A new study finds that vaporizers are highly effective at releasing marijuana's active ingredients without the toxins generated by combustion. The research, sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, shows that the most serious health concern about cannabis–the respiratory effects of smoking–can be addressed with commercially available devices.
Vaporizers, though pricey compared to a bong, may be especially valuable for patients who rely on marijuana to relieve nausea, pain, or muscle spasms, since they use the drug more frequently than the average pot smoker and may be especially vulnerable to the effects of smoking. The National Academy of Sciences' 1999 report on medical marijuana cited this concern in calling for the development of inhalers to deliver THC and other useful cannabinoids. It did not consider vaporizers as an alternative.