MJ Vaporization Demonstrated in NORML/MAPS Study

  MJ Vaporization Demonstrated in NORML/MAPS Study

Posted by FoM on January 07, 2001 at 22:27:35 PT
California NORML Press Release - Jan 7, 2001  
Source: California NORML  

Medical marijuana patients may be able to protect themselves from harmful toxins in marijuana smoke by inhaling their medicine using an electric vaporizer, according to initial results of a study by California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies).  The study showed that it is possible to vaporize medically active THC by heating marijuana to a temperature short of the point of combustion, thereby eliminating or substantially reducing harmful smoke toxins that are normally present in marijuana smoke. 
Vaporizers may therefore substantially reduce what is widely regarded as the leading health hazard of marijuana, namely respiratory harm due to smoking.     NORML and MAPS sponsored the study in the hopes of helping medical marijuana patients and others reduce the health risks of smoking. The hazards of smoking were cited as a major obstacle to approval of natural cannabis by the Institute of Medicine in its 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine. However, the IOM report failed to note the possibility of vaporization.    The NORML-MAPS study tested a device called the M1 Volatizer®, an aromatherapy vaporizer developed by Alternative Delivery Systems, Inc. It consisted of an electric heating element in a chamber that radiates heat downwards over a sample of marijuana sitting in a standard pipe or "bong" bowl.  Output from the vaporizer was analyzed and compared to smoke produced by combusting the sample with a flame.  The vaporizer produced THC at a temperature of 185° C. (365° F.) while completely eliminating three measured toxins - benzene, a known carcinogen, plus toluene and naphthalene. Carbon monoxide and smoke tars were both qualitatively reduced by the vaporizer, but additional testing is needed to quantify the extent of the decrease.   Although the study was not designed to detect the highly carcinogenic tars known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are thought to be a leading culprit in smoking-related cancers, there was good reason to believe that they were suppressed, since they normally form at much higher temperatures of combustion.  When vaporized, the marijuana emitted a thin gray vapor and was left with a green to greenish-brown "toasted" appearance, whereas the combusted sample produced thick smoke and turned to ash. Significant amounts of benzene began to appear at temperatures of 200° C. (392° F), while combustion occurred around 230° (446°F) or above. Traces of THC were in evidence as low as 140° C. (284° F).    The vaporizer study was undertaken as a follow-up to a previous NORML-MAPS marijuana smoking device study, which concluded that vaporizers offered the best prospects for smoke harm reduction:  The study found that neither waterpipes nor solid filters were effective at reducing exposure to smoke tars, due to the fact that they filtered out even more THC, thus forcing patients to inhale more to achieve the same effective dose. A recent Australian study also found that waterpipes failed to reduce tars or carbon monoxide (Linda Gowing et al.,. "Respiratory Harms of Smoked Cannabis," Research Monograph No. 8. Adelaide: Drug and Alcohol Services Council of South Australia (2000).)     Other methods of marijuana smoke harm reduction include oral ingestion and potential new delivery systems, such as inhalers and patches, that are still under development. Smokers may also reduce their respiratory risks by using higher-potency marijuana, allowing them to inhale less smoke to obtain a given effective dose of THC.  The medical marijuana popularly used in cannabis patients' clubs is several times more potent than that commonly provided to researchers by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, according to a survey by NORML and MAPS: However, the Australian study found that higher potency marijuana does not always deliver more THC, apparently because THC output is highly sensitive to variations in the burning properties of different samples.    A wide variety of vaporizers are presently available on the underground market. Many medical marijuana patients say they prefer vaporizers because they deliver smoother, less irritating medication.  However, there have been no published scientific studies of their effectiveness heretofore.    NORML and MAPS are currently seeking support for further research and development of vaporizers. Research is presently underway to explore the optimal temperature and conditions for vaporization. An additional $85,000 is needed to provide accurate measurement of carbon monoxide and other toxins, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Further studies may be needed to explore alternative device designs and the effects of different sample consistency, potency and preparation.Note: NORML -MAPS Study Shows Vaporizers Reduce Toxins in Marijuana Smoke. Release by: Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 E-Mail: canorml igc.org2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114Additional Contacts: Rick Doblin, MAPS(617) 484-8711Contact: rickmaps Alternative Delivery Systems http://www.volatizer.comCalifornia NORML NORML Archives

