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Study: Vaporizers Deliver Safe And Reliable Doses Of Cannabinoids


Cin X True North CO2 Vape Pen CartridgeBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Electronically driven vaporizers deliver cannabinoids in a relatively safe and reliable manner, according to data published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Swiss investigators evaluated the ability of various types of vaporizer technologies to safely and effectively release THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in vapor. Researchers reported that electronically driven devices, which allow for precise temperature control, were able to provide for relatively safe and uniform dosing. By contrast, gas-powered devices performed in a more unreliable manner and “cannot be recommended for therapeutic purposes.”

Authors concluded, “[T]he four electrically-driven and temperature-controlled vaporizers investigated in this study efficiently decarboxylate acidic cannabinoids and release reliably the corresponding neutral cannabinoids into the vapor. Therefore, they can be considered as a promising application mode for the safe and efficient administration of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids.”

Vaporizer technology seeks to heat marijuana to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion. In clinical trials, investigators have concluded that vaporization “does not result in exposure to combustion gases” and produces higher plasma concentrations of THC compared to smoked cannabis.

The full text of the study, Medicinal Cannabis: “In vitro validation of vaporizers for the smoke-free inhalation of cannabis,” appears online here.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. D.A. Bertran on

    I am currently researching the use of CBD for my 17 year old son for ADHD, as a natural alternative to Adderall. Does anyone have experience or an opinion in regard to this?

  2. You Know Fungi, I have no clue. He gave us (my husband and myself) a LOOONG lecture (we were in his office only 15 minutes but in that time spent 10 of it warning me against the ‘dangers’ of smoking, vaping, letting us know it was THE SAME and did permanent damage to the throat and vocal cords. His big thing was to pull a bottle of tincture (that they also “sell” along with their grower they have, and have paired up with a local version of RSO….which he did not recommend for my ‘condition’ (I have cerebral palsy, Fibromyalgia, Diverticulitis, IBS, migraines, and a few more issues), and to let you know, I mostly take FECO that we had made for us using blank capsules and fill ourselves. It’s kind of nuts. He was trying to insist that vaping could lead to cancer….never produced an article, but gave an anecdotal evidence of ‘a famous singer who he knows, had to have throat surgery for having heavily used cannabis in vapor form, changed his voice and now has throat cancer), etc.

    I couldn’t agree more: this was probably a case of the fears of the area, medical boards and yes, fears. LOTS of them.

  3. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Where are the doctors / doctor’s superiors getting their “unsafe” vaporization data from?
    [all vaporizers are not created equal, not equally efficacious,
    some use whole cannabis, others, only oils or extracts, some, both or either].

    The earliest, primitive “dome” style conduction-based vaporizers,
    (containing a heated circular plate or tray for the herb, under a glass dome),
    and the gas-powered Vape-or-Smoke, (mentioned in the linked study),
    both suffer from unevenly heating and / or overheating the botanical,
    (more so with the former), and possible smoke-generation, instead of vapor.

    Convection-based herbal vaporizers, OTOH,
    (all of the electronic units mentioned in the study), carefully-heat the
    botanical via temperature-controlled air stream, the Volcano being
    the best example of a non-portable unit in terms of precision and
    use of a cool-down bag-system, the ability to use either whole cannabis
    or extracts to produce vapor.

    Strange how some medical-legal states insist upon only allowing
    smoked whole plant cannabis, (but not edibles, tinctures or extracts),
    and others, only tinctures, extracts, edibles or non-botanical vaporization,
    depending upon which particular fears their state legislatures,
    medical boards and police unions are clinging to.

  4. and Fungi, if one is using a balloon style inhalation, or long distance between the heating apparatus, (or with a water cooling system, the so called “smoke” (that isn’t, it’s vapors) are cool enough that it shouldn’t cause any trouble. For heaven’s sake, what most people don’t seem to realize is that drinking scolding hot tea/coffee which can cause burns (to our throat) at 156 degrees, according to a burn center. If this is true, then cooling the vapor whether it is ‘bagging it’ or using a long sipper, or water coolant will fix this problem: problem solved! So why are doctors being instructed to tell people that vaporizing, if one knows how to be uber careful, directing them to believe the only “safe” method of delivery is to Tincture??? jeez!

