Cannabis vaping: An online survey characterising patterns of use, reasons for use and the effects of vaping

First published: 09/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

Aims:  To extend previous knowledge of cannabis vaping in a larger cohort of cannabis vapers; to establish patterns of use, reasons for vaping, perceived benefits and effects of vaping relative to smoking cannabis.

Methods:  An online Qualtrics survey was completed by 89 cannabis users, 64 (72%) male with a mean age of 29 years.

Results: 27% were exclusive cannabis vapers. 43% vaped cannabis more than 4 times a week, 51% had vaped for over a year and 72% preferred to use a vaporiser.  Reasons endorsed for starting to vape cannabis, were the same for continuing to vape cannabis; a reduced odour, more discrete, tastes better and viewed as healthier.  Since users had started vaping the majority (44%) reported either no change in the levels of overall cannabis consumption or even a reduction in use (30%).   Relative to smoking cannabis, users viewed vaping as a good replacement, improved health, better taste, just as satisfying, involved less smell, and was a safer and healthier alternative. The only significant side effects reported was some degree of throat irritation (44%) and dizziness (22%).

Conclusions:  Cannabis vapers report minimal side effects from vaping, relative to the benefits endorsed for vaping relative to smoking cannabis.  These benefits have both contributed and continue to reinforce vaping as an alternative method for consuming cannabis. Contrary to fears of increased cannabis use due to such benefits, in most of the current cannabis vapers overall cannabis use has remained stable or even reduced since they had started vaping.

Co-Authors

Miss Kirsty Lea, University of East London Miss Ruby Gualberto, University of East London Prof. John Turner, University of East London Dr Lynne Dawkins, London Southbank University


Conflicts of interest:

No conflict of interest

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Dr Kirstie Soar