Marijuana (Cannabinoids)

The Volcano alternative means of delivery of inhaled Cannabis sativa

An earlier study (reported here, discussed here) showed that the Volcano vaporization device is a reliable way to achieve lung concentrations of marijuana.

Now, researchers from the University of California and San Francisco General Hospital confirm that vaporization of cannabis is a safe and effective mode of delivery of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They think the device should be used in future studies of THC.

First, the details.

  • 18 healthy people were enrolled for 6 days of treatment.
  • The delivery of cannabinoids (3 different doses) by vaporization vs marijuana smoked in a standard cigarette was compared.

And, the results.

  • Peak THC blood levels and the amount of THC absorbed (6-hour area under the plasma concentration-time curve) were similar.
  • Carbon monoxide levels were reduced with vaporization.
  • No side effects occurred.

The bottom line?
The researchers conclude that vaporization of cannabis is a safe and effective way to administer THC. The THC reaches the blood stream, but the harmful effects of carbon monoxide on the lung are avoided.

7/26/07 21:26 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.