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Benzene: Thoughts on the known carcinogen?

Discussion in 'Vaporization Discussion' started by EverythingsHazy, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. EverythingsHazy

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

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    Article

    This would mean that all vaporization of cannabis would cause the inhalation of some of this benzene, just more at higher temps, as opposed to the "stay under 390F and you're good", idea.

    Also, would it mean that using water pieces for filtration would help? If so, I'm curious to see by how much.

    The first paragraph makes it seem like benzene isn't so bad, but it gets progressively worse from there...


    Any comments, or input?

    If anyone has any scientific info in regards to benzene and cannabis vaporization, feel free to share it.
     
    kellya86 likes this.
  2. max

    max Out to lunch

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    You get benzene and carbon monoxide - two deadly poisons - with every cigarette you smoke (smokers get 10 times as much benzene exposure vs. non-smokers), but that's not what causes lung cancer and kills you. These compounds are lethal at high doses, but they don't build up in the body like heavy metal contamination. Your body gets rid of these toxins in a couple of days, and half the benzene you inhale is removed on exhale.
    It's all about dosage though, and you really don't get much with either smoking or vaporizing. As an example of dosage, a dental x-ray gives you the amount of radiation you normally get in one day from natural background radiation, a chest x-ray gives you the equivalent of 2 years worth, and Computed Tomography can be up to 7-8 years worth.
     
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  3. h3rbalist

    h3rbalist I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too

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    The facts are more important than my thoughts.

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/

    'Cannabis smoke contains many of the same cancer causing substances (carcinogens) as tobacco - at least 50 of them. In addition, cannabis is often mixed with tobacco when smoked.

    One of these carcinogens is benzyprene. Benzyprene is in the tar of both tobacco and cannabis cigarettes. We know that benzyprene causes cancer. It alters a gene called p53, which is a tumour suppressor gene. We know that 3 out of 4 lung cancers (75%) occur in people who have faulty p53 genes. The p53 gene is also linked to many other cancers.'
     
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  4. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

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    Tar = combustion.
     
  5. h3rbalist

    h3rbalist I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too

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    Didn't realise it is only vaping being discussed.

    It helps if I read more that the thread title. :rolleyes:

    To be fair I am a bit distracted right now with the football.
     
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  6. EverythingsHazy

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

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    What I really wonder is how more benzene you are getting from each load if you vaporize it completely at 390 vs 365 or so. Even though benzene won't boil at lower temps, it still evaporates, and the miniscule amount that is in the tiny bits we vaporize, may very well all be evaporated after a few big hits, regardless if it ever reached boiling temp or not. If you vaporize at 90C you will still dry out a load of all of its moisture, without ever hitting the boiling temp of water.
     
    kellya86 likes this.
  7. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

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    I have never seen proof that there is benzene in Cannabis vapor. What evidence do you have to support this? Just because benzene is a polar and non polar solvent doesn't mean its in raw cannabis just waiting to get out.
     
    kellya86 likes this.
  8. max

    max Out to lunch

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    You get tars and other toxins with vaporization, just less of 'em, and in proportion to the temp.

    "Theoretically, an ideal vaporizer could minimize production of tars by holding the temperature just above 155 C, the point at which THC vaporizes, which is well below the temperature where carcinogenic hydrocarbons are thought to be produced. In practice, both vaporizers produced over ten times more tars than cannabinoids, ....." http://www.ukcia.org/research/pipes.php
    "Significant amounts of benzene began to appear at temperatures of 200° C. (392° F), while combustion occurred around 230° (446°F) or above. Traces of THC were in evidence as low as 140° C. (284° F)." http://www.canorml.org/healthfacts/Study-Shows-Vaporizers-Reduce-Toxins-in-Marijuana-Smoke

    "When you heat up organic matter, what you're doing is dumping a large amount of thermal energy into the molecules composing that matter, and after a certain point (depends on the fuel, but we're talking about 400 or 500 C) the large chains that compose organic matter begin to break apart. If this happens in the presence of oxygen, the material will also begin to oxidize, and the process is called combustion. If it happens in the absence of oxygen, the material will gasify. As the temperature gets hotter and hotter, a soup of big organic macromolecules is formed. (When I say big, I mean, BIG - hundreds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, and thousands of side chains and functional groups). It is in this macromolecular soup that you can find benzene and its many, many, many cousins." http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/6954/why-does-a-wood-fire-create-benzene
     
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  9. psycro

    psycro Hippo Lungz

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    Another study (Abrams et al., 2007):

    "CO levels were reduced with vaporization. No adverse events occurred. Vaporization of cannabis is a safe and effective mode of delivery of THC."
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17429350

    Carbon monoxide is reduced, so they assume vaporization is safe? What kind of science is that?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    EverythingsHazy likes this.
  10. EverythingsHazy

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

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    So vaporization gives 10x more tar than cannabinoids....-____- That goes against EVERYTHING people say about it being completely safe. No tar is safe to inhale.
     
  11. Alt101

    Alt101 Well-Known Member

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    If you read that study they say the vaporizers they used where a hotplate (conduction) style and a home made heat gun vaporizer. Doesn't give me a lot of faith in the quality of vapor they would be producing
     
  12. psycro

    psycro Hippo Lungz

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    "Carbon monoxide and smoke tars were both qualitatively reduced by the vaporizer, but additional testing is needed to quantify the extent of the decrease."

    I really dont trust these studies. I mean if they can not quantify the decrease of CO and tars, how did they come up with the conclusion that they are reduced in the first place? The methodology and ways of measurement are highly doubtful in my opinion. That study which states that vaporization releases 10 parts tar/ 1 part cannabinoid as compared to 13 parts tar/ 1 part cannabinoid was conducted using a heatplate vaporization method and a heat gun, so that is also very doubtful especially no indication of used temperature is provided.

