Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Marijuana 101: Do Air Purifiers Even Work?

Some homes, especially those with any degree of indoor smoke, can have worse air quality than a congested city street. Are air purifiers the answer?

Many people who partake in cannabis are looking for ways to keep the air inside their homes as clean as possible, given the sometimes smokey circumstances. It can be hard to find accessible strategies for this task, as you can’t retrofit a negative pressure air system into your rental apartment unless you’re Elon Musk.

Researching the options online, a few basics about the situation become clear. Air pollution is a collection of problems, from dust and dander to particles found in smoke and exhaust and even gross bacteria and odor molecules. Some homes, especially those with any degree of indoor smoke, can have worse air quality than a congested city street.

Photo by Jamie Grill/Getty Images

The idea of plugging in a device to do what an intricate system can do may seem ineffective, but according to Home Air Quality Guides, it’s actually a sound process, scientifically. These machines help people with chemical sensitivities, asthma, and allergies live better and healthier lives, and can help people who don’t need them for medical necessity either.

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Air purifiers use four different strategies, sometimes combined, to fight the various types of pollutants in a home. Light based systems use ultraviolet and LED light to sterilize the air that passes through it, but do nothing for odors. Ionic models cause pollutants to fall to gravity into a plate or on the ground, and carbon and HEPA filtration remove physical particles, carbon nixes smells while HEPA actually kicks irritants out of the air it treats completely.

Every home shop has a model, and they range from 50 or so dollars for a desktop model to up to 600+ dollars for combination methods. Reviews are a good start if you want to poke around for those with similar concerns to yours. If you have the cash to spare, bigger models are portable if you move, and tackle a long list of issues from particulate and pet dander to a neighbor’s cooking odors, so the investment can carry its value over a longer period of time.

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Photo by contrastaddict/Getty Images

Even if you get the best air purifier in the world, between pets, outside pollution and indoor cannabis use, these machines can only do so much. A combined attack of regular cleaning, limited combustion, and a good quality air purifier can help.

We asked Dr. Jack D’Angelo, Chief Medical Officer of Citiva Medical what he thinks about the topic. He said:

“Air purifiers simply help to eliminate the odors from smoking cannabis. Smoked cannabis particles are small and a carbon filter will work better than traditional HEPA filters. Ionizers are not all that effective for the smell of cannabis because they work on polarity and cannabis particles are often non polar. As a physician, I recommend vaporization, as the byproducts continue to pose less risk than the carbon monoxide and tars released in the smoking process.”   

Straight from a doctor’s mouth, smoking simply compromises the air, so do your best to convert to vapes and other consumption methods if you are worrying about long term effects.

Photo by Your Best Digs via Flickr



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