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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 9988-10008; doi:10.3390/ijerph120809988

E-Cigarettes: A Review of New Trends in Cannabis Use

1
Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry Unit, University Center of Legal Medicine (CURML), CH-1000 Lausanne 25, Switzerland
2
Department of Community Medicine and Health (DUMSC), Rue du Bugnon 44, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
3
Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Rue du Bugnon 46, CH-1011, Lausanne, Switzerland
4
Unità di Medicina e Psicologia del Traffico, via Trevano 4, Casella postale 4044, CH-6904 Lugano, Switzerland
5
Unit of Traffic Medicine and Psychology, CURML, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
6
Institute for Work and Health (IST), Route de la Corniche 2, CH-1066 Epalinges - Lausanne, University of Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland
7
Center of General Medicine, Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine (PMU), University of Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 44, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 2 July 2015 / Revised: 4 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [862 KB, uploaded 21 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

The emergence of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) has given cannabis smokers a new method of inhaling cannabinoids. E-cigs differ from traditional marijuana cigarettes in several respects. First, it is assumed that vaporizing cannabinoids at lower temperatures is safer because it produces smaller amounts of toxic substances than the hot combustion of a marijuana cigarette. Recreational cannabis users can discretely “vape” deodorized cannabis extracts with minimal annoyance to the people around them and less chance of detection. There are nevertheless several drawbacks worth mentioning: although manufacturing commercial (or homemade) cannabinoid-enriched electronic liquids (e-liquids) requires lengthy, complex processing, some are readily on the Internet despite their lack of quality control, expiry date, and conditions of preservation and, above all, any toxicological and clinical assessment. Besides these safety problems, the regulatory situation surrounding e-liquids is often unclear. More simply ground cannabis flowering heads or concentrated, oily THC extracts (such as butane honey oil or BHO) can be vaped in specially designed, pen-sized marijuana vaporizers. Analysis of a commercial e-liquid rich in cannabidiol showed that it contained a smaller dose of active ingredient than advertised; testing our laboratory-made, purified BHO, however, confirmed that it could be vaped in an e-cig to deliver a psychoactive dose of THC. The health consequences specific to vaping these cannabis preparations remain largely unknown and speculative due to the absence of comprehensive, robust scientific studies. The most significant health concerns involve the vaping of cannabinoids by children and teenagers. E-cigs could provide an alternative gateway to cannabis use for young people. Furthermore, vaping cannabinoids could lead to environmental and passive contamination. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannabis; vaping; electronic cigarette; adolescence cannabis; vaping; electronic cigarette; adolescence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Giroud, C.; de Cesare, M.; Berthet, A.; Varlet, V.; Concha-Lozano, N.; Favrat, B. E-Cigarettes: A Review of New Trends in Cannabis Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 9988-10008.

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