Study: Cannabis Inhaler Delivers Effective Relief To Neuropathy Patients

The administration of a single dose of whole-plant cannabis via a thermal-metered inhaler is effective and well tolerated among patients suffering from neuropathy (nerve pain), according to clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.  

Israeli investigators assessed the efficacy of a novel, portable metered-dose cannabis inhaler in eight subjects diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain. Researchers reported that the device administered an efficient, consistent, and therapeutically effective dosage of cannabinoids to all participants.

They concluded, “This trial suggests the potential use of the Syqe Inhaler device as a smokeless delivery system of medicinal cannabis, producing a delta-9-THC pharmacokinetic profile with low inter-individual variation of (maximum drug/plasma concentrations), achieving pharmaceutical standards for inhaled drugs.”

A series of clinical trials conducted by investigators affiliated with the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego previously determined that the inhalation of whole-plant cannabis is efficacious in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Full text of the study, “The pharmacokinetics, efficacy, safety, and ease of use of a novel portable metered-dose cannabis inhaler in patients with chronic neuropathic pain: A phase 1a study,” will appear in the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.

40 thoughts

  1. I so wish South Dakota would jump on the band wagon! I have severe neuropathy that as the day progresses the pain goes uo my body to my neck and is so bad I have begged my husband to shoot me! I take hydrocodone 10mg at night to help me sleep! Since it’s a scheduled narcotic I won’t take more…I just suffer through it daily!! No one should ever have to live like this!!! Chemotherapy brought on my neuropathy! ! Thank you cancer!!

  2. The abstract doesn’t mention any specific delivery temperature– how does this type of inhaler compare with presently available VAPORIZERS which are set for 385RF/197C or other desired subcombust temperature, or have a dial to select a temperature with?

    PR note: how do you pronounce “Syqe”? Rhyme with “psych”, “seek” or “sick”? Looks like it was named after the worthy inventor, well and good, but will there be any misunderstandings?

    [Paul Armentano responds: 190C. It is explained in further detail in the full text.]

  3. I have many years experience with all forms of ingestion, and I tried these inhalers a few months ago. Cool idea, but whatever pressurized gas is in there burned the hell out of my throat. And the question of the temperature is an excellent one. I think I’ll do some research on that and post a blog on about that. Stay tuned.

  4. Paul, the full text is not available. BTW, I know you from way back- I was David Hadorn’s sweetie when you came to volunteer in El Cerrito in the late 90’s. Good job staying on course and rising to this level!

    [Paul Armentano responds: Nice to hear from you. I have the full text of this paper. If you want it, just e-mail me and I’ll send it to you.]

  5. Jeez! I wonder if this some of that there
    medical marijuana we keep hearing so much about.

  6. I suffer from acute neuropathy, severe back pain due to 4 damaged disks and other problems. I need a walker with a seat to get around. I am at the maximum dosage of neurotin. I still get burning pains in my legs. When will cannabis cost the same as oregano?

  7. Mexweed. Their is no need for heat because the oil is already decarboxylated (meaning activated) before being suspended in pharma grade propellant. Each puff is about 3mg and each strain provides different terpenes at a metered dose per puff. there is no exhale and it is very effective. Within 5 heartbeats it goes to your head. within 5 minutes whatever wasn’t takin in through the lungs and was swallowed will digest like an edible.

    The Natural Cannabis Co currently sells co2 extracted cannabis oil inhalers in Norcal, bay area and sacramento. We released them at the SF Hightimes Cannabis cup held in Santa Rosa. Currently Organicann Santa Rosa , Oakland Organics, Sffogg, 70 and second in san francisco, all about wellness and two rivers and doctors orders in sacramento.

    100 puffs retails for $120
    200 puffs retaisl for $190

  8. Stephen. I’m not sure that when you write “about 3mg”, it meets the pharmaceutical definition of a metered dose. Anyway, according to the abstract of the study, this device uses whole cannabis and not oil. No idea how they did it though.

  9. Marijuana stops Crohn’s disease symptoms. After almost 10 surgeries in a mere 30 years of life, I was ready to “quit the game”…But then I found the healing powers of the herb. I will smoke indica forever. Jah bless!

  10. Thanks @Stephen for clarification. Assuming “puff” is the present going trade term for a single inhalation (any length or intensity) there might be some use for a glossary of terms specifying what the difference is between a “puff” and a “toke” (I understand the latter to include longer, slower inhalations which either entirely vape heated material (385F/197C or less) or maintain a minimum burning temperature. With the device you describe, the difference may not matter, go ahead and puff).

    Using a flexible drawtube one-hitter with a single-toke loading of 25-mg sifted particulate budflower with, let us say, a bit under 10% THC (or of all relevant cannabinoid), such a toke would approximate the 3mg pure cannabinoid you refer to. A typewriter-generated diagram showing the screened craterhead of a socket-wrench one-hitter can be seen at 12 Ways to Make Pipes from Everyday Objects.

