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The rise of these vaporizers coincides with the development in recent years of potent new forms of concentrated marijuana extractions in liquid, gelantinous and waxy forms. These concentrates lend themselves easily to vaporization and are used to fuel many of the vape pens on the market, though there also are many vaporizers made for using the leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant, as one would traditionally.
The concentrates can have as much as 80 percent or even 90 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, compared to 10 percent to 20 percent in the plant itself. Additionally, home manufacturing of the concentrates can be dangerous since flammable solvents such as butane are used, and their potency can deliver a fast and powerful high to the user.
Law enforcement groups remain strongly opposed to marijuana legalization, and the rise of high-strength concentrates for vaporizing contributes to the false notion that marijuana use is benign.
Many are concerned that vape pens allow teens to smoke marijuana without being detected, because the pens are easily concealed and leave little to no odor.
Sources: USA Today, NPR Health News
Written by: Lisa Callaham
Posted: Jun 03, 2014 by Lisa Callaham