  5. Closet Warrior on

    I’m glad it is helping your symptoms but it just sounds ironic to medicate w/a derivative of something that caused the problems to start with but I’m not passing judgement or skepticizing your methods of treatment, I initially thought you were advocating vaping tobacco because it’s safer but I read the survey and it does seem beneficial to the mice they treated just was worried about younger and more uninformed bloggers as not to partake of tobacco but you do your thing and hope it keeps giving you the benefits you need. Peace

  6. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    My uninformed comeback:
    Nicotine vaporization “rigs” do not utilize tobacco, but rather
    a combination of…
    food-grade vegetable glycerin, food-grade propylene glycol,
    flavorings, (natural and / or artificial), and pharmaceutical-grade
    nicotine alkaloid, in varying concentrations,
    from zero mg/ml up to 24mg/ml.

    Vaporization, whether of cannabinoids and / or of nicotine is
    SAVING me from the self-destruction of smoking-related diseases.

  7. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Also show the pot doc the linked articles that specify the precise
    temperature(s) when vaporization and decarboxylation of cannabinoids begin to occur,
    (around 200C / 392F, way below the point of combustion,
    way below the point of pyrolytically-generating carcinogens).

    To put it in more general terms, vaporization causes the essential oils
    to gently boil / sublimate, beginning w/ the lightest terpene fractions,
    then the lighter cannabinoids, then finally, the heaviest cannabinoids
    that have the highest boiling points.

    All STILL way below the ignition point of combustion, and all
    way below the temperature needed for generation of
    carcinogenic compounds.

  8. Closet Warrior on

    I very seriously doubt he’s a real Dr. because most sensible doctors wouldn’t risk losing their license for getting caught medicating in a grocery store, but I could be wrong and I might have gotten a little emotional about the whole tobacco thing and I know vaping is safer but what if someone reads these blogs, decides to do a personal scientific trial on themselves and accidentally got hooked on tobacco because after all caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are true gateway drugs. I’m 44, not some 15 yr. old punk who “knows everything” and believes everything they hear or read. I discern information by reason and logic. I am a very open-minded and agree w/the study posted but again It said nothing of long term use and everyone is physiologically different and their behavioural difference w/addiction and dependency would also vary would it not? Peace and Vaping!!! Just not tobacco, k kids?

  9. Closet Warrior on

    Thanks, vaping definitely is the safest way to medicate. It seems to enhance some cannabidiols and terpines, where a lot of medicinal qualities are found, cus you’re not burning it to a crisp.

  10. Not everyone is going to get emphysema and the NIH has a study that shows that vaping does not cause or add to emphysema. I am not smoking it, nor do I advocate smoking anything. I know Closet Warrior that you are suffering loss and feeling it keenly. That’s understandable and I appreciate your concern for all here that no one else needs to go through the horrors of emphysema. As someone with asthma, vaping opens the lungs and has kept me out of the hospital. It has a modality use and purpose, if it didn’t I wouldn’t.

  11. Closet Warrior on

    Watch someone you love die of emphysema w/all the unspeakable suffering and then see how your views and opinions will sway.

  12. I’ve got 2 ARIZER Extreme Q tower vaporizers for use at home and 2 G-pens! I’ll still smoke a bowl but I prefer vaporizing. Hell, they’re so compact now you can take em anywhere! Took it to the Grocery store with me the other day! Vaping all the way through the store!

  13. Closet Warrior on

    Print out the article and not what this ding bat is squeeling cus your doc will probably throw you in the Looney Bin!

  14. Closet Warrior on

    You can’t tell this idiot anything w/out an uninformed comeback! Sounds like he works for a vape company and that’s fine but to constantly promote misuse of a vape rig w/tobacco on a cannabis forum shows his intelligence! He’s one of those self-destructors, he’ll put himself down humanely, lol.

  15. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    It’s because they “think” vaping is the “same” as smoking
    when it’s really the antithesis of smoking.

  16. Printing this out because our local ‘pot’ doctors are advocating NO VAPING, as a form of treatment. They are saying it causes cancer, esophageal and vocal cord problems. What crap is that? I will have this in my file when i need to get my license renewed in October this year. I am so tired of uninformed people trying to ‘tell us’ what we should be doing when using cannabis….geez!

  17. Closet Warrior on

    I’m sorry if I’m confused as to wit your earlier statements went back and forth so much it was hard to discern your message, and no, you not smoking isn’t” the only thing that matters”! You were promoting nicotine patches and occasionally smoking after your mother had bleeding lungs and you don’t think that is dishonorable??? Wake the duck up!!!!!

  18. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    I’m not smoking NOW, and that’s all that matters.
    Being in the presence of cigarette smokers,
    (which I highly avoid), is a major influence towards starting again,
    even though burning tobacco smells AWFUL.
    It has nothing to do w/ honoring / dishonoring anyone.

