A Quick Guide To Cannabis Inhalers
- Cannabis inhalers offer medical marijuana patients several benefits including fast onset time, high bioavailability, and accurate dosing. They’re also discreet.
- Cannabis inhalers can be formulated with any combination of cannabinoids including THC, CBD, and others to treat particular symptoms.
- For many patients, cannabis inhalers are effective for treating a variety of medical conditions including asthma, headaches, seizures, anxiety, and others.
- Inhalers containing THC must be purchased at a licensed dispensary and may require a medical marijuana card. However, CBD inhalers can be purchased online.
In the past half-century, medical marijuana doctors have developed new and innovative cannabis delivery methods. One of the devices fast growing in popularity at marijuana dispensaries is the cannabis inhaler.
Tinctures, concentrates, topicals, and edibles are all viable methods for delivering cannabinoids into the bloodstream. However, these methods don’t always offer accurate dosing, fast onset times, and high bioavailability.
Individuals seeking fast relief from sudden-onset conditions such as panic attacks don’t have a lot of options. Smoking cannabis flower offers a fast onset time but can damage the lungs. Although marijuana smokers have a lower incidence of lung cancer than tobacco smokers, smoking marijuana or hemp flower can lead to chronic bronchitis, asthma, GERD, and other conditions of the lungs and throat.
Vaping is also not without its risks and is also known to damage the lungs. Moreover, counterfeit vape cartridges often contain ingredients that pose serious danger when inhaled.
Cannabis inhalers may be the perfect option for medical marijuana patients in need of immediate relief. Inhalers deliver clean, pure cannabinoids. The dosage is accurate, the onset time is rapid, bioavailability is high, and the effects are long-lasting.
Cannabis inhalers provide pre-measured doses of cannabinoid-rich vapor with every puff. With accurate dosing, patients are able to control the amount of THC or CBD they consume.
Cannabis inhalers, also sometimes referred to as nebulizers, are similar to asthma inhalers. Instead of prescription drugs like albuterol, salbutamol, terbutaline, or prednisone, cannabis inhalers release a vapor filled with purified cannabinoids.
Studies have shown that cannabis inhalers deliver highly effective bronchodilatory effects for fast relief of asthma symptoms. Similar to traditional medications like albuterol, cannabis inhalers offer up to two hours of relief.
Nasal cannabis inhalers also exist. A nasal inhaler called Cannatol was developed for patients suffering from seizure disorders, glaucoma, migraines, and cluster headaches. This product has also produced promising results in reducing self-harming behavior in children with autism.
How do cannabis inhalers work?
The human lungs are composed of millions of tiny air sacs known as alveoli. These tiny sacs enable gas exchange. When we inhale, we absorb oxygen via the alveoli and is absorbed into the bloodstream. When we exhale, the sacs contract and CO2 is expelled from our bloodstream which is expelled through the nose or mouth.
When someone takes a puff from a cannabis inhaler, the cannabinoids are delivered directly to the lungs and quickly absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This can induce relaxation of airways to restore normal breathing for some patients.
The Cannatol inhaler mentioned above effectively interrupts the activity of overstimulated circuits in the brain. This sometimes stops or diminishes the symptoms such as migraines and seizures. The cannabinoids are rapidly absorbed through the nasal tissues. As with inhalers, the effects are almost immediate.
What are the ingredients in cannabis inhalers?
THC-rich Cannabis inhalers are formulated with pharmaceutical-grade, natural marijuana extracts or purified cannabinoids. They can contain any mixture of THC and CBD or any minor cannabinoid such as CBG, CBN.
Inhalers containing THC must be purchased at a state-licensed marijuana dispensary. Several states required patients to have a medical marijuana card in order to purchase THC inhalers.
CBD inhalers are available over the counter. They can contain full-spectrum hemp oil of purified CBD. They may also be blended with other ingredients. Anyone can buy CBD inhalers online and have them delivered to their doorstep.
What are the benefits of cannabis inhalers?
Long ago, back in 1973 a study reviewed in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that inhaled cannabis caused bronchodilation. Authors concluded:
“Marijuana smoke, unlike cigarette smoke, causes bronchodilation rather than broncho-constriction (narrowing of the air passages), and, unlike opiates, does not cause central respiratory depression (i.e. a decrease in breathing).”
