Vaping preferred in Canada

By Alana Armstrong
on March 02, 2017
With 1 comments

Because of the associated health and odor concerns with smoking cannabis, vaporizing cannabis is Health Canada’s preferred mode of inhalation for medical cannabis users. Canada’s Licensed Producers, the only entities who are currently legally selling cannabis there, are only able to sell dry flower products and some tinctures, so smoking is one of the only ways a patient can consume their medicine “straight from the box”.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s been a rush on dry herb vaporizers in Canada because more education must take place. What most patients are told by their doctor is that vaporizing, like smoking, is the fastest delivery method for the active cannabinoids. Pain relief can be delivered to the patient in a matter of minutes.  This immediate effect can help patients micro-dose (aka “go low and slow”) until they decide on the dosage that suits them. This quick and safe delivery method works faster than oils, which are also prescribed for some medical marijuana patients in Canada but take up to two hours to start working. Patients who suffer sudden anxiety or nausea, for instance, can treat their symptoms faster and with longer-lasting results than with cannabis oil.

Canadian patients are being introduced now to a variety of dry herb vaporizers, made to suit their needs. The two top of the line desktop units on the market are Volcano and Herbalizer. The Volcano Medic is an approved medical device by Health Canada; Herbalizer is waiting for theirs. This approval is important to patients because they can submit the cost of their vaporizer unit to their insurance company for reimbursement. Both these units come with a vapor bag, whip, and fan assist that add to lower external odors and can make inhalation easier. The fan assist is an excellent feature for patients who have weak lungs with poor capacity—no more resistance during deep tokes, just normal breathing.

Hand-held devices like the PAX 3 are beloved for their economy, efficiency and discretion; it’s no wonder they are the preferred method for Canadian patients seeking a consistent mode of taking their medicine. It’s a small investment but it seems to be worth it. The price of a unit is a stretch compared to a single pack of papers and a lighter but, let’s face it, it’s never just one book of paper and one lighter.

A place to vape in sports

By Alana Armstrong
on March 02, 2017
With 0 comments

Is vaping in sports really as bad as the Twitter storms it causes make it seem? The most recent sighting of a vape pen on the sidelines occurred on January 7th in the UK and it was met with mixed reviews. Paul Doswell, the Sutton United manager, was caught on camera vaping during the action. Of course, the Internet had their say about the scene but the majority of the tweets were more shocked than mad about seeing a soccer team manager vaping. Managing can be stressful and relaxation is necessary but was he in the right taking in a few puffs?

The good news is that Doswell did not lose his position but the reason why had nothing to do with vaping being accepted on the sidelines. As Sutton chairman, Bruce Elliott , explains it, "We don’t pay him. It’s unique. Actually, not only do we not pay him a penny, he sponsors us. So he’s actually paying us to be our manager," Elliot said. "That’s how much he loves this club."

And that’s a non-athlete on the sidelines of his sport. There’s also the story of Nate Diaz, the 31-year-old UFC fighter who took a few puffs of a vape pen after a bout at UFC 202 on August 20, 2016. Later, the USADA announced that Diaz admitted to using the prohibited substance Cannabidiol during the in-competition period following the fight. Diaz believed he was in the clear to vape with a pen that contained the substance cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients in marijuana.

Cannabidiol is only banned during the “in-competition” period as laid out by the UFC and Diaz thought he had exited that period, being that he was in the post-fight news conference and had already provided a post-fight blood and urine samples. How wrong he was! The in-competition period is actually defined in the UFC Anti-Doping Policy as “the period starting six hours prior to the commencement of the scheduled weigh-in and ending six hours after the conclusion of the Bout.” Diaz accepted a public warning for his policy violation and pointed out that he was unaware of the length of the in-competition period.

"It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that," said an earnest Diaz in the wake of the incident and he’s not the only athlete that want to be given a pass when it comes to the healing and pain management properties of vaping their favorite medicinal plant. Professional research has found a strong correlation between marijuana use and pain relief—a conclusion most athletes come to themselves through trial and error. Like former Baltimore Raven, Eugene Monroe, who came out publicly about the amount of pain that athlete go through, the pain management systems that wreck havoc on their systems, and the reason why he chose a more gentle route, using cannabis.  

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