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    Marijuana That Won't Get You Busted
    By News Staff | May 15th 2007 01:13 PM | 10 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same level of active therapeutic chemical and produces the same biological effect as smoking cannabis, but without the harmful toxins, according to UCSF researchers.

    "We showed in a recent paper in the journal ‘Neurology’ that smoked cannabis can alleviate the chronic pain caused by HIV-related neuropathy, but a concern was expressed that smoking cannabis was not safe. This study demonstrates an alternative method that gives patients the same effects and allows controlled dosing but without inhalation of the toxic products in smoke," said study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine.



    The research team looked at the effectiveness of a device that heats cannabis to a temperature between 180 and 200 degrees C, just short of combustion, which occurs at 230 degrees C. Eighteen individuals were enrolled as inpatients for six days under supervision in the General Clinical Research Center at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

    Under the study protocol, the participants received on different days three different strengths of cannabis by two delivery methods—smoking or vaporization—three times a day.

    Plasma concentrations of THC were measured along with the exhaled levels of carbon monoxide, or CO. A toxic gas, CO served as a marker for the many other combustion-generated toxins inhaled when smoking. The plasma concentrations of THC were comparable at all strengths of cannabis between smoking and vaporization. Smoking increased CO levels as expected, but there was little or no increase in CO levels after inhaling from the vaporizer, according to Abrams.

    "Using CO as an indicator, there was virtually no exposure to harmful combustion products using the vaporizing device. Since it replicates smoking’s efficiency at producing the desired THC effect using smaller amounts of the active ingredient as opposed to pill forms, this device has great potential for improving the therapeutic utility of THC," said study co-author Neal L. Benowitz, MD, UCSF professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences. He added that pills tend to provide patients with more THC than they need for optimal therapeutic effect and increase side effects.

    Patients rated the "high" they experienced from both smoking and vaporization and there was no difference between the two methods by patient self-report of the effect, according to study findings. In addition, patients were asked which method they preferred.

    "By a significant majority, patients preferred vaporization to smoking, choosing the route of delivery with the fewest side effects and greatest efficiency," said Benowitz.

    Co-authors include Cheryl A. Jay, MD, UCSF neurology; and Starley B. Shade, MPH; Hector Vizoso, RN; and Mary Ellen Kelly, MPH, UCSF Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

    Source: University of California - San Francisco

    Comments

    Unfortunately you're still risking arrest if you actually have any pot to put into your vaporizer. And this is true in all of the U.S.A. Oh, what a wonderfully free society we live under... er, in.

    Hank
    That's because vaporization is legal but possession isn't. Here in CA there is always some state v fed battle over marijuana for medicine.

    Yea , go ahead and drink your self to death, and thats OK?

    dumbasss.... dis about marijuana not drinkin... nd smokin marijuana is da best

    I hear a lot in the media about how weed is good for pain for people who have cancer and aids, but all the people with cancer I know seem to do just fine on normal medication that doesn't get you "high". The "high" is all this is really about. People just want to check out. And most of the people who would actually use this kind of thing if it were legal would not be sick people but druggies. I'm from the ghetto, I know. I also live in CA. A lot of people who have "medical marijuana" cards just turn around and sell all the stuff they get at the clinics. And weed just leads to other drugs. I've watched it happen over and over again.

    Why instead of trying to find a way to justify drug use don't we spend all that money on trying to find a cure for aids and a cure for cancer instead? Maybe its because if we did then the "need" for marijuana as a "pain killer" would be abated and we would have to be honest with ourselves as a society and individuals.

    Oh yeah, here we go with the "gateway drug" BS again... It's an unhappy life that leads to use of illegal drugs, alcohol, or whatever a person uses to alleviate the pain of existence. And what's wrong with feeling better? Just because a doctor didn't prescribe a substance and a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company didn't make it are not in any way reasons to ban and make criminal the use of an herb that is CLEARLY beneficial to at least thousands.

    Yes, let's be honest about marijuana. The fact that some people would rather lay around all day getting stoned and causing trouble isn't marijuana's fault. Sometimes it's circumstances, sometimes it's character defect. But the majority of people who use (not "abuse") marijuana are decent, hardworking folks who just want to be left to live their lives in peace. I've been smoking pot almost daily for over 30 years, and the worst thing that's ever happened to me as a result was getting busted. The way people are treated by society and by the legal system in this country do far more harm than the weed ever could.

    [QUOTE]Yes, let's be honest about marijuana. The fact that some people would rather lay around all day getting stoned and causing trouble isn't marijuana's fault. [/QUOTE]

    So if people are homicidal we should allow them free access to guns. Or if people would rather drive drunk we should just let them. Wow. That's great.

    [QUOTE]But the majority of people who use (not "abuse") marijuana are decent, hardworking folks who just want to be left to live their lives in peace. [/QUOTE]

    How do you know? What do you think people do in ghettos? I've lived in ghettos. That is where the majority of stoners live and/or end up. Our war on drugs is lax because upperclass rich white guys like the idea of the minorities of this country being drugged up. See, that way they can't do inconvenient things like march for their rights or demand equality. The money they spend on drugs prevents them from ever leaving the ghetto.

