Portable Vaporizer Vapour Quality


Few portable vaporizer studies have addressed the vapour quality extracted and delivered; instead, focus has generally been on the mode of usage of the vaporizer. There are 483 identifiable chemical constituents known to exist in the cannabis plant, and at least 85 different cannabinoids have been isolated. The aromatic terpenoids begin to vaporize at 126.0 °C (258.8 °F), but the more bio-active tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol CBD and cannabinol CBN do not vaporize until near their respective boiling points: THC 149.  °C (300.7 °F), CBD 206.3 °C  (403.3 °F),  and CBN 212.7 °C (414.9 °F) and because most commercial herbal vaporizers are slow in extraction and delivery, the vapour inhaled is first aromatic, but only minimally active; as the plant material temperature rises, the vapour becomes increasingly bio-active, but minimally aromatic, because most of the aromatics have already been released.



This problem is addressed in the modular vaporization tool-based systems by use of a sequential effect for more rapid extractions via a vaporization herb chamber bowl. With the herb chamber approach, many common pipes can be modified, enabling the delivery of broader-spectrum vapor preferred by many users and higher in concentration, consistency, and aromatic density due to the increased rate of extraction and smaller sample size. Bag capture vaporizers tend to be slower in extraction rate, which prevents a fuller spectrum vapour, and are less convenient to use.


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Studies have shown that vaporizing cannabis exposes the user to lower levels of harmful substances than smoking cannabis.

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in May 2008 investigated the acceptability and usefulness of intrapulmonary THC administration using a herbal vaporizer and pure THC instead of cannabis. Rising doses of THC (2,4,6 and 8mg) were administered with 90 min intervals to 12 healthy males. Very low between-subject variability was observed in THC plasma concentrations, thus the vaporizer was a suitable method for the administration of THC.



1. In 2007 a study by University of California, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology examined the efficacy of a vaporizer that heats cannabis to a temperature between 180 °C (356 °F) and 200 °C (392 °F) degrees and found:

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.

2. In 2006 a study performed by researchers at Leiden university tested a vaporizer with preparations of pure THC and found that:

Our results show that a safe and effective cannabinoid delivery system seems to be available to patients. The final pulmonal uptake of THC is comparable to the smoking of cannabis, while avoiding the respiratory disadvantages of smoking.



When using plant material (flower buds), besides THC, several other cannabinoids and a range of other plant components including terpenoids were detected in the plant material. However, using pure THC in the vaporizer, no degradation products (D8-THC-CBN) or unknown compounds were detected by HPLC analysis. Also, a substantially larger fraction of the THC was delivered to the vapour by using pure THC.

Analysis of the vapour when you buy vaporizer for testing, found that using multiple passes it delivered 36%–61% of the THC in the sample. A study using pure cannabinoid preparations achieved a maximum of 54%. Studies of cannabis cigarettes smoked via a smoking machine under varying conditions of puff duration and air speed found very similar efficiencies of 34% to 61%. So users can achieve the desired effect with a smaller amount of material as smoking.

In a 2001 study, researchers found that “it is possible to vaporize medically active THC by heating marijuana to a temperature short of the point of combustion, thereby eliminating or substantially reducing harmful smoke toxins that are normally present in marijuana smoke.” The unit produced THC at a temperature of 185 °C (365 °F), while eliminating 3 measured combustion products, benzene, toluene and naphthalene. Carbonmonoxide and tars were reduced, but not quantified.


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