What Is Combustion a.k.a. Smoking?
There are a few decisions that you have to make when you are smoking. You have to decide on the substance, and you have to pick a method or vessel to smoke this. You may have some questions about the process of smoking and what it entails. It’s a good idea to understand how it works. You may also be wondering about the differences between smoking and vaporization. Learn more about what these processes involve below.
The Process of Smoking
There are different options for smoking. People smoke cigarettes, cigars, to name a few options. Smoking involves burning the substance to produce a smoke that contains the desired chemicals. The chemical name for this process of burning is combustion. Combustion happens when a particular substance or fuel reacts with oxygen gas at a high temperature. When there is combustion, you can expect a breakdown of the original fuel and a number of end-products as a result. Commonly water and oxygen are the main products, but depending on the original composition of the fuel, you can also expect different by-products.
When a person smokes, the goal is to get the active chemical compounds in the fuel. These are inhaled with the smoke. A simple example of this is someone lighting a cigarette. The chemical desired is the nicotine present in tobacco. Besides the nicotine, however, there are other chemical substances produced that are not desirable. These include tar, carbon monoxide, and a range of other toxic chemicals in very small volumes.
A lot has been said about the problems arising from smoking. Tar and most of the harmful chemical compounds produced, many of which are carcinogens, end up in the smoker’s lungs. Over time, this creates a build-up and concentrated effect. One option to limit what is inhaled is to include a filtering step. Filtered cigarettes and bongs have a filtering step that helps to reduce the harmful substances that enter the smoker’s lungs.
The Process of Vaporization
Many people ask about the difference between smoking and vaporization methods. There are differences in the initial substance used, the chemical process, and the health implications. The process of vaporization involves taking a liquid, and sometimes solid, substance and converting it into its gaseous phase or vapor. A special device known as a vaporizer is typically used to produce the heat for this conversion.
Unlike combustion, vaporization does not involve the process of burning. Usually, a prepared liquid is added to a vaporizer, whereas for smoking, you usually use natural plant material that does not have as much processing.
In terms of health effects, vaporization has lower negative effects simply because they are fewer natural toxins and carcinogenic by-products that are present in the smoke. Depending on what you are vaporizing, you can still get your required amount of nicotine. Both combustion and vaporization can, therefore, provide nicotine, and while this gives the desired feeling, it has health implications when taken over long periods of time.