Is Vaping Cannabis Bad?

1 min read · 1 sections
While the safety and long-term health effects associated with vaping cannabis are not yet fully understood, cannabis use in any form can lead to various adverse physical and mental health outcomes.

Vaping Weed vs. Smoking Weed

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the United States.1 In fact, in 2022, 15% of individuals aged 12 or older (that’s 42.3 million people) used marijuana in the past month, including 5.2% (or 14.7 million people) who vaped marijuana in that period.2 Marijuana use impacts the lungs and can have negative neurological and cognitive effects as well.1

Effects of Marijuana Use

The effects of marijuana can include:3,4

  • A sense of relaxation.
  • Euphoria.
  • Heightened sensory perception.
  • Laughter.
  • Altered perception of time.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fear.
  • Distrust.
  • Panic.

At large doses, marijuana may have effects that include acute psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of personal identity.

person with cannabis joint and lighter

When an individual smokes marijuana, they inhale the smoke from the dried flowers in hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes, water pipes, or blunts. The tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, and other chemicals pass from the lungs into the bloodstream.4

Vaping marijuana utilizes vaporizers (also called e-cigarettes, vapes, or vape pens), which allow individuals to inhale vapor made from a liquid or dry cannabis that is heated in the electronic device.5

What’s become popular is smoking or vaping marijuana concentrates, and the effects may be more physically or psychologically intense than using the plant material since the concentrate is highly potent. In fact, marijuana concentrates contain 40% to 80% THC, which is significantly higher than high-grade marijuana that typically measures about 20% THC.5

Researchers don’t yet understand the full extent of the consequences on the body and brain—especially the developing brain—when exposed to high concentrations of THC though recent research indicates that the higher concentration may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.6,7 What is known is that chronic cannabis use is associated with psychological changes in the brain that may contribute to continued use. Additionally, the main psychoactive ingredient, THC, appears to be responsible for marijuana’s reinforcing properties and a primary contributor to marijuana addiction.8

If you or a loved one struggle with marijuana use, treatment can help you achieve long-term recovery. American Addiction Centers (AAC), the nationwide leader in addiction treatment, offers services to help those who struggle with marijuana use disorder.

Call today to speak to one of our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions navigators, who can listen to your story, answer your questions, explain your options, and help you begin your path to recovery.

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