As a means of providing immediate pain relief for cancer patients, scientists have begun conducting clinical research on delivering medical cannabis concentrates through an inhaler.
This new method of delivery will increase accessibility for cancer patients who are treated with long-term pharmaceutical cannabis (such as sublingual tablets), and those suffering from acute cancer pain who prefer to avoid smoking cannabis.
“Every piece of clinical research that helps manage treatment using medical cannabis is important. Delivering treatment via inhalation is characterized by a quicker response time than oral or sublingual tablets,” said Dr. Itay Gur-Aryeh, Director of the Pain Unit at Sheba Hospital, Tel Hashomer,
The inhaler includes an attached vaporizer to which the patient adds the measured dose of cannabis extract for inhalation. The cannabis extract includes a precise dose of active ingredients.
The greatest potential for cannabis delivered via a metered-dose inhaler is its applications for palliative cancer patients who suffer from symptoms of cancer pain and are eligible for treatment with medical cannabis.
The research is being conducted by Rafa and Panaxia, two Israeli-based pharmaceutical companies.
Panaxia has announced a clinical trial for registration purposes at the Ministry of Health to examine the biological availability of delivering medical cannabis via a metered-dose inhaler. Panaxia’s advanced medical cannabis products, marketed by Rafa Pharmaceuticals, will be tested as part of the clinical trial.
The products are due for distribution in Israeli pharmacies under Rafa’s medical cannabis brand in 2019.
“Through access to cannabis inhalers, and subject to a medical specialist’s recommendation, we strive to help more patients suffering from acute pain. The inhaler will provide patients that are unable or unwilling to smoke, the right to be treated consistently and precisely.”