Vaping preferred in Canada

By Alana Armstrong
on March 02, 2017
With 0 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.  

Medical Marijuana and Vaping: The Basics

By Alana Armstrong
on March 02, 2017
With 1 comments

The number of doctors suggesting that their medical marijuana patients vaporize their medication instead of smoke it is growing. Just as we know vaporizing to be a safer alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, so too is vaping cannabis less harmful than rolling and smoking it. Vaporizing is a way to inhale the medicinal compounds and cannabinoids of cannabis while avoiding burning the plant matter. When the plant matter burns, so do the crystals that cling to the buds and contain the medicinal components of the cannabis and cling to the leaves of the buds. For oil and concentrated material to vaporize you must use a device called a vaporizer, which can come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and technologies. Using a vaporizer involves the placement of oil or a concentrate into a chamber where the cannabis is progressively heated to atomize, but not burn, the material. The vapors are then inhaled by the patient.

 

Dosing with a vaporizer

Getting the proper dose from a vaporizer is not a science but efficacy and safety studies are constantly being done to refine the knowledge we already have on each kind of medical vape product and how consistent dosing works. The general guideline is to start low and go slow. Patients should start with a very low dose and stop therapy if the side effects they experience are undesirable.

 

Pen vaporizers

Pen vaporizers are small vaporizers shaped like a pen or e-cig. They are wonderfully discreet, easy to use, and much cheaper than most rechargeable vaporizers. Vape pens almost always utilize conduction heating, which means just a little extra care should be taken to not get burned in the process of vaping with a pen-style device.

 

Portable vaporizers

Portable vaporizers are one of the fastest growing segments of the medical device industry with patients demanding the most innovation from manufacturers of these little wonders. Patients who want to travel with their medication and medicate on-the-go, a personal unit is the way to go. And it’s only just slightly larger than a vape pen. The only downside is that these units can get pretty needy when it comes to energy—luckily the majority of them can be charged by USB from wherever you are.

 

Desktop vaporizers

Desktop vaporizers are big and typically need to be plugged in during use. The great payoff is that they consistently deliver much a higher quality vapor through a convection heating source. Larger bowls and more robust heating systems mean that vaporizing with a desktop vaporizer is a heady experience that is full of medicinal cannabinoids and tasty terpenes.

 

Direct draw vaporizers

Direct draw is most commonly found with portable or pen vaporizers. These sorts of vaporizers allow the vapor to flow directly from the heating element to the user through a mouthpiece. Some direct draw vaporizers offer a removable stem made of glass or a similar material, while others have a permanent mouthpiece.

 

How to use a vaporizer for your medical cannabis

Here is the quick and dirty guide to operating a fresh-out-of-the-box vaporizer, and also how to keep it safe, clean and operational.

 

  1. Charge the battery

Vape pen batteries typically require some charging when they come straight from the store. We recommend always using only the enclosed lithium ion battery and charging cord and not something “third party”.

 

  1. Learn the parts of the vaporizer

You don’t have to study the entire manual but these medical-grade products require your careful attention. Get to know the parts of your vaporizer inside and out and learn about whether it was designed for pre-filled disposable oil cartridges, wax or shatter, etc.

 

  1. Run it once dry

Turn the vaporizer on to its highest setting and let it run for a minute or two. Vape reviewers swear by this method to burn off the residual—well, who knows—left over from the manufacturer.

 

  1. Load the tank

Pre-filled cartridges are simply attached to the battery, while products like wax, shatter, and resin are dabbed in small amounts directly onto the atomizer or surrounding wick. Oil mix is typically loaded into a tank that wicks or drips onto the atomizer.

 

  1. Toke up

Your vaporizer may heat up automatically when you inhale, require you to push a button for set-up or it could switch between both. Put the mouthpiece to your lips and draw in a steady breath of atomized plant-based medicine.

 

  1. Check your head

Take a minute to check in with your body. Breathe deeply and notice how each part of your body feels and where your thoughts are taking you. Remember that the experience, “good” or “bad”, is only temporary but the important thing is to relax into the experience and its healing properties.

 

Finally

It is important that clients rely on advice from their healthcare practitioner to employ sound clinical judgment for their specific conditions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a healthcare practitioner nor a recommendation of any particular treatment plan. Please consult with your physician or healthcare practitioner for professional advice pertaining to your particular disease state.

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