THC vapes


THC vapes are illicit vapes that have been found to contain the substance THC which can be preloaded into disposable vapes or mixed with vape liquid.

Also known as:

  • Cannabis Vapes
  • Weed Pens
  • Cannabis Pens

What is THC?

THC is responsible for the psychoactive (mind-altering) effects of cannabis.

What are THC Vapes?

THC can be preloaded into disposable vapes. 

THC can also be mixed with vape liquid and added to refillable vapes or mods. 

Tests have also shown that THC vapes can contain other substances, such as synthetic cannabinoids (spice) and synthetic opioids like nitazenes, which carry a greater level of risk and can lead to increased risk of overdose and death. 

Most of the time, people aren't aware that other substances have been mixed into their THC liquid or vape. This makes vaping even more dangerous and significantly increases the risk of overdose. The information below assumes THC is the only substance found in THC vapes.

How can vapes containing THC make you feel?

THC affects different people in different ways, and how you’re feeling can impact the effect you get. Generally, THC can:

  • Cause nausea or vomiting (‘throwing a whitey’)

  • Make you feel hungry (‘the munchies’), 

  • Make you feel giggly

  • Make you feel unmotivated, sleepy or withdrawn

  • Cause your eyes become red or irritated

  • Make your mouth go very dry

What happens to my body if I use THC vapes often?

Symptoms of using THC vapes  include:

  • Paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations

  • Seizures (which may lead to a coma)

  • Being very tired all the time

  • Stomach pains, loss of appetite, or feeling sick

  • Severe headaches

  • Acting aggressively or violently 

Additionally, inhaling vitamin E acetate (a common ingredient in THC vapes) include an ongoing cough, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

How to reduce harm while using THC vapes

We recognise that some ways of using drugs carry less risk than others, and by providing information which supports people to make informed decisions, we can help people to minimise harm.

Before you start, check:

  • Is now the right time? How you’re feeling when you use THC vapes can impact the effects you may experience, so consider checking in with yourself and thinking about whether now is a good time for you.

  • Do I know what I’m taking? Researching what you’re planning to take, what the effects can be and how to reduce harm can help to keep you safe. 

  • Have I contacted a friend or family member? In case you need help while you’re taking THC vapes, consider telling someone your plans.

  • Use a vape or liquid you have bought from a reputable shop, with a clear list of ingredients.

While you're using:

Try not to use on your own

It's best not to use THC vapes if you’re on your own or if you’re in a position where there is nobody you could call for help. A buddy system - where one person takes their dose first and waits until the peak effects have worn off before the other person uses - makes it more likely that someone can help if anyone overdoses.

Start low, go slow

Strength can vary between batches. Start with a small amount and wait at least two hours before your next dose

Go at your own pace

Everyone responds differently to drugs - it’s okay to go at your own pace. Inhaling deeply will not increase the effect of THC vapes, but it could damage your lungs, so try and take small and short puffs if smoking.

Try not to mix

Try not to mix THC vapes with other drugs or alcohol, as this can increase your risk of harm.

Don't share

Avoid sharing vapes as you won’t know what’s in the liquid and it may have been ‘spiked’ with a drug you are not expecting.

Find a safe space

Where you are when you use THC vapes can impact the effects you may experience, so try and find a space where you feel safe and comfortable and are with people you trust.

Sip water

It’s common to get a dry mouth when using THC vapes, so sipping water regularly can help.

The recovery position

The recovery position helps to prevent someone unconscious from choking on vomit. If someone is unconscious, putting them in the recovery position, getting help if needed, and staying with them will help to reduce the risk of harm.

After using THC vapes:

  • Looking after and being kind to yourself is important - get plenty of sleep and rest, and try to avoid taking any other drugs to give your body time to recover

  • Refuelling will help your recovery - this includes drinking plenty of water and eating something nutritious which is soft on your stomach and not too rich

And always remember - if you’re feeling low and feel you can’t talk to a friend or family member, contact us for help through our webchat or find your local service.

What do I do if I think someone has overdosed on THC vapes?

If someone shows signs of overdose, put them in the recovery position and get help fast by calling 999, telling emergency services what you know.

Signs of THC overdose include:

  • Anxiety
  • Loss of coordination
  • Panic
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Changes to breathing
  • Delirium
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Psychotic symptoms

If you suspect someone has overdosed, it’s always best to administer Naloxone. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioid drugs. Drugs bought illicitly can contain a mixture of substances, including opioids like nitazenes, so use naloxone if you have it. If someone hasn’t overdosed on opioids, naloxone won’t harm them. 

You can get a naloxone kit and training on how to use it from your local WithYou service. 

More information about naloxone, including how to use it.

Looking for support?

If you’re concerned about your THC vaoe use, or if you’re worried about someone you know, we’re WithYou. We provide free, confidential and non-judgemental support and advice. Please don’t hesitate to reach out: