the flower chamber from the heater was not removable making full cleaning impossible.
  • A biz friend with a shop had some clout with the manufacturer and got our PAX I swapped for a model II with a removable screen. We have used this version for several years with good results.
  1. PAX works best if cleaned about once a week (Tool sets are available for both PAX2 and PAX3 at
  2. The flower chamber holds about .2 gr @ the recommended 3/4 full making PAX vaping more economical the smoking
  • How a vaping lift seems to differ from smoking
  • Not burning the flower means no CO2 inhalation.
  • Lower heat and lack of particles the stream mean little coughing or gaging
  • A lighter draw also allows for fuller liberation of Cannabinoids
  • We find the vaped lift a bit lighter overall