Study: Vaporizing Marijuana May Prevent Tobacco/Nicotine Dependence

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

When it comes to medical marijuana, finding the appropriate vehicle is vital to discovering the most effective and efficient dosing regimen. In a letter to the editor/review in Addiction, authors discussed evidence suggesting the method of vaporization, as opposed to smoke inhalation, may reduce the risk of developing nicotine or tobacco dependence. The combustion of plant material can release carcinogens and toxins that harm the lungs. Vaporization, on the other hand, only heats cannabis materials between 250-400 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases different cannabinoids at different temperatures without reaching the point of combustion.

Authors argued one harmful aspect of cannabis use is that it may lead to nicotine/tobacco dependence because of mixing tobacco in cannabis cigarettes, but vaporization may be able to reduce this future nicotine dependence in users. In one sample of 96 people, only 2 reported adding tobacco to their cannabis vaporization device, which lead researchers to suggest vaporizers may create a disconnect between cannabis and tobacco use. One survey from the Global Drug Survey (GDS), only 8% of more than 30,000 cannabis users used vaporizers, but vaporizes were ranked as the optimal vehicle for preventing harm from cannabis use. Nations with the highest rate of vaporizer use also had the lease amount of tobacco and cannabis co-administration.

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