Use of Vaporizers to Administer Medical Cannabis

Traditionally marijuana has been administered by being cooked into foods and drinks or smoked using a pipe or water pipe, or rolled into a cigarette (joint).  More recently vaporizers have offered an option to deliver the cannabinoids via inhalation (vaping) without having to incinerate the plant material.

Vaporizers heat cannabis to a temperature where the cannabinoids become vaporized but not to a temperature high enough to burn or combust the plant material.  Vapourization temperature is usually between 180 - 195°C. The vapor is then inhaled (vaped). Vaporized cannabis does not contain the toxic by-products of combustion, some of which are proven carcinogens, and for that reason is theoretically a safer route to administer the medication.  It is important to note that using higher temperatures for vaporization can increase the production of by-products.

Patients should include a discussion of how they should administer marijuana in the dialog they have with their physicians regarding the medical use of marijuana.

Patients and physicians are encouraged to review the available published literature on the use of vaporized cannabis.  Below are links to some online articles on the subject.

Decreased Respiratory Symptoms in Cannabis Users who Vaporize

Medicinal Cannabis: In Vitro Validation of Vaporizers for the Smoke-Free Inhalation of Cannabis 

Cannabis Smoke Condensate III: The Cannabinoid Content of Vaporised Cannabis Sativa

Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines: A Comprehensive Update of Evidence and Recommendations

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