Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure:

The statements in this forum have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are generated by non-professional writers. Any products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Website Disclosure:

This forum contains general information about diet, health and nutrition. The information is not advice and is not a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional.

Efficiency and Health of various smoking devices FACTS

Discussion in 'Seasoned Marijuana Users' started by grassmaker, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Some background information:
    About 23-30% of THC in a sample is lost by pyrolysis, basically it gets destroyed by the heat. This occurs even in vaporizers and is the reason why no device out today can have a 100% efficiency in removing the THC from the plant material.

    The health rank is determined by the ratio of THC to tar. This is used because if this ratio is low, then to attain the same level of high, one must ingest more tars than other methods. The key to the health stat is to maximize THC in equal volumes of smoke. Efficiency and Health are mutually exclusive because the health rank is determined only by the smoke that reaches your lungs, while the efficiency rank is determined by the mass of the THC before smoking versus the mass that is actually delivered to the user.


    Average THC that reaches user: 47% (Gieringer, 1)

    Gieringer got up to 61% efficiency using the volcano but they only used 3 bags for a 200mg sample and did not stir or crush the sample of marijuana. Both adding more bags and stirring up the marijuana could've added to the efficiency by a small margin.

    Health Rank: 1

    I don't think it's a secret vaporizers are the healthiest way to smoke. Vapor from the bag of a Volcano is 95% cannabinoids while the other 5% is the fragrant oil caryophyllene, one suspected PAH, and one suspected cannabinoid relative (Gieringer, 1)


    Average THC that reaches user: 20-26% (Perez-Reyes), 50%* (Gieringer, 1).

    Perez says the average puffs/min is 2.6. Their data was collected using 2 puffs/min average. They found that out of the sample, only about 15-20% of THC was recovered by the user. The rest was lost in sidestream smoke and pyrolysis. A simple calculation says that the 20-26% of THC will be recovered in the average session using a joint and the 2.6 puffs/min data.

    *Gieringer says 50% of THC was recovered using a smoking machine that mimicked human smoking habits. They do not go further into what they felt was the average human smoking speed in terms of puffs/min. I find Perez's tests to be more conclusive as they used real humans to find the average puffs/min of a joint while Gieringer did not. I have a feeling Gieringer's machine smoked the joint much faster than a normal human because he cites a 69% efficiency rate if the joint is taken all in one hit, so a 50% rate for a normal human smoker seems artificially high. Since Gieringer used a machine, there was also no butt left.

    Health Rank: 2

    Surprisingly, an unfiltered joint outperforms a bong or waterpipe by nearly 30% in terms of THC : Tar ratio (Perez-Reyes). Using NIDA marijuana cigarettes, a ratio of 1 : 13 was acquired. I might mention NIDA research marijuana is extremely low potency, about 2-4%. Using more potent sensemilla could drastically increase this ratio for the better.


    Average THC that reaches user: 40.4% (Perez-Reyes)

    Interestingly, a lot of THC is lost to the bong itself. 21.1% of the sample's THC was lost in the bowl, 3.3% in the water, and 7.8% in the stem. Plant matter that fell into the water also accounted for 8% (Perez-Reyes). THC is soluble in water!, search for it. It has a solubility of .28g/100mL at 23*C!

    Health rank: 3

    Bongs and waterpipes rank last health-wise due to the fact that water absorbs sticky THC molecules about as well it absorbs noxious tars. In terms of THC : Tar ratio, it performed 30% worse than an unfiltered marijuana cigarette at about 1 : 17! (Gieringer, 2)

    Final notes:

    It appears as though the myth that bong water is a good filter of particulate matter and creates a healthier smoke has been smashed. The only saving grace that a bong may have is that the water may filter out harmful water soluble gases but this has not been tested.

    There seems to be some confusion about joints versus bongs in terms of efficiency. Put simply, these studies conclude that given the same volume of smoke, a joint will have more THC in it than a bong due to the fact that none is lost in the bowl, stem, water, and pipe, but that a bong saves you money due to the fact that it does not lose nearly as much smoke in the sidestream. If you're worried about money more than health, use a bong. If your worried about health more than money, use a joint. And if you're smart, use a vaporizer.

