Kicking Ash: My Journey to Quit Smoking

Kicking Ash: My Journey to Quit Smoking

7 minute read

by Jamie Toth

In 2010, I quit smoking cigarettes by smoking cannabis. In 2018, I quit smoking cannabis in favor of dry herb vaporization.

Just as quitting smoking cigarettes helped me to feel better, breathe better, and smell better – quitting smoking my weed has done the same. Here are some reasons I won’t go back to smoking my weed.

There’s no other way to say it – if you want to taste the best flavors that cannabis has to offer, stop setting it on fire. There’s a lot of chemistry going on when you just set things alight, and they don’t make for a very good flavor experience.
I have found so much joy in discovering all of the different flavor profiles that flower has to offer that I can’t imagine setting it on fire again. There are too many subtle nuances (and not so subtle ones) that have intricate flavors once you lower the heat and slow things down and taste something other than carbon.
I’ll give credit where credit is due - dry herb vaporization is also what inspired me to discover, research, and write about terpenes. That, in turn, introduced me to an entire world of not only cannabis chemical compounds, but plant-based medicine.

Easier to Clean
Once upon a time, my husband and I bought a pipe on the same day. He used his with a flame, and I used mine with the Neo. Guess which one still looks brand new, even after several weeks of use and one-third of the cleaning time?
It’s far easier for me to clean the pipes I’ve used with my Neo than any I’ve used with a lighter. This also means when I consume, I’m consuming the fresh herb I’ve packed, and not all of the lingering carbon by-products from a smoking bowl.

Less Smelly
Smoking smells. That’s true whether it’s cigarettes or cannabis. For those of us that want to consume cannabis on the go and still value privacy, dry herb vaporizing is a great way to do it.

Cannabis smoke may not linger the same as tobacco smoke, but overall smelling of smoke is not a great way to normalize cannabis use to non-users. While I’m not ashamed of my cannabis use, I don’t want the smell of a joint to announce my entrance. Vaporizing flower eliminates that tell-tale smell.

Better for my Clothes / Home Textiles
The long-term damage that smoke and tar can do to textiles is undeniable, and not only does the smell work its way into a lot of natural fibers, but the tar from cannabis smoke can damage fabrics just like the tar in cigarettes can (but of course to a lesser degree). Think of it this way - just like the smell of smoke will stick in your hair, it can stick in your favorite wool blanket and other textiles.

As I’ve said, dry herb vaporization doesn’t smell like smoking does. It certainly doesn’t linger or do long-term damage to fabrics and other home textiles the way that smoke does.

Medicinal / Wellness Effects
There are so many medicinal and wellness benefits to dry herb vaporizing!

Lung Health
My lungs feel better when I dry herb vaporize than when I smoke. It’s easier to breathe – whether I need to hold my breath, take deeper breaths, or do sessions of breathing with Wim Hof – my lungs feel far more capable and eager to handle it than when I smoke.

Improved Sense of Taste
One of the things that surprised me was that my overall sense of taste improved – but since I’m not clogging my taste buds up with a bunch of carbon, it makes sense. I can taste far better than I could before, which means that the taste that I can get from dry herb vaporizing is even more enhanced the more I dry herb vaporize. It also helps keep me keep on kicking ash out of my life: the less I smoke, the better I can taste my cannabis!

Improved Sense Of Smell
A companion to the above is that my sense of smell is far better than when I was smoking cannabis, too! Much like how my sense of smell improved after I quit smoking cigarettes, it also improved when I made the switch to dry herb vaporization from smoking cannabis! I don’t want to act like I have some sort of superpower, but my improved sense of smell is obvious to me.

Dosing Control
I consume far less cannabis when I dry herb vaporize than when I smoke. There are many reasons why: I get good pulls with the vaporization tools I use, I select a craft-grown flower that is sungrown and very high in terpenes, which makes for superior vapor production, among others. For the largest amounts of vapor, I pair the Neo with the Terp Surfer because the air-tight seal ensures I extract the most vapor possible.

Comforting Rituals
Self-soothing rituals are important ways to deal with the stressors of life – the comfort that rituals can give us is undeniable. Dry herb vaporization offers all of the comforting rituals I enjoyed from smoking cannabis but enhances the taste and flavor of the experience which gives me more to look forward to! Unlike edibles or concentrates, which don’t resemble the plant I’m consuming, rituals that involve the cannabis plant allow me to tune out the daily stresses while I focus on all the little moments I prize.
My new ritual, thanks to the Neo and Terp Surfer, is watching the cannabis react to the heat. I can see the vapor form and be pulled into the pipe. It’s delightful!

Stronger Effects
I get higher dry herb vaporizing than I do with other consumption methods. Since arriving at my house, My Neo has been my go-to vaporization device, because I enjoy seeing the cannabis while I vaporize it, and being able to control the experience and heat levels with my breathing.

I’m not the only one that has had this experience, and there have been studies that have shown that many people get higher from dry herb vaporization than from smoking cannabis. Regardless of the research, I know that dry herb vaporization increases my enjoyment of terpenes. 

Overall Quality of Experience
Overall, I get a higher quality (ha!) and more consistent experience with cannabis when I vaporize flower. I enjoy every part of the overall experience, which for me includes investing time to discover information about farms, farming methods, and cultivars I’m going to enjoy. Being able to dry herb vaporize, especially with the Neo and Terp Surfer, gives me the consistent, high-quality experience I’m seeking.

By spending time with my cannabis to prepare it for vaporization, it encourages me to have moments of self-reflection about how much the whole plant experience brings to me, and why of all methods, flower will always be my favorite. 

Simply put, the overall quality of experience of dry herb vaporization, in general, is higher for me because it outshines smoking in so many different ways. Isn’t this what we’re all seeking – the highest quality experience possible?

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