Vaporizing cannabis has long been considered a more efficient way to smoke compared to blunts, joints, and even glass pipes. But is using a cannabis vape really more efficient, and if so, by how much? Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Unit set out to answer that question by conducting a study on 17 willing participants who agreed to get high for science.
Each study participant had smoked before but had not done so in the last 30 days before the research began. These light smokers agreed to blaze through six different sessions, each of which was over eight hours long. During each portion of the study, a participant would receive doses in various sizes without being told exactly how much THC they’d be consuming. The six different doses were as follows:
- 0mg of THC by smoking
- 0mg of THC by vaping
- 10mg of THC by smoking
- 10mg of THC by vaping
- 25mg of THC by smoking
- 25mg of THC by vaping
After being given an unknown dose of THC, the participants had to have their heart rates and blood pressures measured 10 different times over the course of 8 hours. Not only that, but they were also subjected to questionnaires, physical tests, and mental puzzles throughout the eight hours. Let’s hope they at least got to eat some snacks.
The first thing worth mentioning from this study is that 25mg of cannabis is enough to get light to moderate smokers insanely high. Two of the participants vomited after receiving the largest dose, and another person reported experiencing hallucinations. We salute them for riding that out in a clinical setting. We also learned fairly conclusively that vaporizing cannabis will get people a lot higher.
People had higher levels of THC in their blood after vaping than they did after smoking, and they also made about twice as many mistakes on the mental tests. The survey portion of the study backs this up, with participants themselves reporting higher levels of dry mouth, dry eyes, and paranoia after vaping. Their physical impairment was also more severe, so it’s fairly safe to say that vaporized cannabis is more effective in every capacity.
One important limitation of this study is that the patients only used one type of vape. Not all vaporizers are created equal, though they are almost all going to offer a more effective delivery method than regular smoking. It’s also important to note that this was for vaporized flower– vaping with concentrates is likely to create even more powerful effects.
In other words, we recommend starting with a smaller dose than usual when you first start smoking weed with a cannabis vape. We don’t want you to end up like some of the study participants who got too high and had a bad time! If you have any questions about vaping cannabis, we recommend asking an experienced budtender.
The study we referenced in this article only used cannabis with a 13.4% THC content, which is much less powerful than what you’ll find on our dispensary menu at The Lodge. Our budtenders have excellent product knowledge, so they can definitely help you find the right strain (or concentrate) for your first vaping experience. We even offer concentrates that are already in cartridges, which makes it extra easy to vape your cannabis. Contact us with any questions, or come see us today!