Cannabis Vaping: Benefits and Concerns

Cannabis Vaping: Benefits and Concerns

September 21, 2018 By

What is Vaping?


Combustion methods such as smoking have been a commonplace form of consumption for some time, but as we find ourselves drawing closer to legalization, an increasingly popular method of consumption has presented itself through cannabis vaping, or vaporization. This method involves heating cannabis at a lower temperature, allowing consumers to inhale the cannabinoids and terpenes as a vapor instead of a smoke.

Depending on the type of vaporizer used, dried cannabis flower or concentrates can be consumed. The most popular form of vaporizer currently found on the illegal market is a vape pen containing a ceramic core, small battery, and cartridge of cannabis concentrate. Cannabinoids begin to vaporize at 284°F compared to 446°F through combustion methods. There are two different heating mechanisms to achieve vaporization:

  1. Conductive Heating: these vaporizers operate by placing dried flower or concentrate directly on an electronically heated surface, often a metal plate or screen. The metal surface is then heated to a suitable temperature for vaporization.
  2. Convective Heating: through this method of vaporization, the cannabis dried flower or concentrate does not come in contact with the heating surface. Instead air is heated to an ideal temperature and then pushed into a chamber containing the cannabis product.


Benefits of Cannabis Vaping


  • Though not as significant as in tobacco vaping, cannabis vaping has been proven to reduce the amount of toxic particulates. Vaporizing reduces the inhalation of carcinogens and harmful effects that combustion methods have on the lungs. Because of this, vaporized cannabis users show fewer respiratory symptoms than those that choose to smoke.


  • The use of vaporization products, especially vape pens is relatively discreet. The products often come in small sizes and, because the cannabis is inhaled as a vapour instead of a smoke, the traditional odour associated with cannabis use is minimized.


  • Receiving a specific dose of cannabis is simpler with vaping products compared to combustion methods. Higher end products are able to deliver a precise dose through controlled temperature, airflow and vibration.


Vaping Concerns


  • Because vapes are currently an unregulated category within the recreational cannabis Canadian market (and will not be included among approved products for legalization), the health effects of these products are still up for debate. The government has concerns with regards to high potency, and the chemical solvents that are used in the production of concentrates. Alarmingly, the contents of the vape cartridges are not monitored, and it is possible for metal particulates to find their way into the inhaled vapour.


  • The popularity of e-cigarettes among youth have led researchers to believe some of the perceived benefits associated with vaping cannabis could lead to an increased likelihood of trying cannabis at an earlier age.


Health Canada has chosen not to include concentrates and vaporizers among the list of cannabis products that will be deemed legal come October 17, citing that the health effects still need to be properly understood. Instead, the Federal Government plans to adapt Bill C-45 within a year to include concentrates, though companies involved in the manufacture of vape pens are lobbying for this too happen sooner.


North America’s current largest legal cannabis market, California, has seen unexpected growth within the vaporizer category. With sales percentages increasing from 6% in 2015 to 24% in 2016, vaporizer cartridges have become the fastest growing category among cannabis product types. Similar numbers have been seen in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, where recreational cannabis is also legal.


Cannabis Sales by Product Type Preference


With these cannabis vaping trends appearing simultaneously across legal recreational markets within the United States, it would not be surprising that numbers within Canada follow suit. dicentra Cannabis Consulting has the experience and resources necessary to ensure your vaping products successfully navigate the regulatory requirements associated with medicinal cannabis (potentially as a medical device) or Health Canada licensing, pending further guidance from Health Canada for recreational products. If you have questions about the regulatory hurdles associated with licensing your vaping product, contact dicentra and let’s get started! 1-866-647-3279 or


dicentra Cannabis Consulting is committed to keeping both current and prospective clients well informed and educated on the Cannabis Act and the cannabis regulatory framework. We are committed to providing you with news, updates and information as the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations come into force on October 17, 2018 (and into the future). For any cannabis related questions, please contact us by phone at 1-866-647-3279 or via email at



  1. Earlywine, M. & Barnwell, SS. (2007). Decreased Respiratory Symptoms in Cannabis Users Who Vaporize. Harm Reduction Journal, 2007, Apr 16, 4:11.
  2. Tashkin, P. (2015). How Beneficial is Vaping Cannabis to Respiratory Health Compared to Smoking? Commentaries on Budney et al., 1706 – 1707.
  3. Smoking, Vaping and Tobacco – Health Canada