Is ‘cannavaping’ a healthy alternative for medicinal users?

Method could be a more efficient and less harmful than smoking traditional cannabis cigarettes, according to a new study.

Using e-cigarettes for the vaping of cannabis oil, which the authors refer to as ‘cannavaping’, may provide a new route of administration for therapeutic cannabinoids.

Swiss researchers extracted cannabinoids from cannabis with butane gas to produce butane hashish oil (BHO) concentrate in an e-liquid form, which could be atomised.

Samples of the gases generated from three e-cigarettes were then collected and analysed.

Results showed cannavaping led to inhalation of lower levels of toxic contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbonyls, which are released during the combustion of regular cannabis cigarettes.

While a possible healthier alternative for medicinal users, the authors don’t believe cannavaping presents a risk of becoming popular among recreational cannabis users.

Poor solubility of BHO in commercial liquid refills would prevent the manufacture of refills with the high concentrations preferred by most recreational users, they say.

The authors also note that as only one type of e-cigarette was assessed in this study, other devices, brands and e-liquids may produce different cannabinoids and levels of VOCs and carbonyls.

This is because the electrical settings of e-cigarettes can determine how much aerosol, THC or toxic byproduct is generated.

Overly high power can damage the equipment and promote the formation of toxic compounds, they say.

The study was published in Scientific Reports

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