    [QUOTE] I've been smoking pot almost daily for over 30 years, and the worst thing that's ever happened to me as a result was getting busted.[/QUOTE]

    First of all, you are a perfect example of why the old "marijuana is not addictive" line is so much bs. Every day for thirty years? That is 10,950 days. Definately not casual drug use. If it was, why would you need to use it every day? Assuming you smoke a twenty each time we are talking about $219,000 down the drain. You could have bought a house with that kind of money! Better in the bank earning interest than messing up your lungs and brain, yes?

    So, where do you work? Blue collar job, yes? Some kind of nine to five drudgery? Labor? How many college degrees do you have under your belt? What have you done with your life? Do you own a home or still rent? Do you have a partner? Someone who loves you? A family? Some nice kids? If all that money, time and energy that went into your drug use had gone into advancing yourself as a person where would you be? Your knee jerk reflex of defending your lifestyle is very telling of your dissatisfaction. People do marijuana because they cannot face up to the reality of their lives or how they feel inside about themselves and their life. It is unfortunate that this is how you have felt for 30 years. Trust me, it gets better once you stop doing drugs. Though I must say I never reached the dissatisfaction that can merit 30 years of constant drug use I certainly can relate. When I stopped doing marijuana my life got a lot better. When I got my husband off of it his life got better too (though boy did he have withdrawal). Using anything every day is a clear sign that you are not in control, that you are defining your life through your drug use, that your whole life is centered around weed.

    Please don't waste anymore years of your life. I am sure you are a great guy with a lot of potential. Do more for yourself. Instead of dreaming nice dreams in your drug fueled haze just go make your life what you really want it to be. Stop hiding from yourself. You deserve more than drug addiction.

    Meklorka, you have your opinion and I have mine, and it's clear that we will never agree.

    Diabetics who ingest too much or too little sugar can act crazy or even die. Therefore should the use and posession of sugar be criminalized? You breath every day, yes? You drink water every day, yes? By your logic you are addicted to air and water. They contain carginogens, chlorine, flouride, and all sorts of harmful bacteria and particulates. How sad for you! You should get treatment to wean you from these horribly addictive things.

    Your holier-than-thou judgement of me is completely without merit. I am no more a drug addict than someone who takes aspirin each day. I will not change my life or my opinions merely because you or others have a grudge against marijuana use.

    I function quite well, thank you. I'm not hiding from anyone, least of all myself. I have a family who loves me and plenty of friends, and they all know I smoke pot, as do many of them. I make more money through legal means than I can spend, and I own two homes and four cars. I have not been in a "drug-fueled" or drunken haze a single time since I was about 30 years old, and I'm nearly 50 now. My life does not revolve around my use of marijuana any more than a tobacco smoker's life is centered upon his cigarettes; in fact I'd say less, since I only smoke pot once or twice a day. And no, I honestly don't smoke every day. I smoke marijuana simply because I enjoy it! It relaxes me and enhances my creativity. And as an adult and a taxpaying citizen in a country that claims to respect the freedom and liberty of the individual citizen, doing so should be my right.

    I'm a successful middle-aged white guy who smokes pot, so in this country today I am in a "minority". You can cry GHETTO all day and it won't mean shit to me, lady. Things are tough all over. Why? Because there are too many people and not enough meaningful and satisfying jobs to go around, and not enough basic resources and affordable housing to meet the demand. Maybe if women would stop popping out babies for about ten years...but I digress.

    I didn't say one word about guns or drunk driving, but as long as you brought them up: Arresting people and taking away their license to drive because their blood alcohol levels are over some mandatory miniscule percentage is wrong. If someone is not driving in an erratic manner there should be no reason not to leave them alone. Statistically, more accidents are cause by the stupidity and the inattention of drivers who are sober than by those who smoked a joint and/or drank a few beers. If you're interested in having fewer traffic injuries, don't let stupid folks who are high on Prozac and have little training drive --- especially while talking on their cellphones, or trying to deal with their Ritalin-ized kids.

    And as for guns, every adult who doesn't have a history of violence should have the right to be armed at home and in public --- to protect themselves against thieves, crazy people, and even the police if necessary.

    The Mad Doctor
    To Nunna Yerbizness; Hats off to you for saying what I've been saying for 4 decades. User does not mean abuser, anymore than an Italian person who has a glass of wine with their meals, being compared to an alley drunk, who consumed a gallon of vodka. Or a cancer patient taking morphine to make his/her pain at least tolerable, being compared to a strung-out junkie who takes pills by the handful. It all boils down to one thing. Responsability.
    Man, I smoke good old reefa every day, and have been doing so for a while, but never in my life have I ever come across one of these crazy smokeless devices! This is amazing, I want one, infact, there's a whole universe of potheads itching their feet for this product. looks like these science people might be doing something useful at last, we are on our way to a new begining, a world without smoke...