MARYLAND: Vaporizing cannabis mitigates subjects’ exposure to carbon monoxide and allows them to self-regulate their dose – making it preferable over smoking or oral administration, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Investigators affiliated with the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) assessed the effects of smoked, vaporized, and oral cannabis administration upon frequent and occasional consumers in a placebo-controlled study. Authors reported that “expired carbon monoxide was significantly increased following smoking compared to vaporization.”
They concluded: “[T]hese data offer compelling evidence for the strength of vaporized cannabis over smoking or oral routes for medicinal administrations; effects occur quickly and doses can be titrated without exposure to carbon monoxide. … Vaporization offers an attractive alternative to inhaled cannabis administration, particularly for medicinal administration, producing similar effects to smoked cannabis while reducing exposure to toxic by-products.”
Vaporization devices heat herbal cannabis to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion. Prior clinical trials assessing vaporization devices have similarly concluded that they are “safe and effective” cannabis delivery systems.