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Inhalers Are The Next Advancement In Medical Cannabis

Cannabis inhalers are not only changing the way we dose cannabinoids, but are helping to legitimise cannabis as a viable medical treatment. To find out what makes cannabis inhalers different from a typical vaporizer, keep reading.

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?

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 [1] found that inhaling vaporized cannabis on a daily basis led to an improvement in subjects’ lung function. A 2007 study [2] 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.

Click the link to find out how inhalers are revolutionising the medical cannabis industry. They offer some unique benefits over other methods of consumption.

Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Inhalers

Most of us know someone with asthma or other lung conditions that benefit from the use of inhaled medication from a metered dose inhaler, a vaporizer, or a spray for the mouth or nose. Delivering medical marijuana using these same methods is growing in popularity for an increasing number of patients because of how easy they are to use as well as how quickly they work. Patients affected by medical conditions that cause acute pain, difficulty breathing, muscle spasms, or other symptoms can benefit from these delivery systems. A Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor can help explain how it might help ease your symptoms. To find out if you pre-qualify to become a medical marijuana patient, take our quick eligibility survey .

There are a variety of different ways to use medical marijuana. While people often think of routes like smoking, tinctures and oils, or edibles, researchers are finding new routes for delivering marijuana’s benefits most efficiently to the parts of the body that need it most. This is especially important to people with health conditions that cause sudden and strong symptoms like shortness of breath, muscle spasms, seizures, intense pain, migraine headaches, and the nausea and vomiting caused by cancer or chemotherapy. Being able to get relief in minutes or even faster can make a significant difference in a patient’s quality of life.

Bioavailability is defined as “…the relative amount of a drug administered in a pharmaceutical product that enters the systemic circulation in an unchanged form and the rate at which this occurs.” (1) First- pass metabolism refers to how drugs taken by mouth are absorbed and processed through the digestive system before entering the circulation; this process often affects the amount and quality of the medication available to the body. (2) These are important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a route for any type of medication, including MMJ. Certain routes provide more rapid effectiveness than others because of how the drug is processed and how quickly it reaches the area that needs to be treated. One such highly effective route is oral inhalation via smoking, vaporizing, or using some form of inhaler. As the medication is inhaled it goes to the lungs, where the majority of it is absorbed and made available to the body almost immediately. (3) These concepts are important when deciding which route to use for your particular situation. Here are some examples of the bioavailability of different routes of marijuana administration:

  • Smoking a joint – approximately 30% THC
  • Vaping – 50-80% depending on the device and consumer
  • Edibles – 4-20% (the reasons for this are still being explored but may have to do with first-pass metabolism, what the patient has eaten, stress levels, activity, and a number of other factors)
  • Sublingual Tinctures – 40-50% (most likely due to sublingual absorption avoiding the first=pass effect)
  • Topicals – 5-10% (the skin acts as a barrier, preventing the psychoactive effects of THC while providing positive therapeutic outcomes)
  • Inhalers – these have effects similar to smoking or vaping with a couple of significant differences. They deliver pure, uncontaminated product without additives. In addition, an inhaler provides a way to determine a precise dose each and every time it is used. Inhalers tend to be more effective for rapid relief due to the purity and increased levels of THC or CBD delivered with each use. (4)

Aside from bioavailability, there are other benefits to using an inhaler for MMJ. Because they don’t involve lighting or burning the plant matter, no carbon, other toxins, or irritants are released into the lungs. This can be especially helpful for people who experience lung irritation when using a method that involves burning the plant or extracting its beneficial components and adding thinners or solvents to them. Inhalers are discrete and give off no odor, which makes them easier to use in public. In the case of patients with COPD, bronchial asthma, or emphysema, the THC being delivered directly to the lungs enables it to help patients breathe easier almost immediately by relaxing and enlarging bronchioles (breathing tubes), which spasm and tighten when stressed. (5) A study done in 1973 showed THC administered via a metered-dose inhaler had a dilating effect on the lungs of patients with bronchial asthma and may have a longer effect than other medications that work in a similar fashion. (6)

Another item to be aware of is the Cannatol nasal rescue inhaler. This device was developed specifically for use by patients with seizure disorder, but is also being studied for use by patients with migraine headaches, cluster headaches, glaucoma, and shows promise in helping decrease self-harming behavior in autistic children. (7) This inhaler interrupts the activity of overstimulated circuits in the brain, slowing or stopping the symptoms they produce. (8) Someone having a seizure or migraine attack may be unable to take a pill, use a vape pen, or eat an edible; the bioavailability of MMJ through the nasal membranes is high and rapid so effects are often felt within minutes if not faster.

There are CBD-only inhalers also available in most states that can help with a variety of disorders including:

    • Seizures — while THC helps a seizure in progress, CBD oil taken as part of a daily routine can help decrease the amount, severity, and length of seizures on an ongoing basis.
    • Nausea – whether caused by chemo, antibiotic therapy, or other intestinal disorders, it can be effectively treated by an inhaler even when the patient is unable to tolerate oral meds.
    • Anxiety – CBD has been shown to have a calming effect on patients suffering from anxiety due to a variety of causes.
    • Depression – Cannabidiol has proven mood-lifting effects, which can be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from temporary or ongoing depression.
    • Diabetes – CBD helps moderate the need for supplemental insulin by boosting the efficiency of insulin produced by the body as well as helping increase the storage and usage of glucose in the bloodstream.
  • Weight Loss – Acting to help regulate insulin levels and maintain a healthy weight is a noted benefit of CBD.
  • Pain – One of the first uses of medical marijuana was for the pain associated with glaucoma. Since then, CBD has been used to relieve the discomfort associated with cancer, AIDS/HIV, MS and other autoimmune disorders, and many other chronic pain issues. (9,10)

MMJ patients looking to control their THC intake through the practice of micro-dosing may find using an inhaler is a good way to accurately and consistently get the precise amount of medication they need. Most edibles come in 10mg doses, and that may be too much for someone who only wants to use 2-3mg at a time; dividing a small edible can be difficult and the results can vary in size as well as dose. Vaping and smoking doses vary with the potency of the product. Tinctures can create portability and storage issues. Inhalers are small, portable, and easy to use while delivering a specific dose with each puff. Some of the newer products available in other states even have a dial that allow patients to determine their own dose.

While the availability of marijuana inhalers is still extremely limited, it is a growing trend in the US and worldwide. These devices offer discreet, precise, and rapidly bioavailable doses to patients who need and want this delivery system. The development of more ways to use and benefit from medical marijuana is an exciting thing to watch, and the positive effect it exerts on the lives of patients is noteworthy. Medical marijuana is a rapidly growing and important part of the healthcare market. Speak with a Florida Medical Marijuana doctor to see how it can improve your quality of life.

2 Comments

My daughter has just come off Targin which is a controlled drug. This is her tenth day off it and now I’ve had to call a house Dr to give her pethedine for the pain . I’ve heard about the cannabis inhaler with sml amounts of thc and would like to purchase one. We live in Western Australia and I would love some feedback as to how I can do this. Kind regards Maureen Curtis

Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Inhalers Most of us know someone with asthma or other lung conditions that benefit from the use of inhaled medication from a metered dose inhaler, a