Scientists prove miscrodosing THC with an inhaler is an effective pain relief solution.
Researchers have conducted a clinical trial to demonstrate that “extremely low and precise” doses of inhaled THC, the psychoactive drug in cannabis, can relieve pain with common side effects. The study was conducted by Israeli company Syqe Medical and published in the European Journal of Pain. It is the first scientific look at microdosing, which includes low-dosing active drug compounds to treat medical conditions.
According to the findings, “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.” A “typical medical cannabis patient consumes 1 gram of 15% THC cannabis per day, which contains 150,000 micrograms of THC.”
The Syqe Selective-Dose Inhaler, the company’s drug delivery device marketed in Israel by Teva Pharmaceuticals, allows health providers and patients to select the level of doses. Syqe believes that the published study will be an important part of its planned presentation to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S.
“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 researchers cite as the study’s significance, “Evidence suggests that cannabis‐based medicines are an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. The pharmacokinetics of THC varies as a function of its route of administration. Pulmonary assimilation of inhaled THC causes rapid onset of analgesia. However, currently used routes of cannabinoids delivery provide unknown doses, making it impossible to implement a pharmaceutical standard treatment plan. A novel selective‐dose cannabis inhaler delivers significantly low and precise doses of THC, thus allowing the administration of inhaled cannabis‐based medicines according to high pharmaceutical standards. These low doses of THC can produce safe and effective analgesia in patients with chronic pain.”
“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 Professor Elon Eisenberg, lead researcher and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. “The doses given in this study, being so low, mandate very high precision in the treatment modality.”
The placebo-controlled, double-blind, multidose study was conducted at Rambam Medical Center in Israel. Although it has been widely used for pain relief, THC previously had little support in the scientific community.