Research Shows That Vaping Cannabis Is More Powerful Than Smoking It

Inhaling cannabis through a vaping device has more of an effect on users as compared to smoking it, a new study finds.

Led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit in Baltimore, the study found that vaping cannabis causes more negative drug effects and cognitive impairment in users, a Daily Mail report said.

In the study, researchers conducted six sessions — each lasting 8.5 hours — where 17 participants were asked to consume cannabis through smoking or through vaping either 0 milligrams, 10mg or 25mg of THC — the psychoactive component found in cannabis that causes the “high” effect.

The participants were then asked to fill out a questionnaire in the dark in order to avoid bias and per a report by NBC News, they were asked to rate items that assessed the extent to which they felt drug effects, pleasant drug effects, and unpleasant drug effects.

Other items included in the questionnaire included the following: feelings of sick; heart racing; anxiety and/or nervousness; relaxed feeling; paranoia; alertness; irritability; vigorous and/or motivated feelings; restlessness; hunger and/or had the munchies, sleepiness; dry mouth; dry, red, and/or irritated eyes; throat irritation and/or coughing; difficulty performing routine tasks; memory impairment; and cravings from cannabis, the report said.

Participants were also asked to undergo physical and cognitive tests during each high. According to the Daily Mail, heart rate and blood pressure of the participants were measured 10 times in the 8-hour sessions. Later, they were asked to “complete tasks on a computer, such as solving simple equations.”

Per the report, those participants who vaped cannabis in both high and low doses made twice as many mistakes on tests and also demonstrated an increase in negative drug effects, such as “dry mouth, paranoia, itchy eyes and higher heart rate.”

The study showed that vaping had more potent effects on the users at every dosage as compared to smoking. In the study — which was published in the journal JAMA Network Open — researchers wrote that “Vaporized cannabis produced significantly greater subjective drug effects, cognitive and psychomotor impairment, and higher than the same doses of smoked cannabis.”

Compared with what is commercially available in the U.S., the doses given to participants were not as strong, the researchers added. The study comes out as cannabis and vaping have surpassed cigarettes as young people’s favorite way of smoking in the U.S.

Per the report, about four million teenagers across the U.S. say that they have vaped cannabis. “As cannabis has become legal in more states, it has become a bigger business, expanding into products like tasty edibles and flavorless e-liquids that make marijuana more appealing and easier to hide for teenagers,” the Daily Mail report added.