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Study: Vaporizers Deliver Safe, Reliable Doses Of Cannabinoids

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 25, 2016

    personal_cultivationElectronically driven vaporizers deliver cannabinoids in a relatively safe and reliable manner, according to data published in the journal PLOS ONE.

    Swiss investigators evaluated the ability of various types of vaporizer technologies to safely and effectively release THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in vapor. Researchers reported that electronically driven devices, which allow for precise temperature control, were able to provide for relatively safe and uniform dosing. By contrast, gas-powered devices performed in a more unreliable manner and “cannot be recommended for therapeutic purposes.”

    Authors concluded, “[T]he four electrically-driven and temperature-controlled vaporizers investigated in this study efficiently decarboxylate acidic cannabinoids and release reliably the corresponding neutral cannabinoids into the vapor. Therefore, they can be considered as a promising application mode for the safe and efficient administration of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids.”

    Vaporizer technology seeks to heat marijuana to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion. In clinical trials, investigators have concluded that vaporization “does not result in exposure to combustion gases” and produces higher plasma concentrations of THC compared to smoked cannabis.

    The full text of the study, Medicinal Cannabis: “In vitro validation of vaporizers for the smoke-free inhalation of cannabis,” appears online here.

    19 Responses to “Study: Vaporizers Deliver Safe, Reliable Doses Of Cannabinoids”

    1. Miles says:

      Vaping is by far my favorite method of medicating. I’ve got the Herbalizer and it is fantastic! It has almost instant heatup with digital accuracy. It cost $600 and is worth every penny. The quality of the buzz is, in my opinion, superior to smoke and I use less cannabis to get that buzz. The taste is wonderful (assuming you have quality bud) since there is no combustion/smoke.

    2. Ben says:

      Awesome.

      One of the FEW benefits of the delays in legalization.
      So many have gotten on board to research and test every aspect-
      which is unlikely to have occurred had it been free,
      from the onset…

      “…investigators have concluded that vaporization…
      produces higher plasma concentrations
      of THC compared to smoked cannabis.”

      THAT is some useful information,
      for both medical, and recreation use.

      Personally, I consider myself a hybrid-partaker,
      that is, it is medicinally useful, to be sure,
      migraine and body aches,
      but there is an additional interest in it,
      particularly the vibrant creativity and calm.

      Speaking of-
      has anyone else noted that tinnitus is less pervasive,
      under the umbrella of a warm bud cloud?

      (might require more testing…)

      • KCRon says:

        Ben,

        Do you have hypertension? The tinnitus you mentioned is a classic symptom. Could cannabis consumed via the vape be a possible solution to high BP? Does anyone know about this specific issue? I think that “smoking” anything will actually increase BP but vaping….well?

        [Paul Armentano responds: Please see NORML’s review of the relevant literature here: http://norml.org/library/item/hypertension

        • Ben says:

          I thank you both.

          *reading*

        • Ben says:

          I had been identified as likely having hypertension, before…
          and, given my psychology and physiology, I am… both,
          hyper and tense, as it is-
          cannabis, of course, helps ADD/ADHD
          like Ritalin, Prozac, and others,
          (usually uppers or ~hypnotic ~downers), NEVER could. Most certainly, in my own case…

          A doctor ‘recommended’ medical cannabis to me
          when I was ~14, long before being medicinally approved in CO.

          However, due to my upbringing,
          it was nothing I ever considered-
          until I had terrible reactions to Ritalin-
          (most notably … energetic anger,
          something like rage, but I wasn’t even fully buying in to my doings… it was…
          Raging, yet I wasn’t all-in, I just ~watched myself… lose it…)
          THUS enters Prozac.
          Prozac caused me to be terribly suicidal-
          several failed attempts, due to others intervening.
          Prozac made me feel some odd/ok/goodish-
          but it was empty,’good’,
          being good in a way that was reminiscent of
          having eaten Robin’s minstrels. [Yay!])

          No other drugs I ever touched caused me such
          anger and desperation. Only alcohol was even close
          in its capacity…
          there were several things that ‘felt good’
          that were obviously wrong for me to do to myself,
          namely white powders, etc.

          Only clean and simple cannabis stands as a pure benefit. It, like fire, needs to be respected,
          and treated with strategy and a simple plan,
          to prevent risk to others/self/security.
          (such as
          http://norml.org/about/intro/item/principles-of-responsible-cannabis-use-3

          SO – in reading through on hypertension,
          and other aspects, I found this:

          http://www.webmd.com/news/breaking-news/marijuana-on-main-street/lundberg-marijuana

    3. Eve says:

      which vaporizers were used and which vapor cbd oils are best. is one brand better than the other or the same.

      [Paul Armentano responds: As acknowledged in the post, the full text of the study, which includes study methods and the brands of vaporizers evaluated, is online: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147286

    4. Julian says:

      My vaporizer from NORML was in the mail a couple of weeks ago. (Thanks!) It was a hesitant start; I still enjoy a traditional smoke but the vaporizer is holding its weight, bud for bud.

      The vapor creates less smell than the smoke, which is very promising for public consumption, but the residue in a vaporizer can smell like a water bong left uncleaned, so ziplocks and mason jars for anyone still in an illegal state.

