Want More THC Out Of Your Cannabis? Study Says You Should Vape, Not Smoke It
If you’re a smoker who wants to get sky high, scientists have just proven that the most efficient way to do so is by vaping, instead of smoking.
A new study conducted by researchers from the John Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit revealed that vaporizing weed can get you higher than smoking the same amount of pot. The process involved analyzing the effects of vaporized cannabis and compared it to smoked cannabis on 17 subjects. The participants smoked cannabis prior to the study, although abstained 30 days before the study began. They were made to go through 6 sessions, 8.5 hours long each, wherein they got very stoned.
In each session, participants were made to vaporize or smoke cannabis containing 0, 10, or 25mg of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. All doses were consumed by each of the participants throughout the sessions, but they were not privy to how much THC was in each dose to prevent any biases when answering a questionnaire.
Additionally, they were asked to complete a set of cognitive and physical tests while they were high. Blood pressure and heart rate was measured 10 times in 8 hours, and they were also subject to various computerized tasks involving duplicating shapes on a digital screen, replying to stimuli, and solving simple equations.
The findings revealed that 25mg of THC can get you very high, whether you vaporized or smoked. In fact, two of the subjects were reported to have vomited after consuming this high a dose. They also found that after vaporizing and smoking, the participants experienced the most intense of the common “side effects” associated with cannabis, namely red eyes, the munchies, paranoia, and high heart rate, within the first hour after getting stoned. In some cases, the effects continued for much longer even when their blood THC content already normalized.
The researchers also found that the subjects who vaporized weed were shown to have dramatically more THC in their bloodstream compared to the subjects who smoked the same amount. The results of the questionnaire intended to test their impairment revealed enhanced effects, and the subjects who vaporized made twice the number of mistakes than the smokers did, and also reported feeling more of the side effects.
The researchers believe that the differences are due to the THC lost during the process of combustion when one smokes as opposed to vaporizing. “Vaporized cannabis produced significantly greater subjective drug effects, cognitive and psychomotor impairment, and higher blood THC concentrations than the same doses of smoked cannabis,” write the researchers.
“Notably, the highest dose of cannabis administered in this study (25mg of THC: 0.19g; 13.4 percent THC) is substantially smaller and has a lower THC concentration than what is typically contained in pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes available for purchase in cannabis dispensaries, which commonly contain roughly 1.0g of cannabis with THC concentrations often exceeding 18 percent,” they write.
The researchers concluded that the THC content, as well as that of other cannabinoids present in the strain, shouldn’t be the only factor taken into consideration when one is trying to assume an accurate dose. They say that both consumers and regulators need to keep in mind the impact that the method of consumption has. Smoking and vaporizing may even seem like two similar ways of consuming cannabis, but the findings reveal otherwise.
The truth is that, while inhalation provides rapid onset of effects and quick relief for those who need to use cannabis medicinally, there are a lot of differences between these two forms of consumption. It seems that smoking cannabis flower could actually be a dying trend, as vaporizing takes over in popularity for many reasons. For one, individuals who are already sick are better of vaporizing cannabis than smoking it, because it doesn’t irritate the throat and lungs as much as smoking raw flower. Vaporizing is also associated with improved cannabinoid efficiency because the high temperatures involved in smoking mean that you’re burning as much as 50% of the cannabinoids during combustion, while another 20% of these compounds are destroyed from burn off.
Many people are also turning to vaporizing cannabis because it’s more discreet, and a little goes a long way.
Whether you’re smoking for medicinal or recreational reasons, there may be good reason to make the switch to vaporizing now.