    If you’re not consuming nicotine already, I don’t advise that you start.

    I took a short break from vaping a month ago, w/ negative
    effects on alertness, wakefulness…

    Was worse off without it.
    Your mileage may vary….

  19. Closet Warrior on

    Sorry she got emphazima but not sorry she died! You know better but started smoking again due to your environment and probably peer pressure? You dishonor my mother’s death by trying to sway me towards the benefits of nicotine and big tobacco? You also dishonor your own mother as she obviously has some sort of damage done per lungs bleeding! You sir are an inconsiderate asshole. Please feel free to never reply to me anymore as it will only puss me off further!!!

  20. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    So sorry for your mom getting lung cancer.
    Only if vaporizers and e-cigs had been available then.
    Patches, although they are a smokeless form, are not
    as titratable, as controllable as gums, nebulizers and vaporizers.

    My mom almost met a similar fate.
    At 46, she started coughing up blood, stopped smoking immediately,
    (no medical diagnosis), and hasn’t lit up since.
    Was also on a daily regimen of fresh carrot juice for a few years,
    as that seemed to help reduce the lung problems, bleeding.

    I had also quit smoking around the same time, same year,
    no medical problems, just didn’t like being enslaved to a
    disgusting, cruddy habit.

    Have started and stopped smoking from then until 2 years ago,
    averaging about 2-3 years between quitting, (revolted by tobacco),
    and starting, (usually from extended presence around smokers).

    In late 2013, e-vapes became more popular, saw friends using them,
    but really couldn’t afford to make the investment in a vapor pen until
    early 2014, (Jan).

    Even then, I was taking single puffs off of a cigarette,
    (lighting it, taking a draw, putting it out), until March.
    Haven’t smoke a cigarette since then, just strictly e-vape.

  21. Closet Warrior on

    Historically the FDA, big pharma, tobacco and alcohol are all in bed together and have altered numerous studies for their benefit. The scientists all were quoted as saying nobody should take up nicotine as a practice and yes if you take any stimulant in small doses it does affect your cognitive brainery but so does cocaine-wanna see if that will make you smarter? I know that when you do isolate many drugs to their purest form they will undoubtedly have some benefits but if you read correctly-they repeatedly said short term and nowhere did it have the affects of long term use. The only thing that will make you smarter is to gain knowledge through books and life experience! Look a little deeper and you will find that not all outcomes are the same for everyone.

  22. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Vaping, (rather than smoking), is my preferred method for weed.
    [first learned about conduction “dome” vaporizers at a 1996 NORML meeting,
    built a few, shortly thereafter, using project boxes and heat-control electronics].

    And vaping nicotine, rather than smoking it, is over 90% safer
    than smoking tobacco leaves.
    Am far healthier now than I was 2 years ago, when I made the switch.

  23. Closet Warrior on

    I grew up on a farm, mostly traditional. Cows, chickens,hogs. etc. That was for food but our main focus was on tobacco. I know the ravages of tobacco, I used to smoke and my mother died at the young age of 58 due to lung cancer! I personally don’t think anything could change my mind about tobacco but I’ll check out the study. Btw, she had a nicotine patch on at the time of her death because she was trying to quit, the diagnosis came on so quickly that she really didn’t see the point in quitting but I think she did it forr her family’s ease of thought. Anyways, the coroner said that the nicotine patch agitated thing more and caused a mild heart attack as well as her other physical traumas. So no, tobacco is Fucking evil!!!

  24. They are talking about vaping weed not tobacco. Vaping tobacco is as bad as smoking it.

  25. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    Quit smoking cigarettes nearly two years ago,
    when I bought my first e-vape pen.

    Feel much better, now that I’m not inhaling carbon monoxide,
    tars, toxic metals.

    Even the doctor says my lungs sound healthy.
    [I’m still vaping…]

    Nicotine itself actually has some positive cognitive benefits,
    when consumed via smokeless methods, such as vaping.
    (do Google search for “Will a Nicotine Patch Make You Smarter?”
    Scientific American article, for more info).

  26. I agree When I quit smoking cigarettes I decided to pick up a vaporizer and it’s been love ever since. lol.

  27. “I Like for vaping. Vaporizer pen is not harmful to health. Vaporizer pen is better than smoking. It’s help to remove habbits of smokking. Vaporizer pen is available in various flavors in the market.”

  28. Closet Warrior on

    I’m glad that scientific research is being done and reported to the world and its doubters but isn’t it common sense that not inhaling smoke and lighter fluid is safer? Love my vaperizor!!!

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