An efficient administration route
The most efficient administration route of medicinal cannabis is by inhalation. Indeed, administration by inhalation is a rapid way to induce measurable serum levels of cannabinoids.
“The most efficient administration route of cannabis is inhalation …the use of a vaporizer medical device avoids the respiratory disadvantages of smoking.”
A vaporizing medical device, compared to smoking, dramatically lowers concentrations of toxic compounds such as carbon monoxide, ammonia and polyaromatic carbohydrates (PACs). Compared to smoking, higher therapeutic levels of THC and consistent, reproducible THC extraction and delivery is possible. The vapour is quickly absorbed by the lungs, permitting patients to effectively titrate to optimise their dose based upon symptom severity, tolerability and avoidance of side-effects. The rapid onset of effects of inhaled cannabinoid use allows easier titration of dose, while standardised cannabis products enable patients to administer an exact dose.
In practice, with prescriber guidance, patients initially focus on ﬁnding a dose range that works for their speciﬁc condition. On average, patients in the Dutch medicinal cannabis program use only 0.7 grams of cannabis flos per day, divided over multiple doses.
Smoking cannabis in the form of cigarettes (joints) is still the most common way of consumption today, for medical as well as recreational users internationally. The advantage of vaporizing over smoking is obvious with regard to irritation and respiratory complication resulting from smoking. The presence of non-THC constituents, including anti-inﬂammatory terpenes that protect the lungs from irritation, are present in the cannabis flos vapour. This makes vaporizing the obvious and healthier choice for administration of the full range of therapeutic compounds present in the cannabis plant.