    Also what do they mean with "qualitatively reduced" as opposed to quantitively reduced? If they are unable to quantify anything how in this world are they able to make assumptions about the quality of these compunds. I really dont get it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
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  13. Alt101

    Alt101 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  14. EverythingsHazy

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

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    According to those charts, it looks like vaporizing at a higher temperature is better since you are getting a similar amount of byproducts either way. You'd end up using more material and multiplying the byproduct amount, while trying to get more cannabinoids. Makes sense, since even without hitting boiling points of some chemicals like benzene, you can still extract them fully with enough time heating it, the same way you can completely evaporate water without hitting 100C. Interesting.
     
    psycro likes this.
  15. Alt101

    Alt101 Well-Known Member

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    EverythingsHazy and psycro like this.
  16. psycro

    psycro Hippo Lungz

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    So according to this study 185 C releases slightly less total by-products as compared to 170 C. Well at least it looks that way. Maybe some statistical error with average values. Very interesting read though , thanks for posting!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  17. C No Ego

    C No Ego Well-Known Member

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    if you have ever smelled your neighbors car exhaust (which most people have) you will get more carcinogens in one breath of that stuff compared to years using a vape multiple times daily. the beautiful thing of vaping cannabis is the compounds in the plant are healthy in the sense that they reduce toxins effects on us some. hence why people do not suffer the cig smoking effects when smoking cannabis instead their whole entire life.
     
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  18. 421

    421 Well-Known Member

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    Purely from my own practical experience, the symptoms of short term benzene exposure ("dizziness , nausea, headaches and unconsciousness") line up with how I feel when I vape into the burnt popcorn territory. Besides unconsciousness, unless one counts the nap I take after vaping too hard and feeling bad :ko:

    So yeah, hypothesis: burnt popcorn flavor is an indicator of benzene.
     
  19. Chill Dude

    Chill Dude Well-Known Member

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    I'm really not too concerned about cancer from either smoking or vaping cannabis. There have been a few large studies that have concluded that smoking cannabis only(no tobacco) did not show an increased rate of cancer as compared to non smokers. In fact, some studies concluded that cannabis smokers actually had a slightly less occurrence of cancer compared to those that have never smoked. So does cannabis contain cancer causing agents which are known carcinogens? Yes, but research has not shown any link to cannabis smoking and cancer. Possibly the anti cancer properties of cannabis offset most of the dangerous compounds? IDK...

    I'm more concerned about COPD ie.. Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. Research has shown that heavy cannabis only smoking does indeed significantly increase your chances of contracting COPD. However, to a much lesser extent than cigarette smoking.

    I have no knowledge of the biochemistry of the compounds and useage patterns that could potentially lead to COPD. I think the most important question to answer is Does vaporizing cannabis have the potential to lead to COPD or not??
     
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  20. h3rbalist

    h3rbalist I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too

    Messages:
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    Personally I think you are wrong to dismiss cannabis smoke as a cancer risk. But that is your choice.

    You are 100% right however about COPD being an important question.

    I stopped smoking two years ago in the hope that I avoid the COPD that is slowly killing my Dad.

    His team of specialists have directly linked his COPD to his smoking habits, in fact they made it clear that the practice of holding tokes in for long period were the contributing factor to his lung tissue damage.

    Don't get me wrong he has a genetic predisposition to this disorder due to his chronic bronchial asthma and yes he smoked tobacco too, he fucking smoked EVERYTHING!

    I would like to see a dedicated COPD thread so this topic can be discussed properly and in depth.

    Also keeping things to a vapor only discussion really limits the amount of input as I really don't think there are many long term vape only users out there.
     
  21. EverythingsHazy

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

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    According to this study, it eems like vaping at as high a temp as possible (up to 230C) is a better health option than lower temps. Especially if you are going to end up vaping more material at a lower temp, to make up for not getting as many cannabinoids extracted.
    However, since the composition of the byproduct total isn't revealed, perhaps the slight increase of byproduct production at higher temps, is of more toxic chemicals... More testing needs to be done for sure.
     
  22. Alt101

    Alt101 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I wish the study was more in depth about what exactly is in the byproducts. I have not been able to find a good study that gives a detailed chemical analysis of everything in our vapor.
     
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  23. grokit

    grokit well-worn member

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    From what I can tell, if they could have made a link between cannabis smoking and lung cancer, they would have done it by now. Lord knows they looked hard enough. But it seems that the protective effects of cannabis are able to override the carcinogenic ones in this respect. I agree that copd is what we really need to discuss in depth. As a victim of childhood asthma, I'd totally be up for a thread on that.
     
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  24. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

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    I'm surprised @pakalolo didn't chime in about the benzene controversy already, but maybe he's tired of repeating the same thing over and over? :shrug:

    By the way TAR stands for total aerosol residues, not the stuff used to make roads. When I combusted and smoked joints, sometimes I could get a nasty brown sticky residue gathering on the tip of the filter, and when I tasted that it was just horrible (same shit gathering in glass pipes and bongs) Now that I vaporize I get a brown sticky residue on my glass stems but when I taste it it's delicious and tastes like hash/oil... My intuition tells me it's a sign...

    And isn't vapor "aerosol particulates" in the first place? How do you know if in your studies "byproducts" is not just "everything not THC" including all the good terps and flavs, all other cannabinoids and more?
     
  25. grokit

    grokit well-worn member

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    We need that stuff that they're gonna put in ketchup bottles as a surfactant to keep those vapor particles off the glass, so they can slide right into our lungs where they can be processed properly :tup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
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