Vaping has already changed the way nicotine fiends get their fix. Now, it’s set to overhaul medical marijuana use as well. The results of a small study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, show that vaping weed, an activity researchers have uninspiringly dubbed “cannavaping,” is much healthier than smoking it.
While it seems like a no brainer, there hasn’t been any scientific evidence to prove it until now. Smoking a joint involves burning marijuana, and burning anything can release toxic and potentially carcinogenic contaminants, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Vaping, in contrast, involves heating a liquid to boiling point and sucking in the vapors.
Inspired by the process of dabbing butane hashish oil — when cannabis concentrates are vaporized at extremely high temperatures — the Swiss researchers extracted cannabinoids from weed and used it as the e-liquid in the e-cigarette they tested.
It was a small study — they only tested one type of vape — but they concluded that vaping did not generate any “new specific contaminants,” which they deemed promising for the future of cannavaping.
The only problem? The e-liquid they made didn’t have nearly enough cannabinoids to get high with a few tokes; they estimated that users would have had to take 100 puffs on the vape to feel any therapeutic effects. They also pointed out that vapes vary in terms of maximum temperature; even vapes, if they get too hot, can release some nasty toxins from weed extracts.
Until researchers figure out how to make their e-liquids decently dank, there are other ways to avoid potential carcinogens caused by lighting up: We hear Chrontella — yes, weed-infused Nutella! — is pretty damn delicious.