World's First Metered-Dose Marijuana Inhaler is in Use in Israel
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, since 1996, 23 states and Washington, DC have passed laws allowing marijuana use for a variety of medical conditions. Of course, these state laws do not change the actuality that using marijuana is an offense under federal law. Nor do these state marijuana laws change the criteria or process for FDA approval of safe and effective medications.
"Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief; control of nausea and vomiting; and appetite stimulation; smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances."
Now prescribing and monitoring the medicinal marijuana has become more adept. Syqe Medical, a startup out of Tel-Aviv, Israel has designed a cannabis inhaler. In other words, Syqe Inhaler is a pocket-sized selective-dose drug delivery platform which will allow patients regain quality of life.
[Syqe Inhaler with Cartridge. Image Source: Syqe]
This inhaler utilizes selective 100 microgram dosing precision, real-time thermal and flow controllers, lung interfacing, and wireless connectivity.
Israel's Ministry of Health approved the inhaler and it has been in use for a year at Rambam Medical Center in the city of Haifa. Times of Israel describes the institution as the world’s first of its kind to prescribe weed as “standard medical treatment.”
"The company has completed clinical trials demonstrating the inhaler’s precision and compliance with pharmaceutical standards. In addition, the medical technology of Syqe only modifies the physical structure of the plant. Thereby enabling safe, precise and measurable delivery by inhalation, Teva and Syqe said in a joint statement."
The platform is further comprised of proprietary raw drug Structural Modification methods. In addition, Syqe also comprises uniquely identified preloaded cartridges. Moreover, the linked clinical database will be a great help to physicians, researchers and healthcare entities. "This new level of precision will allow patients to reach the coveted optimum balance between symptom relief and psychoactivity, regaining their quality of life." claims Syqe.
Built with 3D-printing technology, the inhaler comes in two variations. The first variation is for individuals and the other is for medical institutions. The hospital version is the Syqe inhaler Exo, which includes a caregiver interface and allows for remote dosing. Exo is used in pain clinics, cancer centers, intensive care units, and other medical institutions. At present, the Syqe Inhaler Exo is available for hospital use in Israel.
[Syqe Exo. Image Source: Syqe]
According to a statement by Teva and Syqe, the health ministry has approved the cannabis inhalers for widespread use with medical marijuana patients. Besides, by 2018, the Teva and Syqe expect Israel’s medical-marijuana licenses to double.
With around 26,000 medical-marijuana users in Isreal, this development would have huge health benefits. Currently, the medical users also consume carcinogens while smoking their medicine. Syqe resolves this problem. The inhalers are provided with an added benefit of discretion.
“For doctors, the inhaler solves the problem of prescribing plants for smoking and offers a solution for patients. For the first time, they will be able to receive a precise dose of medical cannabis,” said Syqe Medical chairman Eytan Hyam.
"The extent of medical cannabis usage for the treatment of pain and other symptoms has increased significantly in recent years,” says Elon Eisenberg. Elon is a Director of the Pain Research Department at Rambam Medical Center, Isreal. “The advancement of this inhaler fulfills our greatest aspirations, to be able to administer accurate and reliable doses of cannabis. It’s a headway in cannabis treatment and the medical use of cannabis in Israel and around the world.”