Health risks of vaping cannabis

Drugs

There is a large concern for the increasing popularity of vaping among young adults. Studies show that inhaling aerosolized e-liquids, which contain toxicants, can significantly affect respiratory health. Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in vaping products and is by far one of the largest contributors to lung injuries in young adults. But what are the health risks of vaping cannabis?

E-cigarettes commonly known as vapes and e-hookahs, work by creating aerosols that are inhaled into the lungs through the process of heating up the contained liquid. This liquid usually consists of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), nicotine, cannabinoid (CBD) oils, additives, and flavourings.

Researchers examined the health risks of cannabis vaping by conducting a study with 2553 young adults from Southern California. They looked at different frequencies of exposure to cannabis use in order to determine whether or not any health risks were involved.

The findings of this study suggest that any degree of cannabis vaping is highly associated with bronchitis symptoms, such as cough, congestion and phlegm. Vaping doubled the likelihood of wheezing. Additionally, many individuals had reported hearing whistling in their chests.

Future research is needed in order to investigate the pathways influencing cannabis vaping and respiratory health issues.

The lack of regulation combined with the tampering of cannabis vaping devices should be a large concern for health and safety. Collaborative practice in both healthcare and public sectors can strongly improve research and awareness for respiratory consequences of vaping cannabis.

References

Braymiller JL, Barrington-Trimis JL, Leventhal AM, et al. Assessment of Nicotine and Cannabis Vaping and Respiratory Symptoms in Young Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(12):e2030189. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.30189

Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products. (2020, November 27). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

Image by Matthew Sheahan from Pixabay 

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