OMG! It Smells Like Weed Everywhere, Now!
Ahh, the smell of cannabis, while intoxicating to fans can be annoying to non-cannabis fans. The number one complaint you will hear from people all the way from New York City to Vancouver is that the pungent smell of cannabis is permeating the streets and businesses around America and Canada.
Is that a good or bad thing?
The most similar experience we can look back on is the cigarette smoking dilemma of the mid 1970s and into the 1980s. Many of you may not remember this but you used to be able to smoke cigarettes everywhere before the Surgeon General started to crack down on second-hand cigarette smoke. Did you know you could smoke in bars, restaurants, and even planes? Yes, even in planes, the guy in front of you in seat 8B could just like up a Camel as your 5-hour flight started and smoke a whole pack before you landed in Los Angeles. The cigarette analogy has some similarities and some major differences.
One, there is a difference between inhaling second-hand smoke and smelling cannabis. Remember, the combustion of tobacco followed by breathing in the ensuing smoke, is a major health hazard and can damage your breathing system. Smelling the odor of a cannabis plant presents no health risks whatsoever, minus the like or dislike of that smell. The change in cigarette smoking areas, and then outright bans, was a result of a health hazard, not a preference on odiferous choices.
In the end, the smoking hordes were banned to the outside areas, and then banned altogether. Airports created “smoking chambers” where smokers could get their fix in-between flights. There are still pockets of society where you can light up a butt indoors, like some casinos and specialty bars, but overall, if you smoke it, we don’t want to inhale it or breath it in anymore.
Cannabis is different in this case as over 50% of inhaled cannabis is now done by vaping. Vaping is much different from smoking, as there is no burning or “combustion”, hence the damaging chemicals released by burning something are not released. Vaping is short for “vaporizing”, hence the cannabis is turned into vapor when hitting hot coils, similar to how your humidifier works as it spews hot steam into the air.
Regardless of where you stand on the “vaping is better than smoking, yes, it is, no it isn’t” debate, the general consensus is that yes, it is healthier than smoking for sure, but how much healthier is where the debate begins. Because you are not creating carcinogens from burning or combusting the particles with fire, vaporizing it is safer.
One main problem in the vaping debate is that “vaping” is being used as a common noun to include all products being vaped. There is a big difference in vaping cannabis and vaping a Juul pod with nicotine levels approaching a full pack of cigarettes. If you are vaporing a healthy substance such as medicine that is much different than saying we need to ban all vaping because kids are vaping nicotine Juul pods in school bathrooms.
If I said I was vaping Vitamin B, would that change your idea of vaping being good or bad?
Vaporizing is just the transport mechanism, not the villain. Technically, you could vape any liquid at high enough temperature, so if you hate vaping, look at your humidifier some winter day.
Does Vaping Smell?
Do vaping clouds smell? That is up for some debate. They do have an odor, as you can smell something when you exhale a vape cloud, but the smell is no where near as bad as when smoking.
The smell of cannabis a growing complaint, not only at the street level, but at the Federal level as a few landowners have brought RICO ACT claims against local grow operations claiming the smell of cannabis has ruined their property values. The courts have thrown out all such cases and cited the fact that your property tax has gone up every year including the years that the cannabis grow has been in operation. If your land value is going up according to the State, then you can't claim your land value has suffered from the smell of cannabis plants growing next door.
What can the world do about the smell of cannabis overtaking cities and areas? There are industrial filters that cannabis companies can install, like scrubbers used in coal smokestacks, that can clean the air. This would only apply to major grows that also had the money to spend on industrial air filtration systems though.
As far as day to day use and smelling it as you walk down a street or enter a locker room or movie theater, well, that is just something you are going to get used to just like other smells that may offend you in life. Some people don’t shower much, and you must sit next to them on a plane or bus. With cannabis, you could have been around a loud batch of cannabis flower earlier and still smell like it, just like someone who works in a casino and their clothes smell like smoke.
The good news is that your body is not suffering any health damage buy the smell, and assuming someone isn’t smoking it next to you, you are at no risk from the sticky herb.