Study: Vaping Pot Makes for a More Intense High

Compared to smoking it
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2018 6:49 PM CST
A marijuana plant grows at the Desert Grown Farms cultivation facility in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(Newser) – Hey … you want to get high? If so, you may want to consider vaping your weed, rather than smoking it. According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, the former results in “significantly greater drug effects, cognitive and psychomotor impairment, and higher blood THC concentrations” than the latter. And just how did the researchers with Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit make this determination? Seventeen participants volunteered to get stoned for science, Live Science reports. During six 8.5-hour sessions, the participants, who had used pot but not in the previous 30 days before the study began, smoked or vaped marijuana with 0mg, 10mg, or 25mg of THC. After consuming the weed, the participants filled out a questionnaire about their degree of intoxication and then went through a bunch of physical and cognitive test (“the apex of weed-enabled fun,” Live Science quips).

People can use the study’s findings to settle on an appropriate dose for their method of ingestion, Michael Lynch director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, tells NBC. “People often create an equivalency between vaping and smoking, assuming that if you’re using the same amount of the drug the effects will be similar,” he says. “… The effects aren’t the same, and the same dose could lead to more negative or adverse effects.” Those include dry mouth, irritated eyes, memory impairment, and trouble performing routine tasks. As for why vaping results in a stronger high, one researcher thinks it’s because there’s no combustion so none of the pot is destroyed. As vaping marijuana becomes more popular, so do vape cartridges, which are akin to e-cigarettes. But buyer beware. Marijuana Business Daily reports that counterfeit, “potentially unsafe” vape cartridges are becoming more and more common, especially in unlicensed shops and states where pot is illegal. (Read more marijuana stories.)

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