The latest invention on the cannabis front is the 3D-printed cannabis inhaler, which allows doctors to administer medical marijuana remotely. The Rambam hospital in Haifa has been using the device for the last year.
The 3D printed cannabis inhaler provides patients with exact dosages that can be controlled remotely
Quartz reports on the invention launched by a Tel-Aviv-based startup. It can supply patients with known and precise dosages of the active ingredients in cannabis without the doctor or health practitioner being present. The benefit to the doctors, says chairman Eytan Hyam, is that medical personnel can now prescribe an accurate dose, offering patients a balanced dosing solution.
There are two models of the inhaler; one is suitable for individuals and the other for institutions. The inhaler for hospitals has an interface for caregivers and can be used for remote dosing. It was developed for pain clinics, intensive care units, cancer centers and medical institutions.
“Structurally modified” cannabis
The inhaler is pocket-sized and comes with cartridges containing 100 micrograms of structurally modified cannabis. It has thermal and flow control, lung interfacing, and wireless connection to a database serving researchers, physicians and healthcare organizations.
The new inhaler will be distributed through the world’s biggest generic drug producer. The health ministry approved the inhaler for extensive use by registered medical marijuana patients. There are currently 26,000 medical marijuana patients in Israel who could benefit from the device. They would not need to inhale carcinogenic compounds by smoking as 90% of patients do. The inhaler is much more discrete than lighting up a cannabis cigarette.
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Twice as many patients by 2018?
Many analysts believe that the demand for medical marijuana could double by 2018.The number of patients using medical marijuana has increased significantly in the past few years and will continue to grow. For any 3D-printed product to become successful, an extensive market is needed, but it seems that the makers of the inhaler will be catering to extensive demand.
The inhaler has an added benefit to research and science because different doses can be studied, aiding the development of precision-dosing in cannabis treatments.
Doctors welcome the new inhaler
The director of the Pain Research Department at Rambam Medical Center, Elon Eisenberg, says this device addresses an unmet need, since reliable and accurate dosages of cannabis can now be administered effortlessly. He considers it a very important breakthrough in the medical use of cannabis in Israel and the world.
Will this innovation speed research progress?
The provision of standardized doses of cannabinoids has been a knotty problem for researchers when using whole plant material. Although we were unable to discover just how the cannabis is “structurally modified”, we understand that it is made from whole plant material. This might just speed medical research progress, and meanwhile, it will help doctors and patients alike.