Medical

THC microdosing reduces chronic pain in world-first clinical trial

THC microdosing reduces chroni...
A clinical trial found single small THC doses did reduce acute sensations of pain compared to placebo
A clinical trial found single small THC doses did reduce acute sensations of pain compared to placebo
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A clinical trial found single small THC doses did reduce acute sensations of pain compared to placebo
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A clinical trial found single small THC doses did reduce acute sensations of pain compared to placebo

New research published in the European Journal of Pain is offering some of the first clinical trial insights into the efficacy of microdosing THC to treat chronic pain. The results of the small trial suggest minute doses of THC may confer clinically apparent reductions in pain sensation without inducing psychoactive side effects.

A microdose is generally known as a subtherapeutic dose of a drug, and the term has more recently become synonymous with tiny, regular dosing of psychedelics such as LSD. The practice has been anecdotally popular, however, little research has been conducted to rigorously test how useful these imperceptible doses of psychedelic drugs actually can be.

Over the last few years, the data investigating the use of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain has been confusingly contradictory. One hypothesis for this discordancy has been the huge variety of types of cannabis and administration methods leading to an inability to standardize the results.

So, an Israeli pharma-tech company named Syqe Medical set out to try to answer the THC microdose question, and solve the problem of imprecise cannabis dosing. The Syqe Inhaler is a first-of-its-kind product that reportedly enables precise dosing of low-levels of THC.

A randomized, double‐blinded, and placebo‐controlled trial recruited a cohort of 27 subjects with chronic neuropathic pain. Across three separate test days each subject received one inhaled dose, containing either 500 micrograms (0.5 mg) of THC, 1,000 micrograms (1 mg) of THC, or a placebo.

“Both doses, but not the placebo, demonstrated a significant reduction in pain intensity compared with baseline and remained stable for 150‐min,” the researchers write in the published study. “The 1‐mg dose showed a significant pain decrease compared to the placebo.”

As well as showing relevant reductions in subjective pain sensations, the study reports no signs of cognitive impairment across either active dose. Reports of a psychoactive “high” sensation were significantly greater after the 1,000-microgram dose compared to the 500-microgram dose. The 1,000-microgram dose used in the trial is around five to 10 times less than what many consider to the low-end of a psychoactive dose of THC.

"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,” says Elon Eisenberg, lead research on the project, from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. “The doses given in this study, being so low, mandate very high precision in the treatment modality.”

The study is not without caveats limiting any broader conclusions about the general efficacy of THC microdosing for chronic pain. The cohort was admittedly small, and the trial only investigated the acute short-term effect of a single THC microdose, so no conclusion can be made about the safety or efficacy of long-term THC microdosing. It is also worth noting the trial was conducted and funded primarily by Syqe Medical, but the study has been independently peer-reviewed and published in a journal.

At the very least this new research validates the Syqe Inhaler as an effective tool for administering precise microgram doses of THC, something that previously has been difficult to clearly quantify. Perry Davidson, CEO of Syqe, also suggests the technology is transferable to compounds other than THC, allowing for better future research into accurate microdoses of other medicines.

“The Syqe drug delivery technology is also applicable to opioids and other compounds that, while potentially effective, are notoriously associated with dangerous side effects,” says Davidson. “The introduction of a tool to prescribe medications at such low doses with such high resolution may allow us to achieve treatment outcomes that previously were not possible.”

The new research was published in the European Journal of Pain.

Source: Syqe Medical

5 comments
windykites
This sounds like Homeopathy! Interesting that the placebo effect was not present.
michael_dowling
I wonder if microdoses would be legal to take if you later drive a car in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal. I assume such small doses would not impair one's ability to drive safely,but assumptions can be dangerous.
paul314
Looking at the abstract of the paper, the claim about the inhaler's precision seems, uh, a bit overblown. The spread for received doses seems to be about plus or minus 50%. Which might be better than other dosing methods.
Kpar
Interesting. I do know that there is a wide range of analgesic effects among various strains of marijuana. Many years ago, following a motorcycle accident in which I brove my clavicle and several ribs, I was unable to sleep so I tried some. The pain relief was so dramatic and complete that I lay awake, fearing that I might roll over onto the newly broken bones and making things worse.

I have had subsequent damage repaired (rotator cuff, knee surgery) where the pain was quite significant, but apparently I could not get the same strain, and I got virtually no relief.

That said, a year ago I was awaiting major back surgery- pinched sciatic nerve, scoliosis, bulging disc, spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis. Then I ordered, on a whim, the spice turmeric/curcumin and began to take it (minimum, in my case 1200mg per day). For three weeks, nothing happened, but overnight my pain went away. I went from being able to walk only 50 ft. or so (with crutches), to walking my dog over two miles. I canceled my back surgery and am still pain free a year later.

I'm sure it won't work for everyone, but, if you've got chronic pain, you'd be nuts not to try it.

BTW, the cheap stuff you get at a local drug store works just as well as the high priced stuff- pay attention to dosage.
czechster
For over a hundred years the United States Congress stopped any and all research relating to Cannabis. Wars and terrible social injustice continues today against cannabis and Congress is at fault. Influential lobbyist have paid Congress trillions to stop the production of Hemp for clothing and medical needs.
Now for over thirty years Israel was repeating the benefits while the US was incarcerating people all in the name of Special Interest.
Progress is being made but the 100 years of unjust incarceration and blood is on the hands of our Congress.