What’s going on in that bong?
Seriously. What is the science behind the water pipe? Are those bubbles actually making your toke any healthier? It’s complicated.
A couple things are happening. Burning cannabis produces a smoke stream that contains all the things you want — activated THC, CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes — and a lot of things you don’t, like hot smoke, tar, and fine particulate matter, a.k.a. ash. “Tar” is a catch-all term for the hundreds of nasty compounds produced by cannabis combustion. Aside from nicotine, cannabis smoke is qualitatively similar to tobacco smoke, with a lot of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) you don’t want in your lungs. There is epidemiologic evidence that tobacco smokers who use a water pipe have a much lower incidence of cancer than those who smoke cigarettes or regular pipes. So clearly there’s some good filtration going on. (Too much cannabis smoking can harm the lungs in a number of ways, but despite decades spent looking for it, researchers have never found a link between cannabis smoking and lung cancer — a story for another day.)
– Read the entire article at Leafly.