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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Brown: Cost-effectiveness, Potency among Reasons Why Marijuana Users Say They Vape

Researchers at Brown University School of Public Health have published the results of a qualitative study that assessed perceptions of vaping vs. smoking marijuana; including perceived differences, benefits and drawbacks. The study was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Lead by Dr. Elizabeth R. Aston, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at the Brown School of Public Heath, the researchers conducted five focus groups with frequent marijuana users from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, with each group consisting of 5-7 people. In total, 31 people participated in discussions. 

They found some users reported a more potent high when they vaped, compared to when they smoked marijuana.They also reported that vaping was allowed users to use marijuana discreetly as vaping lacks the traditional smell and smoke produced when marijuana is smoked. Others reported that vaporized marijuana could be reused in edibles, which suggests that vaping may be perceived to be cost-effective. Some users reported that they thought it may even have health benefits, for treatment of bronchitis for instance. 

The authors suggest that future prevention and intervention programs should target beliefs about vaping and that regulations may be required to make vaping devices less discreet. 

Full study