Why Your THC Vape Pen Gives You a Headache (and How to Avoid This)

If you think you’re experiencing headaches after using your THC vape pen, it could be caused by a number of reasons, such as the quality of the device itself or the oils you’re using. 

Before we get into the ins and outs of vape pens, though, please note that you shouldn’t use this information to diagnose or treat your headaches. Use the information to educate yourself and seek help from a licensed medical professional if you have chronic, acute or persistent headaches. 

As cannabis laws change from state to state and more companies enter the market, it’s important to understand what is safe and what is not when vaping THC products.

Can Vaping Give You a Headache?

Headaches are a common side effect for people who vape e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. You might also experience headaches if you use vape pens that are of low quality and made of cheap materials like plastics that release toxins when the pen is heated. Reusable vape pens need to be cleaned and maintained properly. If they’re not, they can cause side effects that include headaches. 

Improper dosing can also contribute to negative side effects such as headaches. Sometimes when people make the switch from cigarette to vape pen or e-cigarette, they don’t realize the two are not created equal. A tobacco vape device, for example, contains about the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. 

Follow our experts’ recommendations to avoid overconsumption:

  • Start with one small puff —  slowly inhale
  • Open your mouth and breathe — don’t swallow — the vapor into your lungs. 
  • Exhale 
  • Wait 5 to 20 minutes to see how it affects you 
  • Repeat when you’re ready for your next dose. Any time you experience dizziness, headache or discomfort, stop.

Side effects may also be caused by the quality of the flower used to make the THC oil, processing techniques, and the oil itself.

Can Vaping Cause Dizziness?

Dizziness is a possible side effect of vaping, especially if you use low quality devices and concentrates. Always ask if cutting agents were used in the concentrate, as some of these can be harmful. Three potential cutting agents are diethylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, and vitamin E acetate, which we’ll cover in the next two sections.

If you experience dizziness after using cannabis, it could be for a number of reasons. If you frequently experience dizziness, you should consult a doctor. Let your cannabis vendor know what you experienced, and try using a different cultivar next time. 

If you easily become dizzy and are new to cannabis or vaping, we encourage you to start slowly. Experiment with your use and keep track of any effects and feelings by using our Journal feature in the Happy Valley Insider App. Also make sure you eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated.  

Propylene Glycol Headaches

Propylene glycol is an additive that chemical, food, and pharmaceutical companies use to preserve their products. It’s also used to create artificial smoke or fog. Some companies use propylene glycol in their vape concentrates. Happy Valley does not.

Propylene glycol has been associated with dehydration, which is likely the reason for headaches after smoking it.

In 1997, the CDC issued a public health statement about propylene glycol that explained that very small amounts of this chemical are safe; however, we recommend that you steer clear of this substance, as it’s known to contribute to certain diseases including cancer. Happy Valley is committed to selling products that are free of propylene glycol.

Some manufacturers are cutting corners and replacing propylene glycol with diethylene glycol, which has known dangerous side effects. Always review the ingredients to your THC vaping pen, and avoid buying concentrates that contain these chemicals. 

EVALI and THC Vaping

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a public statement about lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarettes, which has a lot of people talking and asking questions about what is safe and what should be avoided in the vaping world. 

EVALI stands for “e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury,” and is a response to injuries and deaths that were linked to e-cigarettes, in particular THC vaping products that contained vitamin E acetate — something Happy Valley does not use.

The CDC recommends avoiding THC products that come from the black market. Do not buy e-cigarette or vape products that contain vitamin E acetate. They note that vitamin E acetate is safe when you take it as a supplement or apply it in a topical lotion; however, it’s not safe when it is inhaled. 

How to Get Rid of a Vape Headache

To treat any type of headache, follow the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. The best way to avoid getting headaches from THC vape pens is to take a preventive approach. Using high quality pens and oils that are subject to strict quality control requirements, such as those purchased from licensed dispensaries, will ensure you don’t consume harmful or headache-inducing chemicals. Follow dosing recommendations and clean your pen regularly. 

If you aren’t sure how to clean your pen or it didn’t come with maintenance instructions, you can always contact Happy Valley or visit one of our locations to speak to a Happy Valley Host. And always drink plenty of water when you smoke (and throughout the day) to ensure you stay hydrated. 

To learn more about the counterfeit vape products associated with EVAL, read our How to Spot a Fake THC Vape Product blog post.

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