THE WAY WE CONSUME CANNABIS IS CHANGING

The way we consume cannabis is more diverse than ever. Not only are there more types of cannabis to enjoy, but consumption methods too. It can be smoked, vaporized, eaten, absorbed through the skin, and for specific medical conditions, cannabis suppositories are also available. If you want to benefit from the therapeutic potential of cannabis, there are a plethora of ways to do so. If you are a recreational user, in most cases the way you consume your cannabis will come down to personal preference.

For those who use the power of cannabinoids medicinally, the way you consume cannabis is based mainly on which method provides the most significant benefit. Thankfully, for users who fall into that category, it looks as though there is another consumption method to add to the list—cannabis inhalers. Although it is still vapor being inhaled, inhalers differ vastly from vaporizers, allowing something many previous consumption methods don’t—a precise dose. With several preclinical studies to support the efficacy of cannabis inhalers, let’s take a closer look at how they work.

THE FUTURE OF MEDICAL CANNABIS—THC INHALERS

Cannabis inhalers have been in development for several years, and, following successful medical trials, are now starting to become available in areas where cannabis is legal for medicinal use. Simple to use, cannabis inhalers are helping to validate marijuana and its associated cannabinoids as a legitimate medicine.

Cannabis inhalers are considered the epitome of “clean cannabis”. By “clean”, we mean that users do not have to inhale anything other than pure THC. Rather than heating dried herb and inhaling the subsequent vapor, THC enters the lungs via a propellant—the same way as a traditional inhaler. Because a dose can be predetermined, users get the same amount of THC every time they inhale. This precise approach to dosing is something other forms of cannabis struggle to match.

THE ADVANTAGES OF A CANNABIS INHALER

When people see an inhaler, they do not associate the medical device with cannabis, and at a glance, it is impossible to tell that the inhaler is loaded with THC. This makes an inhaler instantly more comfortable to use in public settings, especially as the stigma associated with cannabis has yet to lift completely.

To further support an inhaler’s discretion, the vapor produced is virtually odourless, so no telltale weed smell floating about. Inhalers are also easily stored in a purse, pocket, or bag, so there is never a risk of being without, especially in places that prohibit smoking. Combined, the advantages of cannabis inhalers are substantial. However, despite their wide range of benefits over traditional methods of consumption, you may be wondering what it is that makes vapor so effective?

THE ADVANTAGES OF A CANNABIS INHALER

WHY IS CANNABIS VAPOR SO EFFECTIVE?

Cannabis as a medical treatment has the potential to offer a natural and healthy alternative to pharmaceutical medication. When you think of marijuana in this way, it hardly seems surprising that users are switched off by the idea of inhaling burnt cannabis flower. Even if you don’t mix your weed with tobacco in your joints, the smoke produced can still be harsh and uncomfortable to inhale. Moreover, joints also have a much lower bioavailability than vaporizing cannabis. Bioavailability is an essential consideration for medicinal users because greater bioavailability means the effectiveness of a substance is improved.

Several studies support the efficacy of vapor, especially when compared to smoking. A 2003 pilot study found that inhaling vaporized cannabis on a daily basis led to an improvement in subjects’ lung function. A 2007 study concluded that there were “decreased respiratory symptoms in cannabis users who vaporize”. Combine these studies with the growing number of users switching to vaporizers, and it appears that from a medical and recreational point of view, vaporizers are coming out on top.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR CANNABIS INHALERS?

Right now, options are limited unless you live in the United States or Canada. If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where cannabis inhalers are available, there are a lot of options to be had. Most manufacturers offer a range of strains all with varying strengths. One inhaler cartridge typically contains up to a hundred puffs, with a specific dose provided per spray. One of the biggest hurdles holding back medical marijuana is determining proper dosage, so the level of precision provided by an inhaler allows the medical device to compete with strict pharmaceutical standards.

Although cannabis inhalers have undergone several preclinical trials, many of the results have yet to be published. While we wait for those conclusions to be reviewed and analysed, it may be some time before we see cannabis inhalers issued as standard. However, now that we know its potential, and as more cannabis companies begin to develop inhalers, it should only be a matter of time before they become a common feature of the industry.

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