Cannabis is on fire these days, literally and figuratively. The entire industry is booming. There are more methods to use cannabis and paraphernalia to get it done than ever before. You can rub it on aching muscles, drink it in your coffee, munch down on edibles, and the newest kid on the block? Cannabis inhalers.
These inhalers deliver fast, efficient, and effective relief every time you take a puff.
So, let’s take a big inhale and dive into cannabis inhalers 101.
Table of Contents
What are Cannabis Inhalers?
Have you ever seen an asthma inhaler? Well, a cannabis inhaler looks precisely the same. It’s a small metal cylinder with a plastic outer shell, a bit bigger than a lipstick, so it’s easy to throw in your purse or pocket.
However, when you use it, you don’t get asthma medicine. Instead, you get a perfectly measured dose of cannabinoids and terpenes. In other words, when you depress on the inhaler, it releases a vapor of CBD, THC, or a combo of both.
How Do Cannabis Inhalers Work?
It’s all about the lungs. Those powerhouse organs consist of millions of tiny air sacs, alveoli which facilitate gas exchange. So, when we breathe in oxygen, it’s absorbed through these sacs and enters our bloodstream. As we exhale through our nose or mouth, the air sacs contract, and out comes CO2.
When you breathe from a cannabis inhaler, CBD and THC go right into your lungs and into the bloodstream, much like oxygen. Because of this direct path, the effects are almost immediate. But more on that in a minute….
Why Not Just Smoke Joint?
Recent studies have shown that lighting up a good old-fashioned joint (or smoking it in any way) isn’t all that healthy. The combustion of the plant material releases toxins and CO2, which are drawn into your lungs along with butane from your lighter and whatever other chemicals may be in the plant itself.
And in the last few years, vaping hasn’t been very consistent and has come under much scrutiny. Unless you decide to vape marijuana flower, you don’t have total control over what you are inhaling.
That’s where cannabis inhalers step in.
6 Benefits of Cannabis Inhalers
The first and most significant benefit of inhalers vs. other methods of using medical marijuana is their bioavailability. Basically, inhalers deliver the cannabinoids into the bloodstream at faster speeds and higher quantities.
Every method of using marijuana has a different bioavailability.
- Smoking a joint is about 30%.
- Edibles are usually less than 20% because they must first pass through your metabolism. This means when you decide to go the edible route, what you’ve eaten that day, your stress levels and how active you are all influence how quickly you feel the effects.
- Tinctures are around 40-50% because of the sublingual absorption factor.
- Balms and topicals are only 5-10% because the skin is a barrier. It also prevents any psychoactive THC effects.
- Vaping is around 50-80% depending on the user and what you’re smoking.
- Cannabis or medical marijuana inhalers are as high as 80% because they are delivered directly into your bloodstream without fillers and a clean, potent punch.
This leads me to the next benefit…
Yes, the bioavailability of vaping and inhalers might be similar, but there is one significant difference—purity.
Using a cannabis inhaler avoids all those extra fillers and contaminants. So, no toxins or irritants are released into your lungs as they would be by smoking.
If you are someone who gets irritated lungs from smoking a joint, bowl, or bong, inhalers are the answer to your cannabis prayers. Plus, no more coughing up one of those precious lungs of yours when you take a toke.
The bottom line is that using a cannabis inhaler delivers pure product (without any additives) in a delivery system easy on the lungs. Winner-winner chicken dinner.
Cannabis Inhalers Control the Dose
Inhalers give you the exact metered dose of THC and/or CBD every time you take a puff. That’s nearly impossible with edibles and challenging at best with smoking.
And it makes THC microdosing simple.
Cannabis Inhalers Make Marijuana Use a Smoother Experience
For asthma and COPD sufferers, or anyone with sensitive lungs, inhaling vapor may be the answer.
So, there aren’t any carcinogenic side effects with cannabis inhalers, and studies have shown that THC is a bronchodilator. Where asthma narrows and inflames the airways, making it difficult to breathe, THC does the opposite. It relaxes the muscle bands that tighten the airways, which makes for easier breathing. So, if you discuss getting medical marijuana for asthma with your doc, an inhaler or cannabis nebulizer could be a game-changer.
Plus, because of the bioavailability of inhalers, taking a puff means near-immediate results. This by no means is a replacement for asthma inhalers yet. But they’re on to something.
But besides that, cannabis affects our nervous system and helps reduce pain. So once again, cannabis inhalers for the win.
If you aren’t affected by lung challenges, taking an inhaler is still leaps and bounds better for your lungs than smoking in all the extra additives you don’t need. Long gone are the days of taking a toke and coughing up a lung.
Discretion of Cannabis Inhalers
Another great cannabis inhaler benefit is how discrete they are. They can fit in your purse or pocket, and unlike smoked marijuana, there is no odor. It’s vapor, so you can use it in a public place without anyone catching on to what you’re puffing. And besides, it’s no one’s business.
Cannabis Inhalers are Super Easy to Use
These marijuana inhalers are super easy and quick to use. Although some medical inhalers may differ slightly, these are the basic steps:
- Take the cap off the mouthpiece.
- Shake the inhaler while holding it upright.
- Place the mouthpiece in between your top teeth and tongue and seal your lips around it.
- Tilt your head back. It prevents the cannabinoids from hitting your throat because the quicker they get into your lungs, the faster you get relief.
- Slowly start to inhale and then press down on the canister as you continue to inhale.
- Take the inhaler out of your mouth and hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Wipe off the mouthpiece with a clean tissue and put the cap back on.
By the time you get the cap back on, you’ll likely be feeling the effects of CBD and THC.
What To Look for in a Cannabis Inhaler
The first thing you need to think about when buying a cannabis inhaler is if you want THC, CBD or both.
There are CBD-only inhalers that are perfect for people who don’t want any of the psychoactive effects of THC. Although, there is something called the entourage effect, which has proven that THC and CBD have a symbiotic relationship and are more effective together than separately.
So, even the tiniest amount of THC will increase the benefits of CBD. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get high. You can still have a 20:1 CBD to THC ratio to gain the benefits.
said written, if you only want a CBD inhaler, that’s no problem. They’re available and known to help with various disorders like seizures, anxiety, nausea, diabetes and pain.
Types of Cannabis Inhalers on the Market
Another important aspect of deciding which multidose inhaler to use is the amount of THC it has.
Some of the most common brands:
Muv has two different types of inhalers. One has a CBD:THC 1:1 ratio. And the other is just a THC inhaler with 2.4 mg of THC per inhalation, so you can get high off inhalers if you want.
The AeroInhaler is 5mg of THC and tastes like marijuana when you use it.
NFuzed is another metered dose inhaler that delivers a healthy 5mg of THC per puff.
Santana Smooth Inhalers, yep, as in Carlos Santana, the musician. His inhalers have 6.5mg of THC and are the most powerful on this list.
Remember though that any cannabis product with over 0.3% THC in it can only be purchased through a dispensary, which can mean you need a prescription from your doctor depending on the laws in your state. Cannabis and CBD products purchased online are predominantly derived from the hemp plant and will contain less than 0.3% THC levels.
Don’t know if recreational or medical cannabis is legal in your state? You can check here.
The Final Puff
Cannabis inhalers provide users with tons of upsides. Downsides? Some people have reported that it irritates their lungs. So, try with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.
The upside is that every time you take a puff from the inhaler, you know exactly what you’re getting, and that relief is on the way momentarily.
NOTE: This article is for educational purposes only and not meant to provide any sort of medical advice. Make sure you consult with your healthcare practitioner before trying any new products.