The inhalation method of consuming cannabis is one of the fastest ways to find symptom relief. Onset time can range from immediate to up to ten minutes.
Inhalation means vaporizing cannabis distillate, vaporizing cannabis flower, combusting flower, or inhaling concentrates – which we will go into more detail on next week. But what are the differences between vaporizing distillate or flower? And how do both compare to combusting loose flower?
This discussion took place between the MÜV team and DocMJ regarding the benefits of inhalation, disadvantages, and the MÜV Products available through the inhalation route for part six of our MÜV Monday’s series.
Physician Question 1:
Why would a patient use the inhalation consumption method?
The inhalation method is all-encompassing – it can benefit almost anyone! Inhalation offers an immediate onset of effects, which means relief is found significantly sooner than other methods.
When you inhale cannabis, it is taken directly into the bloodstream to interact with the endocannabinoid system. This interaction occurs within seconds of inhaling cannabis products, making it an extremely effective product for immediate results. As always with cannabis, remember to start your dosing low and slow – especially if you are new to this method of consumption.
“At this time, inhalation offers the best absorption rate for cannabinoids. The lungs have enough blood vessels to fill a football field. Vaping is the quickest way of obtaining CBD and THC and when you are dealing with issues like pain you want something fast acting,” says DocMJ physician Dr. Ross Glider, D.O. “With pain I recommend starting with 1:1 vapes. CBD is very beneficial in the treatment of multiple medical issues, including inflammation and anxiety, but it is important to note that CBD does not work immediately, it requires patience on the part of both the patient and the physician.”
Physician Question 2:
What sets MÜV’s vaporizer cartridges apart from others on the market? And are there any differences between the vaporizer products offered from MÜV?
According to Jackie von Salm, Ph. D. and Director of Research and Development at AltMed, the use of cold ethanol extraction absolutely sets MÜV apart. Using this solvent allows the MÜV extraction team to extract various different terpene profiles compared to other solvents used on the market. “Some vape products contain MCT oil, which can be very irritating to the lung, so I recommend patients be wary about using products that include this” mentioned Dr. Glider.
In addition, “MÜV’s vape products are free of additives (for example: propylene glycol or MCT oil) – instead, all MÜV vapes use Cannabis-derived terpenes,” she explains, allowing the team to dial in on desired terpene effects.
“By using cannabis-derived terpenes,” adds Chris Witowski, Ph. D. and Chief Scientific Officer at AltMed, we are able to mix THC and CBD to achieve the required viscosity of cartridges. The lack of additives and use of cannabis-derived terpenes allows for “better vaping, a better flavor profile, and full-spectrum benefits.”
MÜV offers three lines of vaporizers:
- All-in-One: The All-in-One Pen is a disposable option, available in rotating strains from the MÜV Grow Facility itself. It is draw-activated, with no buttons or charging required. The disposable vaporizer contains 300 mg net weight of distillate and terpenes.
- PÜRE: Available in four strains: Maui Wowie, sativa; Canna-Tsu, high-CBD; OG Kush, hybrid; Blueberry, blue. The tips of these cartridges are color-coded for easy identifying, with yellow as the sativa, clear as high CBD, green as hybrid and blue as indica. This line is the highest potency of the MÜV vaporizers, with an average of 400 mg THC (exception: Canna-Tsu at 1:1 THC:CBD) per 500 mg net weight cartridge. This line is compatible with 510-thread and CCell batteries.
- G Pen GIO: The G Pen GIO pod system is exclusive to MÜV partnering with LA-based Grenco Sciences. The G Pen Gio battery is draw-activated, and protected by a durable zinc-alloy casing. There are two strains each of sativa, hybrid, and indica strains, making it the vaporizer line with the most variety of consistent strains. Sativa strains are currently available in Jack Herer and Clementine; hybrid in Florida I-95 and Sour Tsunami (a 3:1 CBD:THC ratio); and indica in Grape Ape and Northern Lights.
The primary difference between the three is going to be the number of strains available, and the delivery device used. In reference to the vaporizer strains available: “We’ve worked hard to design our terpene profiles to bring patients the relief they are seeking,” said Dr. Witowski.
“Be aware of the terpene profile of the products you are using and journal the effects on your body, so you know which terpenes are beneficial and which are not,” added Dr. Glider of DocMJ. “The biochemistry of each individual is different, like a fingerprint, so what may affect one person one way may affect another person another way.”
Physician Question 3:
Are vaporizers as effective as flower? What about vaporizer cups – where do they fall?
The primary benefit to vaporizing cannabis distillate as opposed to combusting whole cannabis flower is what you’re inhaling. With vaporizers, the distillate is heated to the point of turning the oil into a vapor, which is then inhaled.
When comparing the two: “Vaping is more efficient than smoking in terms of bioavailability and is better in general for your health,” says Dr. Witowksi.
There is a caveat here, however: the major factor in choosing between vaporizing distillate or smoking whole flower is dosing. Dr. Witowski notes that to achieve the dosage of smoking a pre-roll testing at 20% THC, one would need to vape half of a cartridge.
Dr. Salm adds that the extraction and Research and Development Team is constantly refining the extraction process and products based on patient results and scientific discovery.
MÜV Flower Cups fall under the purview of both vaporizers and loose flower. The flower is in sealed ceramic cups, made to be used with tabletop vaporizers. This method heats the cannabis flower to just below the point of combustion, where the cannabis flower converts to a vapor. Burning cannabis for inhalation can cause irritation to the lungs, so this is an option to obtain the results of loose flower without harshness.
Physician Question 4:
What benefits are there to smoking whole flower, if any?
Despite the drawbacks of combusting flower, “Many patients report that…vape products still do not supply the same relief as flower,” says Dr. Salm.
“Cannabis is a natural plant with a lot of complex chemistry that is hard to mimic,” according to Dr. Salm. “A lot of the extra plant material not extract by solvents like ethanol or CO2 can help your body absorb cannabinoids and terpenes in a different way.”
Again – with the theory of the entourage effect, the cannabinoids and terpenes, in addition to the rest of the plant material, work better together. When asked about combustion, Dr. Glider stated that it “may be beneficial to obtain the entourage effect, which is when all the cannabinoids work together.”
The MÜV Team has worked diligently to cultivate an array of strains to target patients’ needs – in addition to executing the rigorous testing in-house throughout the life cycle of the plant.
Drs. Salm and Witowski note that, “Research and development on our products as well as patient feedback is imperative and we are using a HIPAA-compliant survey to create targeted, precision medicines.”
The MÜV Team collects their patient data via a survey in SurveyMonkey at link www.surveymonkey.com/r/B6TPTJG. This survey helps the Research and Development Team to identify and create the “best ways to bring different relief to diverse patients.”
A special thanks to Dr. Glider for his contributions to this weeks article.