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The Relationship Between Marijuana And Vape Shops

What is vaping?

Smoking electronic cigarettes, or personal vaporizers as their known, is also called vaping. Introduced to the market in 2004, this battery­powered vaporizer simulates the feeling of smoking and users inhale an aerosol that usually contain nicotine, flavorings and other ingredients like propylene glycol, glycerin and water. Often used by those who want to quit smoking, there’s actually no evidence as to whether electronic cigarettes are better or more helpful than medication. It wasn’t as popular then as it is now, with an estimated several million people use e­cigarettes globally as of 2014.

Vaping and marijuana 

With the increase in this demand, comes a need for a supply. E­cigarette shops have been opening exponentially all across the United States. Recently, Connecticut couple Matt and Jen Osmun were profiled in a Reuters story about the increase in business they’ve received in their vape shop from marijuana users.“Most customers at Grassy Plain Vape & Smoke buy electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking tobacco, but a growing number are referred by medical marijuana commissaries in the neighborhood ­ the nearest is about five miles away,” said Jen Osmun.

This seems to be more the direction vape shops are heading towards, thanks to the increase in the use of medical marijuana. According to marketing research firm IBISWorld, projected sales of cannabis for medical use will increase to $13.4 billion in 2020 from the $3.6 billion it is now. Bonnie Herzog, Wells Fargo Securities analyst, expects the U.S. use of e­cigarettes and vaporizers to overtake regular cigarettes in 10 years, thus increasing the ongoing demand of vape shops.

Undercover marijuana smoking

For medical use or not, smoking marijuana creates an altered sense of self and is therefore dangerous. (Even if someone is prescribed marijuana for medical use, the patient should know better than to get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence, for example.) An ongoing issue with vapor devices is that smoking marijuana is easier to hide and cover up. The vape pens are sleek, black and basically indistinguishable from any higher end e­cigarette. Just with e­cigs, there’s no smoke and there’s no fire for those using vape pens for marijuana smoking. Since the pen doesn’t carry the same stigma of walking down the street and smoking a joint or lighting up a bong.

The dangers of smoking marijuana with vapes

Vape pens do not vaporize the marijuana plant itself. Instead, they are loaded with hash oil, a yellow resin that’s chemically extracted from the plant. The making of this hash oil can be explosive and therefore quite dangerous to produce. Additionally, the concentration of this oil is very strong. Where marijuana leaves have about 20 perfect THC, these concentrates have up to 90 percent. There have been cases of people fainting upon taking a first hit. So while medical marijuana and recreational marijuana use is legal in some parts of the country, there is no control or rules about smoking it in higher concentrations.

It’s hard to tell how much THC you are actually getting. This can be dangerous for you and people around you. If you are struggling with addiction, or if you know someone who is, The Watershed is here to help.

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