      I just had my first migraine ever this weekend. I thought at first maybe it was just a hangover, or Sarah Palin and Trump on TV. I was just reading a recent blog here about how marijuana mitigates the symptoms of migraines.
      I wore a mask, gloves and a bunny suit while painting and sanding sheetrock last Friday, which I believe caused the migraine. I looked like I should have been growing weed during a spider mite outbreak, but I still inhaled sheetrock dust. The mask failed, and dust and paint got in my eyes.

      I had no idea migraines could last this long, or be this painful. It started with blurred vision yesterday morning and the pain remained constant all night and all day at work today. My only relief was some ground up Maui-Wowy and essential lavender oil stuffed into my new vaporizer.

      Instant relief.

      The pain goes to the background, perceptible yet manageable. Instead of feeling like a lost and wounded woodland creature eating wild plants for mercy, I was able to focus on my work and finish the paint job (with a more expensive filtered mask; I really needs to market a painter’s mask with a built in vaporizer… and less irritable, non toxic sheetrock made out of hemp fiber!). Chamomile tea helps too, but it’s kinda hard to whip that up in the field.

      I find myself enjoying smoking and vaporizing now, but I give special credit to the vaporizer’s ability to blend herbal remedies to get the full benefit of whole plant synergy, as we will all have to figure out what herb and strain combos works best for each of us.

      • Miles says:

        “the residue in a vaporizer can smell like a water bong left uncleaned”

        I have owned 5 different vaporizers and none of them ever had a bad smell even after many uses. It’s weird that you have got that experience. In my experience, the smell left behind is completely unnoticeable unless you get right up to it and take a deep breath and, even then, it’s not a bad smell (nothing close to old bong water…).

        Sorry to read about your migrane. Thank the Gods I’ve never had one. I do get terrible backaches from time to time as I enter my 60s…

        • Julian says:

          The smell is only persistent for a minute after using grounds or shake in the vaporizer. Perhaps the vapor lingers inside of a vehicle?
          Anyhow, since I discovered marijuana and lavender oil are treatment for a migraine, the migraine is gone and so is the lingering smell, which can be important if you live in a state of prohibition with no voter initiatives like Texas.

          Meanwhile Vermont could pass legislatively initiated marijuana legalization as early as this spring! Go Vermont!

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      ‘Authors concluded, “[T]he four electrically-driven and temperature-controlled vaporizers investigated in this study efficiently decarboxylate acidic cannabinoids and release reliably the corresponding neutral cannabinoids into the vapor. Therefore, they can be considered as a promising application mode for the safe and efficient administration of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids.”’

      Not exactly mind-blowing news in this forum, but we need studies like this advance both medicinal and recreational purposes.

    6. Cajun dready says:

      Vaporizing is really the way to go. Cannabis only smokers are at an increased risk of upper respiratory ailments. Vaporizers would put to bed all the healthcare claims that anti-legalization activists are shouting about.

    7. sk says:

      It would seem that a “smart vaporizer” could be developed that dynamically measures the smoke’s UV absorption to determine dose and automatically shut off or inform the user that the correct dose had been reached.

      Such a medical device, properly tested, would essentially eliminate all concern over dose variance.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Such technology already exists and has been clinically tested: http://norml.org/news/2014/08/21/study-cannabis-inhaler-delivers-effective-relief-to-neuropathy-patients

    8. medpatient says:

      Is this study saying that cannabis is vaporized, but marijuana is smoked?.
      It might be worth switching from marijuana to cannabis.

      • Don M says:

        The term “marijuana” was given to the cannabis plant in order to more quickly facilitate it’s prohibition. The powers that once were decided it sounded foreign and therefore would be more likely to become prohibited by an ignorant congress; and they were right.

        As enlightened/educated people know, the proper name for our plant is Cannabis Sativa. It was used as a medicine for many years under that name until Republican-Type entities, decided to use it to enforce their racist ideology (e.g. Harry Anslinger and Richard Nixon).

        • mexweed says:

          Not only sounded foreign, but insulted their forefather country by sounding like a sneaky foreign version of “Americana”, hmmm.

          I think we’re gonna fix that, our brilliant children will be known as Ameriwans living in the United States of Ameriwa.

          PS. Those Israeli researchers (from Mechoulam on) deserve a reward, let’s us Big God’s Country devour the Little God’s Country, make them the 51st State, New Israel, about same number of Congrassbuds as New Germany oops sorry Jewsy.

          PPS. State 52 should be PR, we’ll found a new capital city, Peoria, in the exact center of the island on Route 157 near Orocovis, plant lots of Hemp and Carob Beans– it’s a Carob Bean Island, right?

    9. Ben says:

      Fark cancer.

      Here is a ~5 min clip on the antitumoral properties of cannabis

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1miGzTwK28U

    10. Juniata says:

      I’ve vaped with the PAX and the DaVinci. Vaping definitely mitigates pain in a different way than smoking does but, personally, it dries out my lungs more drastically than smoking. I also build a tolerance to vaping after about 3 weeks of habitual consumption. The vapor IS more clandestine than smoke and you can save the “vape cookies” for butter later on. But, personally, for a person who has a clean diet and exercises aerobically daily I love rolling a small joint and going for a jog…

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