Originally published on page 24 in issue 7 of Cannabis Now Magazine
Here’s a Sneak Peak:
A cooler, safer way to consume cannabis
Until recently, consuming cannabis was invariably associated with combustion. Rolling a joint and sharing it with friends is a time-honored ritual that even the president enjoyed in his younger days. Smoking is simple and direct; all that is needed is a pipe or some rolling papers, herb and something to ignite it. (As Stephen Colbert reports, enterprising tokers can “MacGyver” a pipe out of just about any household item.)
But combustion is a rather rapid and violent chemical process and as the health hazards of smoking cigarettes became evident, some cannabis consumers — particularly medical cannabis patients — are worried that the high heat might expose them to harmful chemicals along with their therapeutic medicine.
In 2007 the University of California at San Francisco conducted a study to compare the delivery of cannabinoids via vaporization to marijuana smoked in a standard cigarette.“We showed in a recent paper in the journal Neurology that smoked cannabis can alleviate the chronic pain caused by HIV-related neuropathy, but a concern was expressed that smoking cannabis was not safe,” wrote study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, a UCSF professor of clinical medicine. “This study demonstrates an alter- native method that gives patients the same effects and allows controlled dosing but without inhalation of the toxic products in smoke.” Study co-author Neal L. Benowitz, MD, a UCSF professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences, added, “Using CO as an indicator, there was virtually no exposure to harmful combustion products using the vaporizing device… This device has great potential for improving the therapeutic utility of THC.” Participants in the study rated the “high” similar to smoking.
“By a significant majority, patients preferred vaporization to smoking, choosing the route of delivery with the fewest side effects and greatest efficiency,” Benowitz wrote.
Vaporizing vs. Smoking
Unlike combustion, which releases all of the psychoactive chemicals simultaneously along with potentially harmful chemicals, vaporization is intended to incrementally…purchase issue 7 to read more.