    Ideas on the most efficient smoking device:

    I believe that the most efficient device for smoking, probably even beating a vaporizer on average, would be a warmed steamroller with a bowl that is angled as parallel as possible to the mouth. The warmth of the glass would prevent condensation of THC and the angle of the bowl would prevent the smoke from being sucked directly onto the glass to prevent the sticky molecule THC from getting leeched on the glass. Covering both ends of the steamroller when not in use would prevent the marijuana from cherrying and losing THC in sidestream. I believe this would have above a 50% THC transfer rate.

    this is not my work just found it on the net,makes good reading just wanted to share the info.
  2. i find it hard to believe that a joint is healthier and has more thc then a bong. the general concensus is bongs are better then joints in that respect usually cause its true. i found many of the stereotypes in the culture of marijuana to be mostly correct. no surprise a vape is healthiest tho thats a given.
  3. #3 Wonderboy, Aug 25, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
    very insightful post, you deffinetly hit it straight on the head, vapes give me the best high then joints then bongs, but bongs and joints are a more casual thing; also reminds me to buy some damn papes so i can start rolling again

    edit: id also like to add a bong makes your hits alot cooler because of the filtration, i dont know what kind of health risks hot smoke causes but thats usually my one concern when hitting a pipe or blunt or something, harshness and the heat from smoke is sometimes really irritating.
  4. Bongs allow you to take bigger, deeper hits and hold for longer.

    While the smoke from a J might have a more efficient ratio, actually absorbing it into your lungs is another story. A hit from a J won't be as deep and you will waste more THC by breathing it out.

    The "smoking machine" they use doesn't account for how much bud is lost into the air. Only the composition of the smoke that is inhaled. A J could be healthier, but you will waste more buds.

    From practice, joints are the least efficient for the amount of bud you use. I can smoke a .5 gram joint and not feel a thing. The same amount in a bong work though. Yes, the pure joint smoke might be better on its own but the amount of active ingredient you inhale is less. For me, it is around half as much.

    Basically, you would get a better THC/tar ratio if you smoke 2x the bud in a joint versus 1x the bud in a bowl. You would get equally high but the bong would use half as much weed. But, you will also inhale more tar with the bong according to the study. A joint hit is healthier but more is wasted by burning off and smaller hits. The study does not care how much bud is wasted.
  5. Wait so they judge health by how much THC is recovered?

    So if their was a device that allowed you got get 100% of the THC, but also evey single chemical in the marijuana. And than their was one where you only got 10% of the THC, but you consumed no harsh chemicals, the one that allowed 100% would be considered healthier to them? I don't get it
  6. Thats interesting I wonder what that machine that mimicked humans smoking looked like. Also they should have broken up the bud they were putting in the vape that would have worked better
  7. If you would have RTFA: "The health rank is determined by the ratio of THC to tar." Bongs are the most unhealthy because you absorb 17 units of tar for every 1 unit of THC, whereas with a vaporize that ratio is a lot less.
  8. what about carbon filters on bongs? do they do anything significant?
  9. Final notes:

    It appears as though the myth that bong water is a good filter of particulate matter and creates a healthier smoke has been smashed. The only saving grace that a bong may have is that the water may filter out harmful water soluble gases but this has not been tested.

    how the fuck can you give results for a test that isn't complete?

    don't believe everything you read on the internet kids.
  10. i refuse to believe it
  11. From a stirctly scientific standpoint I believe that a bong will prove to be "healthier" (as it's defined in the test results) than a joint.
    As far as "efficiency" the vape's got it hands down. The semantics of the findings are mildly retarded, though still managed to enlighten me about the porperties of THC, damn good post.
  12. Have you ever smoked a joint? there bad

  13. Thank you for actually listing a source, I just did a artical 2 sec ago about thc lvls in those methods and mine i believe are a little different. the maps study that you have listed but also this study!!!
    Bong - Taimapedia

    but sadly i admit this isnt a scholarly article.
  14. no offense but this is really stupid like its just a general consensus if thats how you spell it , that a bong is alot healthier and like personal expierence shows a bong gets you baked, every person i know agrees with that :smoking:or has said that just saying

    was this made by like a JOB paper employee to get their paps to sell more???? lol;)

    and from everything else ive read there has never been one that said a Jay was healthier ??

Share This Page