Blog Tag: medical marijuana

First Ever Marijuana-Related Medical Device Approved

First Ever Marijuana-Related Medical Device Approved

According to PR Newswire, the Israeli Ministry of Health has granted initial approval to Tel-Aviv-based Kanabo Research for their VapePod vaporizer product as a medical device. PR Newswire notes that with this approval, Israel has become the first country in the world to grant medical device approval for a “vaporizer for the use of medical cannabis extracts and formulations.” High Times, a cannabis-related publication, goes further to say that this is the first certification of marijuana “‘paraphernalia’ as an accepted medical device.”According to Israel21c, Kanabo claims that the approved vaporizer will provide for “more effective, consistent, and accurate dosing and delivery methods than currently accepted medical cannabis treatment methods.” Cannabis administration “has long frustrated doctors due to lack of precise dosage” according to The Jerusalem Post. It reports that Kanabo says the VapePod will solve this problem with its “consistent and accurate gauge.” Moreover, The Jerusalem Post notes that many medical cannabis patients inhale by smoking, and that vaporizers “reduce health risks and make inhalation more effective.”

Israel21c also reports that Kanabo’s next version of the approved VapePod – the VapePod MD, will “monitor patient usage and gather usage data for caregivers, doctors and research applications. PR Newswire reports that Kanabo has initiated pre-clinical trials and is “achieving impressive results in early findings” with their targeted formulations for sleep disorders that are designed to be used with the approved VapePod. Kanabo also has two patents pending which are directed to the formulations according to PR Newsire.

Kanabo Research was founded in 2016 and currently employs 12 people according to The Jerusalem Post. Co-Founder and CEO of Kanabo Research Avihu Tamir had this to say about the future of the company: “We expect that due to the transition of most of the cannabis consumers to the use of vaporizers, our company is projected to reach $10 million in sales within three years in the Israeli market, while the Israeli cannabis market is expected to reach $100 million in sales within three years. The Israeli market is a platform to deliver our technology to global markets in North America and Europe.”

Research into Cannabidiol (CBD) Progresses

Kalytera Therapeutics, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, recently announced plans for clinical trials focused on the treatment of Graft versus Host Disease using Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis.  This development highlights the expanse of continued research—and potential—of CBD-based medicines and methods of treatments being pursued by companies globally.

Cannabis is a flowering plant that has long been recognized for its uses in fiber production and hemp oils, recreation, and medical applications.  According to Project CBD, CBD is one of a diverse class of chemicals called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.  CBD was first identified in the early 1940s , but more than 20 years would pass before researchers identified the more famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Likely because of its psychoactive effects, THC would go on to dominate research studies of cannabis.  However, the classification of marijuana as Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, federally sponsored medical research into CBD and its effect dwindled.

Both CBD and THC interact with the human body through the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system, a system of receptors found in the central and peripheral nervous systems and many other organs of the body.   The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of, for example, appetite, pain, mood, and memory.  By binding more weakly with the CB1 receptor than THC, CBD invokes a different response within the endocannabinoid system.  Unlike THC, CBD tends not to cause psychoactive effects.  Instead, as a growing body of research suggests, CBD plays a role in moderating the effects of THC and reducing inflammation, nausea and pain.  Multiple studies suggest that CBD has therapeutic applications for a wide variety of conditions, and companies across the world are researching medical treatment for specific maladies.  A few notable projects evaluating potential uses for CBD include:

  • GW Pharmaceuticals has commenced FDA-authorized clinical trials for Epidiolex®, a CBD-based drug for treating a rare genetic epileptic encephalopathy called Dravet syndrome. GW reports to have fourteen distinct patent families with claims directed to treatment of epilepsy.  Other GW patent filings for CBD include treatments for constipation and cancer.
  • Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is developing a synthetic CBD-based gel that is absorbed through the skin and aimed at treating adult epilepsy, osteoarthritis, and fragile-X syndrome. Zynerba has patents directed to transdermal CBD compositions and other CBD delivery systems.
  • Insys Therapeutics, Inc. is in Stage 2 clinical trials for a CBD-based drug to treat severe pediatric epilepsy and applications directed to stable formulations of CBD for oral administration.
  • Kannalife Sciences Inc. licenses a U.S. government-owned patent for cannabidiol-based drugs for the treatment of diseases caused by oxidative stress. Kannalife is developing CBD-based drugs for the treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a type of brain damage.
  • Kalytera reports to have filed composition and method-of-use patents on its CBD treatments.

The science of CBD medicine is still being developed.  To date, no CBD-based drug has received FDA approval.  According to the DEA, CBD is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).