An Israeli study into micro-dosing has found that some cannabis medications are effective in small doses – when inhaled.
Micro-dosing is a form of dosing where very small quantities of medication are administered at a time, providing just enough therapeutic benefit to work effectively. While the practice has been around since swiss chemist Dr Albert Hofmann discovered LSD, the effects of micro-dosing cannabis have never been studied – until now.
The Israeli study, conducted by med-tech company Syqe Medical, was published in the European Journal of Pain. It used a placebo to test pain management using THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis.
In the study, patients were given THC through a special drug delivery technology called a ‘Syqe Selective-Dose Inhaler’. This inhaler allows patients to inhale very small doses, each up to 500 micrograms. The dose is then taken three or four times each day, vaping style.
This dose is substantially lower than the typical cannabis dose, which is around 150,000 micrograms of THC per day – delivered through 1 gram of 15% THC.
According to researchers, these microdoses are just as effective as traditional medication. To test this, researchers monitored patients’ blood THC levels, their cognitive functions, pain relief and psychoactivity.
The study found that the inhaler allowed medical cannabis to be effective in very low quantities, resulting in fewer side effects than other forms of cannabis medications. According to Perry Davidson, Syqe’s CEO, this proves that human sensitivity to THC is far greater than previously assumed. Turns out, some stoners may have been overworking themselves with spliffs.
Reflecting on the results of the study, lead researcher Professor Elon Eisenberg told an Israeli publication:
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.
Syqe is currently planning on submitting their inhaler to the American Federal Drug Administration. If approved, the device will be used to administer micro-doses of medical cannabis and opioid medications. The device is also pending CE approval in Europe.
If adopted in Australia, micro-dosing would cut the (current) extortionate costs of medical cannabis for patients – as patients will get more bang for their buck.