As nicotine vaping laws change in Australia and CBD vape products expand in international markets, many questions are arising about prescription vaping CBD in Australia
Although the majority of medical cannabis prescriptions in Australia use sublingual oils as a safer delivery method than combustion via smoking, inhalation still offers numerous benefits for cannabinoid bioavailability and onset of action.
Many vaporizers used for the therapeutic application of medical cannabis are large and non-portable. With the advent and increasing evolution of e-cigarette vape devices, a new avenue has opened for portable, easeful administration of CBD via vape pens.
CBD vaping in Australia
Currently, approximately 16% of Australian medical cannabis patients are prescribed raw cannabis flower which can come in a range of different cannabinoid ratios including CBD only or CBD dominant chemovars.
With the known health risks surrounding inhaling dangerous by-products of combustion created when smoking cannabis, many patients prescribed raw flower opt to use vaporisers to deliver their medicinal cannabis.
The majority of these vaporizing devices are large and only suitable for therapeutic use at home. They provide aerosolized cannabinoids which are suitable for medical cannabis patients who want to avoid the deleterious effects of smoking, whilst capitalising on the increased bioavailability and fast symptom relief attributed to inhaling medicinal cannabinoids.
Differences between CBD vaping and nicotine vaping
Nicotine vape laws have recently changed in Australia, as of 1st October 2021 vaping nicotine e-liquids will only be available via prescription from a GP or dedicated pharmacies such as Prescription Vape. While nicotine vaping has clinical research supporting its use assisting smokers to quit tobacco products, there is sparse research around CBD vaping for specific conditions.
Manufacturing cannabinoids including CBD for vaping through e-cigarettes isn’t a simple process. It is problems with manufacturing and adverse ingredients included in illicit and unregulated CBD vape products that have caused a stir in the media and medical community around the dangers of vaping cannabinoids, including a novel condition known as Vape Associated Lung Injury (VALI).
Whether using vaping technology to assist in quitting smoking or to treat a medical condition with CBD, it is essential CBD or nicotine vaping is prescribed by a doctor.
Research on vaping CBD
Research in healthy subjects showed that vaping CBD enhanced short term memory performance compared to a placebo, with no negative effects observed on working memory performance or attention. This supports theories that by influencing the endocannabinoid system, CBD may enhance or promote neural connectivity.
Vaping and smoking cessation
Other preliminary research shows vaping CBD may assist smokers in reducing cigarette intake. Participants were provided with a CBD vape or a placebo vape and advised to use it when they felt a desire for a cigarette. The CBD vape group reduced their cigarette smoking by 40% with widespread reports of reduced cravings.
Is vaping safe?
Whether delivering your medical cannabis through a vape device or quitting smoking cigarettes with nicotine vaping, there are safety considerations to be aware of. Vaping is still a novel tool for therapeutic use, with no devices authorised and limited long term safety data.
Additives such as vitamin E acetate, squalene, synthetic cannabinoids, flavours, thinning agents and carrier oils are dangerous ingredients prohibited in many countries including Australia.
Improper use of vapes and toxic by-products caused by oxidation of e-liquid or metals in vape devices pose health risks that have yet to be fully understood by researchers.
For safe and monitored use of prescription CBD vaping it is essential to have the guidance of your GP or a well-informed doctor such as those at CA Clinics.