Whether you vape or you toke, weed is more than just getting high. For some, it eases physical and psychological pains, and for others, it is a method of expression and socialization. If you are like me, you’re a long-time cannabis user and you’ve probably smoked in just about every way- and out of everything.
We used to get crafty and creative to come up with innovative ways to get higher and higher. From the third-lung (if you don’t know what this is, for shame) to hot knives on our parent’s stoves. Smoking weed was the best method to get ripped.
A cannabis vaporizer heats up your flower or extract (shatter, wax, oil, isolate) turning it into a vapor. Unlike lighting a joint that incinerates your cannabis, most vaporizers use a convection method of heating to activate the cannabinoids in cannabis without burning them.
A recent study from Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit has proven that vaping weed will get you way, way higher than smoking it.
While many of my friends would not qualify for this study because we frequently consume cannabis (hello, chronic), it does bring up some rather insightful information on just how much higher vaping weed gets you over smoking it.
This study aimed to answer a couple interesting questions: how does vaporized cannabis influence physical and psychological performance in healthy adults who don’t consume cannabis often?
So, is vaping the new way to get the highest out of your herb? Let’s take a look:
Because vaping weed has become so popular and cannabis laws have increased access for adults to consume cannabis, we need examinations in a controlled setting like this study. Adults vaporizing cannabis every once in a while should be studied. Using the controlled dosing method, participants consumed weed by either vaping or smoking and their results were monitored.
Participants & Setting
8 women and 9 men (a total of 17) healthy adults who had not used cannabis in at least one month before the study, took part in a double-blind study at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from June 2016 to January 2017.
There were six vaping and smoking outpatient sessions with a one-week washout in between and were completed in clusters that were randomized each session.
Doses of 0mg, 10mg, and 25mg of THC were both smoked and vaporized by each participant. There were two types of cannabis used for this study. The first is one that contained over 13% THC and trace amounts of other cannabinoids. The second batch of cannabis was a placebo strain that had less than 0.01% THC.
For the 0.0mg vape and smoke sesh, the placebo cannabis was used. For the 10mg session, a mixture of the two batches was consumed. And for the 25mg doses 186.6mg of the first batch of cannabis was used.
The Effects Felt
Anyone who has smoked or vaped knows that their experiences differ from that of another. Because our endocannabinoid system (ECS) that interacts with cannabinoids from cannabis like THC, we all experience the effects of it differently.
Using a questionnaire designed to assess the extent of how the participants felt, research scientists were able to gain a lot of insight as to what each person was feeling. Things that were measured were: how the drug affects them, the pleasant effects, feeling sick, heart racing, nervous or anxious, alert, paranoid, relaxed, restless, or motivated.
It also assessed feelings of coughing, hunger (classic munchies), tiredness, dry mouth, red/itchy eyes, throat irritation, as well as cravings for more cannabis, impaired memory, and any trouble completing routine activities.
The Results: Vape vs. Smoke
Vaping gets you way, way higher than smoking weed. Alright, that statement is a little to direct. Let me break it down for you. The 17 participants had an average age of 27 and had not smoked weed in at least one month before this test.
A 100-point visual analog scaled measured their results. At 10mg THC those who smoked rated a 46 and those that vaporized a 69 on the scale. The mentioned very little effects and were hardly impaired.
The 25mg dose of THC had a significant drug effect on the patients compared to the 10mg dose. The smokers ranked a 66 on the scale and when vaping 25mg of weed ranked a 78. Vaping resulted in stronger impairment compared to the placebo vaporizing session as well as the 25mg smoking sessions. Participants also had a higher concentration of THC in their blood.
Vaping and smoking weed produce certain effects within certain doses. No matter what dose of THC you consume, vaping will always produce more pronounced effects than smoking. For those of us with moderate cannabis exposure, we may hardly feel the increase. But, for those who smoke occasionally, or have never smoked before, vaping cannabis will get you way higher than smoking a doob.
I hope I have helped you understand just how high vaping can get you. Are we cool now? No? Okay then. At least you have some science to back you up the next time your tokin with your buddies. Now, power up that vape and take a big hit! Or, if you like to keep it classic, roll a fatty or bust out the bong and take a rip!