  11. I have Neuropathy and I have to take Lyrica 150MG 3 times a day and the pain still drives me nuts I hope the law get past so that I can get it through my pharmacy I am living in Indiana and am on Medicaid I take way to many pills that I fill this could help me have many medical problems that I deal with and many I have read about on NORML I think it is time the feds make it medical so that we do not have to spend a bunch for it when we have medical insurance.

  12. Marijuana research brings a whole new dimension to the “ice bucket challenge.” The whole ONDCP and DEA could use a few steady buckets of something… Say, why doesn’t NORML do a crowdsourcing ice-bucket challenge for all neurological disorders treatable with cannabis? Lord knows Dr. Sisley could use the help.

  13. Hi; I read some posts about folks having “Neuropathy; disc probs.;
    Generally speaking: Vitamin B12 (supplements) have been shown to “prevent Neuro-degeneration of the spine”; I know Vitamin B2 Riboflavin helps “burning legs; I have studied Thiamin Vitamin B1; this should be used daily @ 50 mgs. (chk. w/ M.D.)
    Vitamin B4 Adenine and Vitamin B5 Panthenate
    Take one Vitamin a day for 7 days. THESE ARE THE VITAMIN B-COMPLEX family.”ask pharmacist”

  14. Food Sources Vitamin B-Complex nutrients: (for neuropathy)
    1. Brown Rice
    2. Whole Grain Bread
    3. Wheat Germ
    4. Beans; Peas; Seeds; Nuts
    5. Nutritional Supplements

    Bee Pollen has both Vitamin B4 and Vitamin B5
    I would recommend Bee Pollen; altho’ costly;
    Dairy Milk and Eggs complete the complement.

  15. Summary: Vitamin B12 plus Vitamin B-Complex and the foods high in Thiamine (Brown Rice);

    Try this experiment; cook some brown rice; do not smoke any weed; can you smell the brown rice cooking?is the rice flavorful? N.

    Now cook some brown rice and smoke some weed.
    Now I can smell the wonderful nutty aroma of the brown rice kernel; mon is that rice good!
    (add soy sauce; herbs; butter or hemp oil
    MJ increases the senses of the “taste buds”!

  16. summary: Marijuana increases food enjoyment.
    (this is why restaurants in India have Hash;
    give free tokes and the patrons get hungry!)

  17. ps “Medicaid pays for Marinol or Cesamet”: I would recommend the lowest dosage possible; and maybe 1 capsule every third day; the high is subtle; Marinol cap make one hungry Marinol helped me to balance my mood” nicely.

  18. Just read a fascinating article on terpenes and medinal use of marijuana and other herbs on (Just search for “terpenes aromatherapy” on leafly) With a vaporizer and this one article, we can create remedies of all kinds right out of the garden. More importantly, the science behind terpenes and various marijuana strains is all the evidence required to explain how cannabis effectively heals and treats different ailments and must be descheduled at once.
    There are more than 200 terpenes found in cannabis, each with vital roles, aromatic signatures and synergetic functions within the human endocannabinoid system. The most common terpenes (called terpenoids as they develop into more complex molecules) found in cannabis, alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, promote alert awareness and memory retention, which explains why strains high in these terpenes like my favorite “train wreck” seem to improve memory. This strain counters all the recent propaganda over IQ loss. By grouping all strains of marijuana into a stereotype that does not exist prohibitionists are making desperate and inaccurate allegations over the intellectual capacity of marijuana consumers, as if to justify a prison quota. Surely, the real threat to society is not any variety or strain of cannabis, but the violent quotas maintained by prisons and federal grants; In other words, the real threat to our nation’s IQ levels has more to do with the way we pay our federal contractors, prisons and law enforcement than the consumption of marijuana at a young age.
    A relatively common herb that contains the “pine” terpenes is rosemary (of which can be boiled into a tea), which makes excellent treatment for asthma. Furthermore, using a vaporizer to inhale strains like train wreck can reduce the heavier tars that someone treating bronchitis or asthma would want to avoid.
    The article has a wealth of information. NORML should set up a permanent link or develop a terpene database of its own that members can access from this website that connects different cannabis strains to various remedies, other fruits and herbs that contain them and explain how they effect the endocannabinoid system as new research continually adds to the database. This would help doctors, patients and advocates as we draw up the neurological map that can permanently put an end to prohibition.

  19. thanks Julian: re: Terpenes: The Flavors of Cannabis Aromatherapy and Cannabinoids & Terpenoids: The Future of Cannabis Connoisseurship @

    My favorite Herb has the aroma o’ Pine Trees.

