Background: Significant interest has emerged in the therapeutic and interactive effects of different cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to have anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects with high doses administered orally. We report a series of studies conducted to determine the vaporisation efficiency of high doses of CBD, alone and in
combination with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to achieve faster onset effects in experimental and clinical trials and emulate smoked cannabis.
Methods: Purified THC and CBD (40 mg/ml and 100 mg/ml respectively) were loaded onto a liquid absorbing pad in a Volcano® vaporiser, vaporised and the vapours quantitatively analysed. Preliminary studies determined 200 mg CBD to be the highest dose effectively vaporised at 230°C, yielding an availability of approximately 40% in the vapour phase. Six confirmatory studies examined the quantity of each compound delivered when 200 mg or 4 mg CBD was loaded together with 8 mg of THC.
Results: THC showed 55% availability when vaporised alone or with low dose CBD, while large variation in the availability of high dose CBD impacted upon the availability of THC when co-administered, with each compound affecting the vaporisation efficiency of the other in a dynamic and dose-dependent manner. We describe optimised protocols that enable delivery of 160 mg CBD through vaporisation.
Conclusions: While THC administration by vaporisation is increasingly adopted in experimental studies, often with oral predosing with CBD to examine interactive effects, no studies to date have reported the administration of CBD by vaporisation. We report the detailed methodology aimed at optimising the efficiency of delivery of therapeutic doses of CBD, alone and in combination with THC, by vaporisation. These protocols provide a technical advance that may inform methodology for clinical trials in humans, especially for examining interactions between THC and CBD and for therapeutic applications of CBD.