As vaping continues to grow in popularity as a safer alternative to smoking, several companies are taking this wellness trend one step further by offering products that allow users to inhale vitamins, essential oils, and herbs. herbal supplements. But how effective is it? And is it even safe?
Vaping vitamins is definitely new, and despite almost no clinical evidence to back up effectiveness, some people claim it works. Anyway, if you want to try more powerful vaping products, you know where to go… don’t forget to subscribe to The weekly THC newsletter for more stories like this and to get access to exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles and more! Plus, we have great deals on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, which will save you $$. Visit our “Best-of” lists to find them!
The rise of vaping
When vaping first came out in the early 2000s, it was marketed as a better option than smoking traditional cigarettes… and to be honest, the trend was a bit slow to take off at first. Fast forward nearly 2 decades and by the end of 2021 there are now approximately 56 million American adults vaping. In total, 52% of Americans say they vape at least occasionally, and about 9% say they do so regularly.
In 2018, 9% of American adults said they vaped “regularly or occasionally”. (Gallup, 2018) In the United States, 27.5% of high school students use vaping products. (The Truth Initiative, 2019) According to a 2019 survey, more than 5 million American middle and high school students have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. (US Food and Drug Administration, 2019)
Nearly one million young e-cigarette users use the product daily and 1.6 million use it more than 20 times per month. (US Food and Drug Administration, 2019) About 1 in 20 Americans use vaping devices and 1 in 3 users vape daily. (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2018) 8% of Americans report using vaping products in the past week. (Galup, 2019)
20% of Americans ages 18-29 use vaping products, compared to 16% of 30-64 year olds and less than 0.5% of those 65 and older. (Gallup, 2018) 15-17 year olds are 16 times more likely to vape than 25-34 year olds. (Truth Initiative, 2018) From 2017 to 2019, the percentage of high school students who vaped in the last 30 days increased among 12th graders (11% to 25%), 10th graders (8 % to 20%) and 8th graders (4% to 9%). (The New England Journal of Medicine, 2019)
Naturally, and as was the goal from the start, vaping has cut into substantially the market for standard smoking products. In recent years, smoking rates have been at an all-time low, hovering around 15-16% of American adults. In 1974, that number was well over 40%. Youth smoking rates have also declined. According to new data from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, teen smoking has dropped nearly 23% since 2000.
While this is a huge step in the right direction, these numbers do not necessarily indicate a total decline in tobacco or nicotine use. Let’s be real, humans have been using tobacco for over 8,000 years, it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Rather, these data simply represent a change in the way people use these products.
And because vaping is presented as being kinda healthy, other industries are looking to make vapable products for consumers. Within cannabis, vaping is one of the fastest growing areas of the industry. Live resin, distillate carts, disposables, and the like are flooding the market. Based on data from industry analytics firm Headset, legal states like California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have seen vapor product sales jump more than 20% in 2021, and this number is steadily increasing.
Vaping vitamins is one of the latest trends to play on the vaporizer industry. Touted by companies as a “better alternative to injections and pills”, more and more people are wondering if these little pens filled with vitamin cocktails can do anything for their health. There’s no tobacco, nicotine, or cannabis in these vapes, just flavored vitamin mists. Most often you’ll find them packed with vitamin B12, but a few brands offer other compounds and blends such as melatonin and caffeine.
It’s not widespread yet, but enough that a handful of companies are selling them online, in their own stores, and on other online marketplaces like Amazon. I haven’t been able to find storefronts that sell these products, but that could change at any time. Some of the common names you may hear in this industry are Breathe, VitaminVape, VitaStik, BioVape, NutroVape, and Monq.
“Like so many concepts that trickle into wellness circles, the companies selling these products take something with a veneer of scientific backing or credibility, phrase it in language that sounds healthy, and then sell it to you via a market with very little regulation or oversight – a familiar concept in the cannabis industry, especially when it comes to the market for alternative products.
About B12 in the human body
Vitamin B12 is a substance with many health benefits for humans, but we do not produce it naturally. Ensuring that many different bodily functions are working as they should, such as forming red blood cells, synthesizing DNA, and promoting healthy neurological function, is essential. B12 is present in many protein-rich foods like meat, milk, fish and eggs, which is why vegans may be ‘deficient’. Older people and people with gastrointestinal problems or a weak immune system may also be more prone to developing vitamin B12 deficiencies.
That said, true B12 deficiency is actually quite rare, many people mistakenly think they are clinically deficient. For the most part, it is not a condition that can be self-diagnosed and feeling low in energy and fuzzy are not the only qualifying symptoms.
“B12 is a drug, essentially,” says Dr. Ron Crystal, chair of the department of genetic medicine and practicing pulmonologist at Weill Cornell Medicine & New York Presbyterian. “If you are deficient, your doctor must prescribe what you must do. If you have normal levels, adding more does nothing. It doesn’t help,” he says. “The concept of just taking vitamin B12 to boost your energy and so on is a myth.”
Because the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are so varied, this “myth” has been further propelled by celebrities, wellness bloggers and everyday people who claim that vitamin B12 is a miracle cure for lack of vitamin B12. ‘energy. If you’re old enough to remember that show The Simple Life, there was an episode in which Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie received B12 injections in their buttocks (which certainly helps push the trend forward). Madonna and Justin Timberlake also claim to receive B12 injections and intravenous drips.
When it comes to prescriptions or treatments, it is usually given through injections, nasal sprays or gels. And it is important to note that there is too much B12, which can lead to various side effects, including rashes, acne, increased blood pressure, discoloration of urine and flushing.
Is it effective? Or safe?
The companies claim it’s safe (of course), but there aren’t many evidence to support these assertions. In fact, the only existing research they need to refer to dates back to the 1950s and 1960s. Add to that, these studies used a “cold mist” which is completely different from a heated vapor. To this day, there are still no real studies on vaping vitamin B12, or any vitamin for that matter.
“Tome, [using vitamins and nutrients] is a marketing ploy to sell this product and make it healthier. Consumers associate vitamins with health,” Regan Bailey, nutritional epidemiologist at Purdue University, told Scientific American. “These products may be completely safe, but they may not be. We know literally nothing about the safety or effectiveness of inhaling vitamins.
Typically, when you take vitamins by mouth, enzymes in your stomach and coon break it down into smaller chemical compounds that can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. You can also take them nasally, via a cool mist inhaler. In this scenario, the components would be taken up by the epithelial cells that line the nasal cavities and the airways.
It may sound healthy and beneficial, but not much is known about this new trend in vaping vitamins. It’s probably pretty safe (although it can’t be said with 100% certainty), but it sounds like it could be a waste of money if your body isn’t absorbing the compounds properly. If you feel like trying, by all means, go for it. But I personally will probably wait until more research becomes available.
If you’ve tried vaping vitamins, or would like me to review specific products, drop us a line in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
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Disclaimer: Hello, I am a researcher and writer. I am neither a doctor, nor a lawyer, nor a businessman. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions expressed are my own. I do not give advice to anyone, and while I am more than happy to discuss topics, if anyone has another question or concern they should seek advice from a competent professional.
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