Israeli researchers provide evidence microdosing cannabis relieves pain

The researchers published their findings in the European Journal of Pain, providing the first scientific evidence that microdosing can be applied medical cannabis solution.

Chemdawg marijuana plants grow at a facility (photo credit: REUTERS)
Chemdawg marijuana plants grow at a facility
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli pharma-tech company Syqe Medical recently conducted a clinical trial in which they found evidence that inhaling "extremely low and precise doses" of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the principal psychoactive component in cannabis products - can be used as an effective pain reliever while avoiding the "common [psychoactive] side effects" normally associated with cannabis use.
The research team published their findings in the European Journal of Pain, providing the scientific community with the first research-based evidence that microdosing - "the process of using extremely low doses of active drug compounds to treat various conditions" - can actually be applied to medical cannabis solutions.
"The study shows that an optimally effective dose to relieve pain is just 500 micrograms of THC. Syqe patients consume 3-4 inhalations per day, each up to 500 micrograms," according to a statement by the Israeli investment platform OurCrowd. "A typical medical cannabis patient consumes 1 gram of 15% THC cannabis per day, which contains 150,000 micrograms of THC. This illustrates a key finding from the study that patients can benefit from dramatically lower doses."
The Syqe Selective-Dose Inhaler, marketed by Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, is the world’s first marijuana inhaler capable of delivering botanicals with the same level of safety and precision as conventional drugs. It is "presumed" that the Syqe platform's bioavailability-enhancing technologies and selective dosing capabilities are behind the success of the trials.
In addition, Syqe believes that the new study can give the pharma-tech company a strong backing to earn FDA and CE approval within the coming months, so that they may be able to market the product across the United States and the European Union. Its CE approval is currently pending, and a request for FDA approval is noted as "planned."
“This study is the first to show that human sensitivity to THC is significantly greater than previously assumed, indicating that if we can treat patients with much higher precision, lower quantities of drug will be needed, resulting in fewer side effects and an overall more effective treatment," said Syqe Medical CEO Perry Davidson. "The Syqe drug delivery technology is also applicable to opioids and other compounds that, while potentially effective, are notoriously associated with dangerous side effects. The introduction of a tool to prescribe medications at such low doses with such high resolution may allow us to achieve treatment outcomes that previously were not possible."
The evidence provided in the Syqe research team's findings could lead the way to the standardized use of applying cannabis inhalation to therapeutic medical solutions, more or less due to the fact the administering method is able to stave off many of the psychoactive effects that tend to accompany marijuana use while providing the patient with therapeutic relief.
Until now, pain relief from medical cannabis has been delivered via edibles; inhaling smoke; or through commercial inhalers. None of those, however, provide reliable or accurate doses.
In the edible form, effectiveness often depends on what users ate a few hours before, while the quantities of active ingredients inhaled from cannabis joints have generally been unknown. So, in the absence of precise dosing, cannabis could not be prescribed as a standard medical treatment, causing difficulties for patients and the physicians who treat them.
“We can conclude from the study results that low doses of cannabis may provide desirable effects while avoiding cognitive debilitations, significantly contributing to daily functioning, quality of life, and safety of the patient," said lead researcher and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Prof. Elon Eisenberg. "The doses given in this study, being so low, mandate very high precision in the treatment modality. This precision is unique to the Syqe drug delivery technology, enabling cannabis dosing at pharmaceutical standards."
Approximately 90% of medical cannabis consumers worldwide use the drug by inhalation, and the Syqe inhaler allows them to receive the optimal dose for their condition, in order to alleviate suffering in the most efficient way possible.
“Syqe Medical is a trailblazer in the field of medical cannabis by means of accurate microdosing utilizing the proprietary Syqe inhaler," said Dr. Morris Laster, a Medical Venture Partner at OurCrowd, an investor in Syqe. "We believe that the Syqe inhaler solves many of the safety, efficacy and regulatory issues regarding medical cannabis, and we look forward to future positive developments from the company."
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich contributed to this report.

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