Vaporizers or vaporizer pens
, depending on which style you prefer, have become quite the trend in the marijuana industry as of late, most notably due to their portability and perception as a healthier alternative compared to combustion based smoking methods.
Now, a doctor from a San Francisco General Hospital wants to test the validity of vaporized marijuana as a potential treatment for sickle cell anemia, a disease where normal red blood cells form a crescent shape causing vital pathways to be blocked throughout the body. These blockages can cause severe pain and permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, bones, and spleen; conditions which are currently treated with addictive pharmaceutical opiates.
Dr. Donald Abrams of Oakland's Harborside Health Center, knows the value of a certain compound found in marijuana known as CBD, which, from his previous research, had been effective in treating pain and inflammation in mice, that had been genetically engineered to develop sickle cell anemia.
"CBD is another cannabinoid, one of the active ingredients in the plant. It's not psychoactive, but it is active against inflammation and pain", said Dr. Abrams, according to Medical Marijuana 411.
Abrams hypothesizes that "people will be able to get away with lower doses of opiates with better control of pain when they add vaporized cannabis" to their regimen.
In conjunction with the study, Harborside patient's have turned to the oil vaporizer pen
, a device than be used with liquid marijuana concentrates to deliver medicine to the body.
According to Goose Duarte, a manager at Harborside, "vaporizers provide one of the safest ways to ingest the medicine because you're not actually burning any plant matter."
Despite setbacks from the government, including a year long delay from the FDA which made Abrams prove that vaporized CBD wasn't harmful to animals, Abrams has finally been granted approval as well as federal funding and legal marijuana, for research.
Marijuana advocates hope that this approved government funded research on marijuana is signaling a change of heart for the cannabis community at large.
“I would love to think so, but I’ve been doing this too long to think that that’s possible,” Abrams concluded to ABC News.