A qualitative analysis of cannabis vaporization among medical users.

Cannabis vaporization is a prevailing mode of administration among medical users for symptom relief. Limited research to date has considered factors that contribute to vaporization in medical users, although initial evidence suggests that vaporization may provide unique therapeutic advantages relative to other modes. This study aimed to provide an in-depth qualitative examination of vaping behavior and use preferences among medical cannabis users. Qualitative interviews were conducted with Rhode Island medical cannabis registration card holders (n = 25). Interviews followed a semistructured agenda and were audio-recorded and transcribed for applied thematic analysis. Key vaporization themes were summarized. Several themes emerged related to (a) medication dosing and administration (flexible timing of medication delivery; ease when traveling; type of device/cannabis formulation), (b) physical health advantages of vaping (general health benefits; better for medical condition; promoting tobacco cessation), (c) general advantages of vaping (portability, concealability, efficiency), and (d) disadvantages (weaker medication delivery; device cost; technology-use barriers). Various factors contribute to cannabis vaporization among medical users that are both general and medical-specific. Certain aspects of vaping may also interfere with effective delivery of cannabis, including technology aspects and device cost. These findings highlight the heterogeneity in vaporization behavior. Future work is needed to further identify factors that contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis and its modalities of use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)