The scientists involved in the study suspected that THC may act as a bronchodilator by relaxing the muscle bands that tighten around the airways during an asthma attack.
In a 2015 study on mice, CBD effectively reduced lung inflammation.
Evidence also exists that suggests cannabis oil has the ability to regulate human airway cell genes involved in inflammation.
Benefits of cannabis inhalers:
- For some patients, cannabis inhalers offer instant airway contraction and relief from respiratory distress as well as other medical conditions such as headaches without the irritation associated with smoking marijuana.
- Cannabis inhalers offer higher bioavailability than smoking
- Cannabis inhalers also provide a discreet method of ingesting cannabinoids in public settings as there is no tell-tale odor.
- Inhalers deliver accurate doses.
The popular N Fuzed Inhaler offers 5 mg of THC per puff, with a total of 50 puffs and 250 mg of THC per inhaler. Bear in mind that 5 mg of THC is usually enough for some users to feel intoxicated.
Cannabis inhalers for asthma
Asthma is an incurable condition that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes that carry air to our lungs. Asthma is an autoimmune condition. It causes wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest, and coughing. The severity of asthma attacks can vary from mild to life-threatening.
There is no known cure for asthma but the symptoms can be managed with a number of treatments. Most asthma patients already use an inhaler., a small device that delivers a spray or powder medicine to your breathing tubes as you breathe in.
Medical marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of autoimmune diseases. According to historical medical records, cannabis has been used as an asthma treatment since the 1800s and possibly earlier,
A study performed in 2015 showed that inhaling marijuana through an inhaler is less harmful to asthma patients than smoking.
How are cannabis inhalers used?
Every cannabis inhaler currently on the market has slight variations depending on the brand. Most are utilized in a similar manner.
- Take the cap off the inhaler.
- Hold the device upright and shake it for a few seconds.
- Put the inhaler’s mouthpiece between your front teeth and above the tongue. Close your lips tightly and avoid biting down.
- Start inhaling first, and then press the canister once.
- Continue inhaling and take the inhaler out of your mouth.
- Hold your breath for five to ten seconds.
- Finally, exhale and put the cap back on the inhaler.
What conditions are inhalers used for?
Cannabis inhalers are commonly used by patients suffering from respiratory conditions such as COPD, bronchial asthma, and emphysema.
CBD-rich inhalers are also available for patients who wish to experience relief without intoxication. CBD inhalers are used by patients suffering from seizures, nausea, anxiety, depression, pain including headaches.
Attitudes about cannabis continue to open up and information becomes more readily available. There’s no telling what innovative products may pop up in the future.
Cannabis inhalers can also be used to help tobacco smokers kick the habit. Unlike nicotine-infused options, cannabis inhalers are not toxic to the body. Cannabis inhalers work by reducing the cravings for nicotine and reducing the anxiety that often comes with nicotine withdrawal. Cannabis inhalers have the added benefit of satiating the habit of smoking. The same benefits apply to patients recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
Are cannabis inhalers safe?
Cannabis is proven to be a safe and effective remedy for symptoms of a wide array of medical conditions. Most users experience no long-term side effects. Cannabis is non-toxic, non-addictive, and can be made with non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD and THCA.
However, some cannabis inhalers contain terpenes. Terpenes are the essential oils that give individual cannabis strains their distinctive odors. Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to certain terpenes.
Also, excessive use of cannabinoids can cause lethargy, and high doses of THC can cause extreme intoxication with high anxiety and paranoia. There is evidence that long-term use of THC can worsen certain mental health conditions.
As with any drug, patients are advised to use cannabis inhalers under the supervision of a healthcare professional knowledgeable in the use of medical marijuana.
First-time users of cannabis inhalers should start with a single puff and wait a couple of hours to see what effects it has on the body and mind. If no adverse effects or unwanted side effects are experienced, the patient can slowly increase the dosage. If a new patient proceeds too quickly they can have an unpleasant experience that could turn them off to the use of cannabis thus causing them to miss out on potentially life-changing benefits.