Vaping Marijuana & Lung Injury

A Vape Machine for Vaping Marijuana

Vaping marijuana is becoming more popular, especially among teens [1]. There’s a common belief that vaping is safer and healthier than smoking, but this isn’t true [2]. Recent research shows that vaping marijuana is actually more dangerous than e-cigarettes or smoking regular cigarettes [2].

What is Vaping?

Vaping marijuana is when someone uses a device, like an e-cigarette, to heat up an oil. This oil is made from dried marijuana plants. These oils are more concentrated than smoking, so people can get a more intense high from them [3].

Health Impacts of Vaping Marijuana

There are many ways to use marijuana. Someone may eat, smoke or vape weed to get high. Often people think that vaping is healthier than smoking because there isn’t any smoke. This isn’t true [3]. In fact, vaping is shown to have a more intense impact than smoking [3].

While the full impact of vaping isn’t totally understood yet, recent research shows that this method of weed use can cause lung injury [2]. There was a recent study done with teens to look at the impact of vaping on their lungs.

It was found that teens who vape are at increased risk for developing respiratory problems. The most common respiratory issues include:

  • Wheezing
  • Sleep problems due to having a hard time breathing
  • Dry cough
  • Speech issues
  • Difficulty breathing while exercising [2].

Marijuana Use & Other Health Problems

An E-cigarette Pen used for Vaping MarijuanaLung injury isn’t the only thing that can come from weed use. Marijuana is linked with impaired brain development in teens [2]. Research shows that teens who use this drug are more likely to suffer from impaired memory, critical thinking skills and have more difficulty learning [2].

Marijuana use during the adolescent years is especially concerning because the brain is still developing. The parts of the brain that are responsible for critical thinking and help people manage emotions are still developing. This is the part of the brain that is impacted the most by marijuana use [2].

Marijuana use may also become compulsive. This means that someone may have a difficult time not using it. Compulsive weed use may also lead people to continue to use even if their health, academics, professional responsibilities, finances, or social life is suffering.

Marijuana use continues to become more and more popular, especially as recreational use is legalized in different states. Just because it’s widely used doesn’t mean it’s good for you. This is why it’s important to get help if you are vaping or struggling with compulsive weed use.

Do you or someone you know need help? Check out Addiction Hope’s treatment locator to find a treatment center or provider near you!


[1] Psychiatry Advisor. (2021, March 16). More lung injury seen with vaping cannabis versus vaping, smoking nicotine.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, December 24). Marijuana drugfacts.

[3] Cirino, E. (2020, January 2). Vaping, smoking, or eating marijuana. Healthline.

About the Author:

Samantha Bothwell PhotoSamantha Bothwell, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, writer, explorer, and lipstick aficionado. She became a therapist after doing her own healing work so she could become whole after spending many years living with her mind and body disconnected. She has focused her clinical work to support the healing process of survivors of sexual violence and eating disorders. She is passionate about guiding people in their return to their truest Self so they can live their most authentic, peaceful life.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from multiple physical, emotional, environmental, and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on June 21, 2021
Reviewed by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 21, 2021
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.