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Benefits of Portable Nebulizers for Inhaled Cannabinoid Administration

Updated: Jan 23

Inhaled medicines have been used for over 50 years for simple and rapid delivery. The large surface area and high permeability of lung tissue allow for advantages in inhalation over oral drug administration, such as increased bioavailability, quick onset, and dosing precision. However, smoking and vaping are linked to chronic inflammation, bronchitis, and lung disease.


Portable battery-operated nebulizers offer a modern, safe approach to inhaling cannabinoids and other drug therapies.


Advantages of Cannabinoid Inhalation Versus Oral Administration

The inhalation route of drug delivery has several advantages over oral delivery.

Cannabinoid Inhalation Enhances Bioavailability

With oral drug delivery methods, absorption is variable. Cannabinoids are metabolized and altered by gut and liver enzymes before reaching the bloodstream, known as the first-pass effect or first-pass metabolism. As a result, the bioavailability — or the amount of drug that reaches systemic circulation — is significantly reduced. In contrast, inhaled medications substantially reduce the first-pass effect and improve bioavailability. Inhaled cannabinoids reach higher relative maximum concentrations in systemic circulation than oral administration.

Inhalation Enables Rapid Action Onset

Inhaled drugs have a rapid onset of action compared to oral delivery methods because they are delivered immediately to the systemic circulation. Lung absorption begins within a matter of seconds after inhalation. Inhaled cannabinoids reach peak plasma concentrations within 3 to 10 minutes, much faster than 120 minutes for the oral route.

Cannabinoid Inhalation Increases Dosing Accuracy

The rapid onset of action of inhaled cannabinoids allows patients to self-titrate their dosage according to real-time effects. In contrast, orally administered drugs have variable absorption and delayed onset of action, resulting in unpredictable effects and difficulty achieving precise dosing.


Cannabinoid Smoking and Vaping Toxicity

Both smoking and vaping involve heating cannabinoids and inhaling the resulting fumes. In smoking, cannabis is burned through combustion, and the smoke is inhaled. In vaping, a liquid is heated in a battery-powered device, and the vapors are inhaled.


Although smoking cannabis may not be as carcinogenic as smoking tobacco, some research shows that smoking cannabis is associated with significantly increased morning cough, sputum production, wheezing, chronic bronchitis, airway inflammation, and emphysema.


While electronic cigarettes or vaping are often touted as safer alternatives to smoking, research on long-term effects is limited. Oil-based drug carriers in cannabinoid vaping products have been linked to serious health problems. Several toxic substances have been found in nicotine e-cigarettes, including:

  • Carcinogens

  • Heavy metals

  • Diacetyl (a chemical linked to lung disease)

  • Volatile organic compounds


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tightly regulating the vape industry, recently banning products made by the largest U.S. vape manufacturer.


Portable Nebulizers are a Safer, Modern Alternative for Cannabinoid Inhalation

Nebulizer therapies, often called breathing treatments, use a nebulizer machine to change a liquid medication into a medicated vapor for inhalation. Water-based or saline-based drug delivery vehicles avoid the problems of the oil-based delivery systems of vaping liquids.


Nebulizers are frequently used for patients of all ages, from infants to seniors, to treat health conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Disadvantages of traditional nebulizers include lengthy treatment times, bulky devices, and the lack of portability due to the need for an electrical outlet. Advancements in portable battery-operated nebulizer devices offer a more convenient and quick method for inhaled cannabinoid drug delivery.


Takeaways on Portable Nebulizers for Inhaled Cannabinoids

Battery-operated portable nebulizers offer a safe, simple, and highly effective delivery method for rapid cannabinoid administration. The Nebi is rechargeable, with replaceable cartridges for the treatment of many conditions. Water-based or saline-based delivery systems offer a modernized upgrade for safe and effective cannabinoid inhalation, with no heat or oil required. Contact us here to find out more.

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