Smokeless Marijuana

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by Greenbud, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Greenbud Greenbud

    • Activist
    • Since: May 15, 2004
    • Posts: 846

    Sep 1, 2004 | by Rick Bayer, MD | NORML

    Oregonians passed the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act ( OMMA ) in 1998 and will vote this fall to upgrade the OMMA.

    Most Americans support medical cannabis ( marijuana ) and agree patients should not be arrested for using marijuana under medical supervision. Nevertheless, the most criticized aspect of medical marijuana is the smoke. The question is, can patients benefit from cannabis without inhaling smoke and the cancer-causing agents ( carcinogens ) created when plants combust?

    There are no studies showing cannabis smoking causes cancer or emphysema, but cannabis smoke contains measurable carcinogens. We know smoking marijuana can cause irritated airways ( bronchitis ) with cough and chest pain. The prestigious Institute of Medicine issued a report in 1999 agreeing cannabis is medicine but expressing concern about smoke. The highest risks for long-term cannabis smoking are seen in regular users, including patients.

    In the past, if one needed immediate benefit from cannabis to control vomiting, one had to smoke it. Eating cannabis or swallowing FDA-approved Marinol ( synthetic THC ) requires an hour to work. Smoking works almost immediately and so is attractive to those seeking immediate relief from pain, spasm, nausea, etc.

    Fortunately, there is an alternative to smoking cannabis called vaporizing that avoids nearly all carcinogens but offers the rapid relief previously found only by smoking. Cannabis releases medicinal vapors above 140 C ( 284 F ) but doesn't release benzene and other carcinogens until it reaches 200 C ( 392 F ) and will not combust ( release smoke ) until it reaches 230 C ( 446 F ).

    This means if a device gently cooks cannabis at 140 to 190 C ( 284 to 374 F ), one can inhale the herbal medicine in the smokeless vapor without inhaling the carcinogens found in smoke.

    Fortunately, smokeless cannabis inhalers are available now. If you know patients who smoke cannabis, make sure they know about vaporizers. At my website, link to the medical cannabis bibliography and look under scientific articles online for a detailed discussion of vaporization and vaporizers.

    Why don't all patients use them? The primary obstacle is cost, with the best vaporizer being over $500. Hopefully, as medical cannabis becomes more accepted, relaxation of paraphernalia laws will combine with product demand to make vaporizers affordable.

    Another obstacle is some persons do not tolerate inhaling any medicine. Even asthma inhalers irritate our airways, taste bad, and take practice to use correctly. The vapors from standard medical cannabis are almost entirely botanical/natural THC, which does not cause cancer or emphysema but can irritate airways.

    One way to minimize risk of irritation to airways is to ingest cannabis by mouth to control predictable symptoms and inhale vaporized cannabis to control unpredictable symptoms. This would include "breakthrough pain" or pain that occurs in spite of the regular dosing of oral pain medicine. This type of protocol would be consistent with modern pain treatment standards.

    Like other dried powdered herbal medicines, one can easily make capsules from cannabis after heating 10 or more minutes at about 100 C or 212 F. The mild heating activates raw cannabis by removing a carbon dioxide molecule. But if one uses too much heat, the medicinal components vaporize. Heat activation occurs during the process of vaporizing, smoking, or cooking cannabis, but for capsules, it's useful to activate the cannabis before ingestion to make it more potent and digestible.

    Even on an empty stomach, oral cannabis takes an hour to work but lasts 4 to 6 hours. The cost of cannabis capsules for most OMMA patients is pennies compared to synthetic pharmaceutical THC ( Marinol ) that can cost more than $20/pill and is without biologically active compounds naturally found in botanical cannabis. One can only hope the ability to grow one's own medicine will increase access to medicine for Oregonians as the Oregon Health Plan shrinks and drug costs continue to skyrocket.

    Treatment of pain or other symptoms in any patient routinely requires adjustments or titration of dose. Cannabis offers an advantage because no lethal overdose exists, which makes it safer than standard pain treatment medicine offered by the pharmaceutical industry. Cannabis represents a legitimate alternative in many treatment situations. If risks of smoking are removed, the risk of cannabis is the same as THC described at

    With harm reduction technology like vaporization, economy of growing one's own medicine, and no lethal overdose from cannabis; patients and doctors have another tool to ease human suffering.
  2. reefermadness1 reefermadness1

    • New Member
    • Since: May 4, 2004
    • Posts: 1,312
    This news is nothing new but it's nice to educate the general public about the benefits for medical users with vaporizers.
  3. psthbng psthbng

    • New Member
    • Since: Feb 15, 2003
    • Posts: 154

    :liplick: Excellent article. Very informative
  4. 420 24/7 420 24/7

    • New Member
    • Since: Sep 5, 2004
    • Posts: 2
    Man, that was amazing. I mean it. Very insightful and well thought out. You...are...a...genius.
  5. daniel80 daniel80

    • Banned
    • Since: Mar 13, 2005
    • Posts: 26

    Before using vapir vaporizer i don't like the vaporization. But once i used it i know the benfits of vapir.

    When operated correctly the Vapir does not produce smoke. However, the Vapir is capable of producing very high temperatures that can burn the material if left on at high temperatures for long periods of time. When operated correctly, the flavor of herbs from the Vapir are more like steam than smoke. There is no smoke-like taste.You can look the product here at [Admin Note: No commercial links please]
  6. Plainsman1963 Plainsman1963

    • New Member
    • Since: Jul 19, 2002
    • Posts: 12,031
    Daniel, welcome to the site. The 5 posts you have currently posted (in a total of 11 minutes) are all concerning the same thing with a direct link to the same commercial website.
    Please take a look at the posting guidelines (linked in my signature) to familiarize yourself concerning spam, 'cause that is what it is looking like you are doing. ;)
  7. MiNtSnafu MiNtSnafu

    • New Member
    • Since: Oct 12, 2004
    • Posts: 80

    My friend and I (I live in Oregon) had our Senior Social Studies class together this fall and we had to choose a measure and give a presentation on it, so naturally we chose this one. It was going to allow patients to have more plants, and start a pharmacy thing going so patients could go buy it there instead of illegaly if they can't grow or find someone to grow for them. It failed, badly. :redhot:
  8. steve30 steve30

    • Banned
    • Since: Mar 21, 2005
    • Posts: 12
    Uses of vaporizer

    One should use vaporizers not for smoking purpose but for medical use.With the help of vaporizer we r able to inhale only the useful contents of the material.Vaporizers give good results. One should try atleast once.

  9. uplink3r uplink3r

    • New Member
    • Since: Sep 8, 2005
    • Posts: 6
    Sweet, thanks for all of the info...

    P.S. I want to deleted my post? why can't I?
  10. vladimir vladimir

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Dec 17, 2004
    • Posts: 928
    what is meant by activiating raw cannabis by removing one carbon dioxide molecule?
    and how does that lead to thc capsules?
  11. fight4rights fight4rights

    • Activist
    • Since: Apr 27, 2004
    • Posts: 702
    Couple of questions...

    First, there are around 60(?) cannabinoids found in marijuana smoke. I'm not so sure that all of them get released at the same temperature. Wouldn't it be possible that a certain type of MM patients couldn't use a vaporizer becuase their cannabinoid burns at a higher temp than THC?

    Second, a study that was posted on this site (I can't find it any more) said that a joint was the best smoking device. I think it either delivered more THC, or it had a better THC/Tar ratio than a bong, pipe, or vaporizer. Can anyone find this study and tell me why patients should smoke with a vap over a joint?

    Edit: There's no reason to quote the entire article! Welcome to

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