Rolling Stone reports on the safety of vaping the common sleep aid melatonin.
When concentrated melatonin is inhaled, in theory, it is instantly absorbed by alveoli in the lungs and enters the bloodstream, instead of being metabolized by the liver, as would a tablet. Only a small amount of melatonin, then, is required to create a physiological effect. But Dr. Philip Forys, a pulmonologist at Indiana University, is skeptical about vaped melatonin’s proposed absorption rates. “Melatonin is a large chemical compound, unlike nicotine and other commonly vaped substances,” Dr. Forys tells Rolling Stone. “While it’s possible this product may work, we really don’t know if this is an efficient delivery mechanism, as there have been no studies conducted on the effects of vaping melatonin.”
In October 2019, Cloudy, which was founded earlier that year, became the first and only melatonin vaporizer to join Google’s prestigious Brand Accelerator program, an invitation-only program developed to help support disruptive brands that have high-growth potential. Once inhaled, Cloudy claims, melatonin enters the bloodstream and immediately begins to “mellow you out” before leaving you “sleeping on a cloud.” In each puff of Cloudy, there is .5 mg of melatonin. Cloudy recommends around seven inhales per night, a dosage in line with oral tablets. “A typical recommended dose of oral melatonin is .5 to 5 mg,” Dr. Michael Grandler, director of the University of Arizona’s Sleep and Health Research Program, tells Rolling Stone. “But the dose of melatonin is very tricky to get right, and most people use more than is optimal. I am not sure if [vaping] allows for tight control over the dose.”