Research conducted by Israeli startup Syqe Medical shows that extremely low doses of the psychoactive constituent THC relieve pain without side effects common to cannabis.
The clinical trial’s results were released today. They show how so-called “microdosing” works with cannabis – whose effectivity as an inhaled pain reliever without side effects has to date been largely anecdotal. The trial’s median time to pain relief was 120 minutes. Harms such as drowsiness, vomiting, nausea or confusion were absent at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after ingestion.
The 85-subject trial could pave the way to a standardized therapeutic window for cannabis inhalation. That would be good news for Syqe, whose selective-dose inhaler allows for personalization of cannabis treatments. The firm’s CEO Perry Davidson told Red Herring he believes “authorities will appreciate that a scientific dosing range for cannabis inhalation is emerging.
“A critical milestone for mainstreaming the various cannabis industries is to define what is a sub-therapeutic, therapeutic, recreational and lastly hazardous dose,” added Davidson, who founded Syqe in 2011, and has raised $70 million in venture capital to date. “This can be seen in industries such as alcohol, where safety and use guidelines were established via a ‘standard drink’ unit, enabling users to control their consumption.
“This foundational element of a ‘standard unit’ is completely lacking in the most popular way cannabis is consumed today – inhalation,” says Davidson.
“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,” adds professor Elon Eisenberg, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
As cannabis’ therapeutic benefits have been backed by hard science, and nations have legalized its use, the industry around the drug has skyrocketed in recent years. According to a Fortune Business Insights report, the global cannabis market will be worth just under $100bn by 2026, growing at a shade under 33% CAGR.