Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people really will vape anything these days. Vitamins, essential oils, caffeine — it only makes sense that melatonin would now come in vape form, too. Whether it works is one thing, but is it safe to use during a time when we’re all particularly concerned about our respiratory health?
So far, the best answer is “maybe.” Given that vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon, we don’t yet know precisely what the long term effects are. As of February 18th, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed 68 vape-related deaths in the U.S., but all of them (as well as vape-related hospitalizations) were associated with unregulated THC vaporizers, most of which contained vitamin E acetate. Since then, this additive has largely been removed from THC vapes, and never appeared in legal ones.
Other than that, nothing terrible has happened to vapers yet, and vaping is generally considered to be safer than smoking. Still, we just can’t yet say for sure that the act of vaping or the substances that might be in any particular vape are actually harmless.
As for melatonin vapes, though, the ingredients are probably safe. That said, you can’t vape just melatonin. Instead, you need a carrier. A melatonin vape from Inhale Health, for example, uses pharmaceutical-grade vegetable glycerin. Again, this is probably safe, but again, we haven’t been vaping vegetable glycerin long enough to know for sure.
We also don’t have conclusive evidence if it works. Hypothetically, vaping melatonin would yield faster effects than swallowing a capsule, as it could enter the bloodstream through the lungs almost immediately. On the other hand, melatonin molecules are larger than traditionally-inhaled substances like nicotine, meaning they might not be efficiently absorbed this way. Even if it were absorbed, there’s still not a ton of evidence that melatonin in any form is very effective — most studies have found melatonin to be no more effective than a placebo in helping people fall asleep.
Vaping in general is still in its infancy, and those who vape are essentially guinea pigs for its future. If you already vape, adding melatonin to the mix doesn’t necessarily change much. But if you’re just looking for new ways to relax and get to sleep, it might be better to try out the over-the-counter variety you can buy at a pharmacy before going straight for the vapor.