Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marijuana Vaporizer Provides Same Level Of THC, Fewer Toxins, Study Shows

Date:
May 16, 2007
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same levels of THC, the active therapeutic chemical, with the same biological effects as smoking cannabis without the harmful toxins created by burning cannabis, according to University of California researchers.

A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same level of active therapeutic chemical and produces the same biological effect as smoking cannabis, but without the harmful toxins, according to University of California San Francisco researchers.

Results of a UCSF study, which focuses on delivery of the active ingredient delta-9-tertrahydrocannibinol, or THC, are reported in the online issue of the journal "Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics."

"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. This study demonstrates an alternative method that gives patients the same effects and allows controlled dosing but without inhalation of the toxic products in smoke," said study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine.

The research team looked at the effectiveness of a device that heats cannabis to a temperature between 180 and 200 degrees C, just short of combustion, which occurs at 230 degrees C. Eighteen individuals were enrolled as inpatients for six days under supervision in the General Clinical Research Center at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

Under the study protocol, the participants received on different days three different strengths of cannabis by two delivery methods--smoking or vaporization--three times a day.

Plasma concentrations of THC were measured along with the exhaled levels of carbon monoxide, or CO. A toxic gas, CO served as a marker for the many other combustion-generated toxins inhaled when smoking. The plasma concentrations of THC were comparable at all strengths of cannabis between smoking and vaporization. Smoking increased CO levels as expected, but there was little or no increase in CO levels after inhaling from the vaporizer, according to Abrams.

"Using CO as an indicator, there was virtually no exposure to harmful combustion products using the vaporizing device. Since it replicates smoking's efficiency at producing the desired THC effect using smaller amounts of the active ingredient as opposed to pill forms, this device has great potential for improving the therapeutic utility of THC," said study co-author Neal L. Benowitz, MD, UCSF professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences. He added that pills tend to provide patients with more THC than they need for optimal therapeutic effect and increase side effects.

Patients rated the "high" they experienced from both smoking and vaporization and there was no difference between the two methods by patient self-report of the effect, according to study findings. In addition, patients were asked which method they preferred.

"By a significant majority, patients preferred vaporization to smoking, choosing the route of delivery with the fewest side effects and greatest efficiency," said Benowitz.

Co-authors include Cheryl A. Jay, MD, UCSF neurology; and Starley B. Shade, MPH; Hector Vizoso, RN; and Mary Ellen Kelly, MPH, UCSF Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

The study was funded by the University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Marijuana Vaporizer Provides Same Level Of THC, Fewer Toxins, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515151145.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2007, May 16). Marijuana Vaporizer Provides Same Level Of THC, Fewer Toxins, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515151145.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Marijuana Vaporizer Provides Same Level Of THC, Fewer Toxins, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515151145.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins