top of page

Filter or Fiction: What is the Safest Way to Smoke Cannabis?

The Safest Way to Smoke Cannabis

  • Comparing the health effects of Joints, Pipes, Bongs and Vaporization

The medical aspects of cannabis have been firmly established over the past twenty-odd years. There are many health benefits and a wide variety of ways to consume it.  As smoking marijuana is a popular method to help relieve symptoms of several health conditions, it is vital to investigate the healthiest way to smoke cannabis.

However, it is imperative that in the search for the healthiest method of consumption, we analyze the potentially harmful effects that smoke may cause to the human body.

Irrespective of whether the source might be cannabis, it is important to understand potential health effects.

Even though it contains less added chemicals than cigarettes, burnt plant matter causes harm to the lungs.

However, there is enough evidence supporting the benefits of smoking cannabis for some health issues.

It is worth looking into the different methods of cannabis consumption more carefully to identify the pros and cons of each one.

medical marijuana prerolled joints

Smoking a Joint

Rolling a joint is one method to smoke marijuana.

Because cannabis is used in its dried-up and shredded form, inhaling without a filter could be harsh. 

Studies Available

When it comes to tobacco, there are years of studies on how it negatively affects your health.

Scientific studies are also available related to Cannabis.

However, getting clear results on the individual effect of cannabis smoking is often hampered by the simultaneous smoking of tobacco and marijuana.

Despite this, in comparison to tobacco, cannabis smokers have an increase in lung capacity.

Chronic cannabis smokers might experience chronic bronchitis, like tobacco smokers, but without shortness of breath.

There is also no irreversible airway harm done. Inhaling plant material and ash does have a negative effect, but the pros may outweigh the cons for overall health benefits.

It is not clear why lung capacity increases when smoking a joint.

Recent studies show that there is an increase in the forced vital capacity (FVC).

The forced expiratory volume shows little to no change. This happens even after 20 years of smoking.

Using a Bong

Bongs are sometimes known as water pipes.

As it uses water, it helps to filter out some particles to lessen the harsh effect of inhaling dry smoking. 

Pulling the smoke through the water also contributes to a cooling effect. This already is a huge health benefit as marijuana smokers tend to inhale deeper and keep smoke longer in the lungs.

Chronic smokers of both cannabis and tobacco damage over time the delicate tissue in their airways because of ongoing exposure to smoke.

There are many bongs around from plastic to glass to even aluminum.

For the aficionado, you also would have heard about percolators and how percolation is beneficiary when smoking through a bong.

How Percolation Helps Bongs

Percolation is the process where smoke slowly passes through a water filter.

The main objective with a percolator in a bong is to let air and smoke pass through the water in the form of bubbles.

marijuana vape cartridges
a beautiful pipe for medical cannabis consumption
medical marijuan dry herb vaporizer
a percolated bong for medical cannabis use

Benefits of Percolation

There are three main benefits of percolation:


Smoke can heat up to an extreme point when it exits the bowl.

Water helps to disperse the smoke through the heat to cool it down. It makes the hit much smoother and more enjoyable.


When smoking directly from a pipe or joint, the hit is very dry.

Smoking through water moisturizes it.

The effect is much easier on the lungs.


When the smoke hits the water, filtration kicks into action.

The more bubbles there are on the surface, the better filtration you get.

Research shows that water filtration reduces the amount of plant matter and toxic contaminants in the smoke as it passes through.

Substances like hash or resin and other contaminants get effectively reduced while THC relatively passes through without much loss.

Why is Percolation Effective?

Percolation breaks the smoke in smaller bubbles and spreads them over a bigger surface.

In this process, the smoke bubbles are forced through many chambers and interact continuously. While submerged, they continue to divide, collect and rejoin.

For the best effect of smoking a bong, the bubbles should be separated.

Therefore, an act of diffusion is necessary.

How does Diffusion Help?

Diffusing the smoke through several percolations of different sizes helps ensure the even cooling of the smoke.

It works by spreading the smoke wider as smaller and more bubbles are more receptive to the effect of percolation.

It’s a way to enhance the cooling, hydrating, and filtering effect.

Smoking from Pipes

Another popular method is smoking from a pipe. 

Medical research found no correlation between smoking cannabis and lung cancer, in fact, it looks like the THC in cannabis stops the cancer cells from dividing.

Compounds found in marijuana kills many different types of cancers.

What leads to harm is the heat produced by the pipe when the smoke is inhaled.

Plant material, tar, and other chemical contaminants—together with the heat—cause damage to the hair-like cilia in the lungs.

It limits the lungs to catch dust-like particles and leads to lung and respiratory problems.

Vaporizing–The Healthy Way?

A vaporizer especially designed to vape dry cannabis heats the herb to a temperature lower than its combustion point.

This allows the active ingredients to be converted into a smokeless vapor that is easy to inhale.

Benefits of Vaping

There are several reasons why vaping is the healthiest method to smoke cannabis.

Contains less harmful compounds

Vapor produces less tar and has fewer carcinogens and harmful by-products.

It is important to state that is doesn´t protect you completely from harmful compounds, but it significantly reduces consumption thereof.

Reduces respiratory distress

If you suffer from respiratory problems, a quality vaporizer can reduce the respiratory symptoms influenced by the traditional way of smoking.

Brings fast relief

Vaping gets delivered directly to the brain through the lungs and bloodstream.

It renders a gentle alternative way for medicinal relief. 


When it comes to treating medical problems with cannabis, it is best to ensure which way is the healthiest method to consume it.

When comparing the different methods, it seems that vaping provides the safest way of inhalation.

Joints and Pipes are often used without filters that allow harmful contaminants to pass through. Even though bongs use water and even percolators, it still allows too many harmful components to pass through.

How are you consuming to protect your lungs? 

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

bottom of page