  20. plz pass in pa plz i suffer from this and dengration of last 4 dick in back 3 knee replacments on narcotics 25 yrs now for pain morphine 30 mg s twice day 10 mg valium n 10 mgs every 4 hrs oxcition now liver is shot n still in so much pain unless ileaglely but pot to help with pain

  21. Hi Jesse: You say: I suffer from this and DEGNERATION of last 4 disk in back – I was wondering if you knew this: The name of the disease one can get from a VITAMIN B12 Deficiency (Vitamin B12 is at the pharmacy)is

    The ONLY known cure is VITAMIN B12 tabs or shot; in your case I would for sure recommend Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin shots); this cures the underlying “degeneration” of the disks; Vitamins are food for the nerves.

  22. Subacute combined degeneration of spinal cord, also known as Lichtheim’s disease,[1][2] refers to degeneration of the posterior and lateral columns of the spinal cord as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency (most common), copper deficiency[3] or vitamin E deficiency. Prolonged deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to irreversible nervous system damage. It is usually associated with pernicious anemia.

    1 Etiologies
    2 Presentation
    3 Tests
    4 Treatment
    5 References
    6 External links


    This condition can be due to a dietary deficiency of B12, malabsorption of B12 in the terminal ileum, lack of intrinsic factor secreted from gastric parietal cells, low gastric pH inhibiting attachment of intrinsic factor to ileal receptors.[4]

    The onset is gradual and uniform. The pathological findings of subacute combined degeneration consist of patchy losses of myelin in the dorsal and lateral columns. Patients present with weakness of legs, arms, trunk, tingling and numbness that progressively worsens. Vision changes and change of mental state may also be present. Bilateral spastic paresis may develop and pressure, vibration and touch sense are diminished. A positive Babinski sign may be seen.[citation needed] Prolonged deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to irreversible nervous system damage. HIV-associated vacuolar myelopathy can present with a similar pattern of dorsal column and corticospinal tract demyelination.[citation needed]

    If someone is deficient in vitamin B12 and folic acid, the vitamin B12 deficiency must be treated first to avoid precipitating subacute combined degeneration of the cord (giving folic acid first will turn the remaining B12 into methylcobalamin which will not be able to participate in fatty acid metabolism).

    Administration of nitrous oxide anesthesia can precipitate subacute combined degeneration in people with subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency, while chronic nitrous oxide exposure can cause it even in persons with normal B12 levels.

    TestsSerum B12, Malonic Acid, Methylmalonic Acid, Schilling Test, Complete Blood Count- looking for megaloblastic anemia if there is also folic acid deficiency or macrocytic anemia

    MRI- T2 images may reveal increased signal within the white matter of the spinal cord predominately in the posterior columns but also may be in the spinothalamic tracts.

    Therapy with vitamin B12 results in partial to full recovery, depending on the duration and extent of neurodegeneration.

  23. Treatment
    Therapy with vitamin B12 results in partial to full recovery, depending on the duration and extent of neurodegeneration.

    Anne’s comment: I would begin with Vitamin B12 tabs(Nature Made; Sundown; Schiff or any;
    daily with Vitamin B-complex and minerals.

    Discuss the Vitamin B12 issue with your “M.D.” (and mention SCD and my post…)

    Food sources Vitamin B12: Milk eggs fish poultry meat clams; mussels oysters shellfish

    I would then get a prescription of MARINOL.
    (info not intended to “treat prevent or cure)
    Anne Conn 1951(I hope you find an mmj supply)

  24. general comment; The triad of nutritional treatment for Neuro (nerve) degeneration is

    Vitamin B12
    Vitamin B-Complex
    Vitmain B1 Thiamine
    all avail OTC reasonably priced @ pharmacy.
    Takes about 3 months to feel any benefits.
    There is a drink called Supple one can buy.

    The B12 will prevent further “degeneration”.

  25. ps you could discuss w/ your M.D. reducing your “medicines; they perpetuate your probs.!

    Marijuan will make you hungry for “eggs/cheese/milk
    eggs cheese and milk (fish) are Vitmain B12; I take Vitamin b12 and Thiamin daily. thanks!

  26. Thank you Julian…(blush); my comment is: there was a Ph.D. named Dr. Alfred Libby; he invented “Sublingual Vitamin B12 (patent). Dr. Libby has a ” radio interview about Vit. B12; Dr. Libby believes if everyone took Vit. B12 the culture of our society would improve. Vit. B12 helps memory and “mood”.
    The Story Behind Dr. Alfred Libby’s Revolutionary
    B Vitamin Breakthrough

    Alfred Libby, M.D., earned five doctorates and is recognized as one of the world’s pioneering authorities on therapeutic nutrition. Dr. Libby’s medical background in bio-chemical research includes an association with Nobel Prize Laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling.

