Next big thing in medical marijuana... Therapeutic "Cannavaping"?

05/26/2016 - 15:19

Vincent Varlet, et al.

The creativity of cannabis users leads to new methods of consumption. Although developments such as vaporizers, edible and liquid tinctures have become very popular alternatives to the traditionally smoked flower buds of cannabis, they show flaws in concentrations, contamination or efficiency over the day according to galenic forms1. Recently, consumption methods such as butane hashish oil (BHO, cannabis concentrate extracted with butane gas) called “dabbing”, have been increasingly observed2,3,4, especially on Web fora. 

Ref: Drug vaping applied to cannabis: Is “Cannavaping” a therapeutic alternative to marijuana? Scientific Reports (26 May 2016) | DOI: 10.1038/srep25599 | PDF (Open Access)


Therapeutic cannabis administration is increasingly used in Western countries due to its positive role in several pathologies. Dronabinol or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) pills, ethanolic cannabis tinctures, oromucosal sprays or table vaporizing devices are available but other cannabinoids forms can be used. Inspired by the illegal practice of dabbing of butane hashish oil (BHO), cannabinoids from cannabis were extracted with butane gas, and the resulting concentrate (BHO) was atomized with specific vaporizing devices. The efficiency of “cannavaping,” defined as the “vaping” of liquid refills for e-cigarettes enriched with cannabinoids, including BHO, was studied as an alternative route of administration for therapeutic cannabinoids. The results showed that illegal cannavaping would be subjected to marginal development due to the poor solubility of BHO in commercial liquid refills (especially those with high glycerin content). This prevents the manufacture of liquid refills with high BHO concentrations adopted by most recreational users of cannabis to feel the psychoactive effects more rapidly and extensively. Conversely, “therapeutic cannavaping” could be an efficient route for cannabinoids administration because less concentrated cannabinoids-enriched liquid refills are required. However, the electronic device marketed for therapeutic cannavaping should be carefully designed to minimize potential overheating and contaminant generation.