Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.Benowitz NLAbstract
Although cannabis may have potential therapeutic value, inhalation of a combustion product is an undesirable delivery system. The aim of the study was to investigate vaporization using the Volcano((R)) device as an alternative means of delivery of inhaled Cannabis sativa. Eighteen healthy inpatient subjects enrolled to compare the delivery of cannabinoids by vaporization to marijuana smoked in a standard cigarette. One strength (1.7, 3.4, or 6.8% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) and delivery system was randomly assigned for each of the 6 study days. Plasma concentrations of Delta-9-THC, expired carbon monoxide (CO), physiologic and neuropsychologic effects were the main outcome measures. Peak plasma concentrations and 6-h area under the plasma concentration-time curve of THC were similar. CO levels were reduced with vaporization. No adverse events occurred. Vaporization of cannabis is a safe and effective mode of delivery of THC. Further trials of clinical effectiveness of cannabis could utilize vaporization as a smokeless delivery system.