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Comment #11 posted by FoM on March 16, 2001 at 14:05:21 PT
I'd like to know too
Hi jvandtig,I have no idea which one is the best or easiest and how effective they are. I hope someone can tell us. Because you are asking for a medical reason it's all that more important to get the correct information and the best product. I wonder if anyone with MS has a vaporizer that might read this? It's so new it might be hard for accurate reports. 
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Comment #10 posted by jvandtig on March 16, 2001 at 13:21:01 PT:
I am on a VERY fixed low income. Still looking to purchase a vaporizing apparatice, however, cannot find one to purchase, the cost, nor plans to make one....can you help me? I have cronic M.S.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on March 09, 2001 at 19:48:10 PT
Here's a list of a few vaporizer links that I've found. I wonder which ones are the best? Are there any that I am missing? I'm saving them on another board for future referencing.Thanks!
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Comment #8 posted by Hazzzer on March 09, 2001 at 19:30:36 PT  A name you can trust. 
I bought a nice one from them took along time but theydelivered. It works great there should be a gardof some sorts around the bowl becaues when it gets hot, becareful because it will get you if your notcareful. It as a pine tast to it. Some people that tryed it found that they didn't like that taste buttoward the end of the bowl it gives you a nutty flavor.quite diffrent. I must say I really dose the job Soap box moment) Marijuana: Some say it is good, some say it is bad, I say it's a choice, it's my choice. God gave us both, so give it back now!!
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Comment #7 posted by Doctor Dave on January 08, 2001 at 23:31:33 PT
I use a vaporizer...
I use a vaporizer nearly every time I utilize rapid-onsetcannabis therapy. The one I use is a VripTech.comvaporizing chamber bowl attached to a glass ice-catcherwaterpipe with a standard slider bowl interface.When I switched from smoked (water bong) to vaporizedcannabis I could immediately feel the difference in mylungs. I could breathe easier, the air tasted better, and Ididn't cough. I STRONGLY urge anyone who smokes cannabisfrequently to make the investment in a heat gun (set around370degF) and a vaporizer. Your lungs will feel better andlast longer, and you'll significantly reduce the risk ofsmoke-associated cancer.If you have any interest in vaporizers, go to and read the "white paper" on thesubject.Doctor Dave"A nation that makes war on huge numbers of its own peoplecan never truly be free."
VripTech - Vaporizer Technology
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Comment #6 posted by Multiman on January 08, 2001 at 20:43:41 PT:
Vriptech Superior Vaporization Technique
Not as fancied up as the "Volatizer", referenced in the article on vaporizing herbs and oils rather than "smoking", the "Vriptech" technique offers all the advantages at half the cost. Combining ingenuity with function in a manner that will appeal to the sophisticated long term user who wishes to get the most for their money, the simple techniquedescribed at is worth trying....and so far there has been a 100% favorable reaction from all of my friends who have tried the method.
MJ Vaporization Demonstrated in NORML/MAPS Study
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Comment #5 posted by Jae Blacque on January 08, 2001 at 12:09:43 PT:
Where can I buy a vaporizer in NYC?
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Comment #4 posted by Robbie on January 08, 2001 at 11:08:24 PT:
I tried a vaporizer once ( and it was unbelievable and very different.Check the price there. The cost is the water pipe with the special fit-piece and then the cost of the heat gun.The herb was relatively low grade, but the buzz was light and airy, and not inhaling smoke made a world of difference.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 08, 2001 at 10:43:45 PT
When I went into the web site I couldn't find a price. Does anyone know how much it will cost?
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Comment #2 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on January 08, 2001 at 10:38:46 PT:
Study to Appear in Journal of Cannabis Therapeutic
This complete study will appear in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics 1(3-4) in about 9 months.
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Comment #1 posted by observer on January 08, 2001 at 10:24:42 PT
Another Prohibitionist Argument, Shot Down 
 However, the IOM report failed to note the possibility of vaporization.The pro-jail crowd is fond of crowing, "No future in smoked marijuana! No future in smoked marijuana!", as a flimsy fig leaf to cover their lust to jail your sons and daughters, and steal their property. Of course, like Dr Grinspoon noted, these pro-prison politicos, seem to go out of their way to `accidently forget' all about vaporization. Prohibitionists like to lie like this, to make it seem prohibitionists are noble for imprisoning cannabis users, regardless whether the cannabis is "smoked" or not.``One of the scientists who reviewed the IOM report prior to its publication, Harvard assistant professor of psychiatry Lester Grinspoon, M.D., urged the IOM panel to consider the advantages of such a "non-smoked respiratory delivery system for the natural plant medicine" rather than putting the sole emphasis on pharmaceutical product development. The final report, however, makes no mention of such devices. '' a vaporizer, you can grow your own cannabis, for pennies, and inhale it. Yet vaporized cannabis is not "smoked". Since this evicerates yet another prohibitionist politician-priest pro-prison argument, you can bet that mention of vaporizers will continue to be carefully ignored by bought-and-paid-for "law" -makers, and their hirelings. 
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