Bedromedical BV opens a new perspective onto the medicinal use of herbal cannabis
Smoking: a negative image
Many years of research have shown that cannabis may be an effective treatment for chronic ailments such as neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis or insomnia. For this reason, medicinal grade cannabis has been available in the Netherlands on prescription since 2003. For health reasons Dutch patients are advised not to smoke their medicine, but to use a vaporizer or make cannabis tea instead. However, after obtaining their medicine from a pharmacy, patients are essentially free to choose their own preferred method of administration. According to several surveys and studies, smoking remains the most popular form of cannabis use, including by medical patients. As a result, the use of cannabis as a medicine still has a negative image, which is frequently found to be related to the smoking of cannabis by recreational users.
What patients needs
Currently several registered medicines are available worldwide, based on purified components of the cannabis plant. Administration of such components by inhalation often seems to be the most efficient (compared to oral or sublingual).
A recent on-line survey conducted by the IACM, among almost 1000 patients worldwide, showed that patients prefer to:
- Use herbal cannabis instead of pure cannabinoids
- Inhale cannabis by vaporizing or smoking
- Be able to exactly determine their dose
- Use an administration form that is discrete and easy to carry along
Administering herbal cannabis by inhalation
What’s currently needed is a standardized and medically accepted administration form for the active components of herbal cannabis. BedroMedical BV was started to develop such a product over the coming years. BedroMedical is a joint venture of Bedrocan BV, the official Dutch producer of medicinal cannabis, and Zorg Innovaties Nederland BV, a Dutch health care group that runs a number of .
The new R&D company is developing a vaporizer platform consisting of a portable (battery powered) and optimized vaporizer for cannabis, in combination with a packaging form containing a small, single dose of cannabis. Using these two products together enables patients to administer an exact amount of active components from herbal cannabis in a safe and reproducible manner. (This can be compared with the Nespresso/Senseo system, where a small amount of coffee is prepackaged, and can be turned into ready-to-drink coffee with a single press of a button).
BedroMedical expects to start clinical trials with its vaporizer platform within two years. The products will be based on the cannabis varieties available from Bedrocan BV. Partner Zorg Innovaties Nederland BV will provide the facilities and medical expertise needed for clinical trials. A procedure to create placebo-cannabis, needed to perform optimal trials, has recently been developed by Bedrocan BV. If trials are successful, BedroMedical will apply for full medical registration of its (herbal) products.
The vaporizer platform of BedroMedical will allow patients worldwide to use herbal cannabis in a medically acceptible manner.