Some savvy scientists did the field research and the results are in: vaping cannabis flowers over smoking them is the better high. Scientists from the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit in Baltimore gathered together 17 cannabis users for the experiment, though they were far from daily smokers.
The study imbibers hadn’t smoked marijuana in 30 days and most of the participants smoked an average of one time a year. During an 8.5 hour session of smoking and vaping, it’s safe to say that the users were very high indeed. Just a little higher for having vaped cannabis as well as smoked it.
The cannabis dosages given out had 0mg, 10mg or 25mg of THC. Each person went through 6 sessions and tried all of the different doses and methods. However, it was a blind study, meaning they weren’t aware which dose they were taking when. Being unaware made questionnaire answers all the more easy to write honestly and without bias.
Physical and cognitive tests were also given. Blood pressure and heart rate were taken 10 times during the 8+ hours. They were given simple tasks to perform during the tests, like replicating an onscreen shape or using a computer mouse and keyboard at the same time, which was likely a fun challenge to do while buzzed.
Interestingly enough, no matter if it was the lower or higher dose of THC, the concentration of the cannabinoid in the bloodstream was much higher when the herb was vaped rather than smoked. The results were consistent across the study and also manifested themselves as “cottonmouth,” dry eyes and lower performance rates on the cognitive tests.
The study’s conclusion read that in contrast to previous controlled side by side studies of smoked versus vaporized cannabis, this study produced much larger differences in vaporized cannabis effects. Higher blood THC concentrations from the same amounts of smoked cannabis were slightly surprising, but definite in this particular series of tests nonetheless.
“These discrepant results may be because procedures used in former studies enabled users to titrate their THC dose, whereas the current study required participants to self-administer a fixed amount of cannabis,” researchers wrote. “Therefore, holding THC dose constant, vaporizers appear to be a more efficient cannabis and THC delivery method, likely because with traditional smoked preparations, more THC is lost as a result of pyrolysis (combustion) and/or sidestream smoke.”