    In the late 1970s, Dr. Alfred Libby, renowned authority on therapeutic nutrition and longtime associate of Nobel Prize Laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling, began to explore an alternative delivery system for Vitamin B-12. The goal was to bypass the stomach where this essential nutrient is not easily absorbed.
    In early spring of 1980, Dr. Libby approached his colleagues with his new theory that B-12 could be delivered to the bloodstream sublingually (under the tongue). Biochemists and his medical colleagues were quick to dismiss the idea. However, he was persistent and they eventually decided to give his theory a try, although they were convinced it would fail.
    Six weeks later the first study was underway. Shortly after, Dr. Libby’s Sublingual B-12 invention was deemed a complete success—blood levels of B-12 increased dramatically. Dr. Libby’s patented sublingual delivery method can deliver almost all of the vitamin’s power directly into the bloodstream.
    If I find the radio interview I will post. A.R. “any vitamin B12 brands are okay!” 🙂

  27. @ Jesse: more info on Vitamin B12; you can use any brand; does not have to be Trivita”; is a great company too. A.(Wonder labs high quality discount Vit. co.)

    Vitamin B-12 is essential
    We need Vitamin B-12 for metabolism—all the processes in the body that depend on energy. This includes such vital functions as breathing and circulating blood, digesting food and keeping our brain and nerves functioning.1 Vitamin B-12 even helps make DNA, the genetic material in all our cells.2

    Naturally, you want to do all you can to keep your body’s storehouse of B-12 at a healthy level. But some people are more likely than others to suffer a Vitamin B-12 deficiency, including those who:
    •Are over age 50
    •Follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
    •Have had gastrointestinal surgery
    •Have digestive disorders such as celiac or Crohn’s disease1

    Key signs of deficiency

    We all feel tired and listless sometimes, but if symptoms like these are part of daily life, you might be suffering from a deficiency of Vitamin B-12. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns healthcare providers to watch their patients for these signs of low Vitamin B-12 levels:3
    •Heart palpitations
    •Vision loss
    •Shortness of breath
    •Pale skin
    •Tingling of the hands and feet

    The CDC doesn’t stop there: it notes that a B-12 deficiency can also show up as anorexia (an eating disorder), diarrhea and constipation… it might even boost the risk of heart disease and stroke.3

    It’s important to note that even if you have any of these signs, it does not necessarily mean that you have a B-12 deficiency. These signs could stem from many causes. However, it does mean that your healthcare provider might want to rule out B-12 deficiency as a possible culprit.

    Get the B-12 you need
    Experts say that ideally, we should get the B-12 we need from a healthy varied diet. If that isn’t enough, supplementation is recommended. Vitamin B-12 can be given as a shot, with a prescription, or without prescription in a form that dissolves under the tongue (sublingual).
    Why sublingual from TriVita?
    With no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, these made-in-the-U.S. B-12 supplements are premium quality. Unlike some chain store brands of B-12, TriVita’s products are subject to high quality standards, from pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and manufacturing to third-party testing and certification.

    1 “Vitamin B12.” MedlinePlus, a service of U.S. National Library of Medicine and National. Institutes of Health. Available at:

    2 “Vitamin B12.” Dietary Supplement Face Sheet. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. Available at:

    3 “Manifestations of Low Vitamin B12 Levels”. Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Continuing Medical Education for Primary Care Providers. Available at:
    Thanks Norml for “printing the B12 info!” A.

    Buy Now

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  28. I take 10 mg of Methadone tree times a day for my Neuropathy….This helps alot thru the day but I am limited to no hard work or it will agrivate the nerves in both feet and hurt very painfully and cause me to rest off my feet….Talk to your Doctor….I am trying to get to try cannabis oil …but no luck yet,,..

  29. Hi Rick et al. You say you have “neuropathy”; comment: Nerves must connect with each other to function properly; Vitamin B’s; like Vitamin B1; Vitamin B3; Vitamin B6; Vitamin 12 are “these connections”; use Vits. daily to build up these “nerve connections”. thank-u.

    Food Sources Vitamin B-Complex nutrients: (for neuropathy) 1. Brown Rice 2. Whole Grain Bread 3. Wheat Germ 4. Beans; Peas; Seeds; Nuts 5. Nutritional Supplements Bee Pollen has both Vitamin B4 and Vitamin B5 I would recommend Bee Pollen; altho’ costly; Dairy Milk and Eggs complete the complement.”

  30. ps to a anyone on “pills” etc. Perhaps your “M.D.” can substitute “one pill” for “a sesame seed oil Marinol or Cesamet capsule.
    Medicaid does pay for Cesamet or Marinol which does cost “atleast $10 per capsule.”
    “Marinol is a medicine; all others are not!

    PERSONAL TESTIMONY note MSG cause Neuropathy
    I had some Chinese rice with MSG soy sauce.
    I got “Bursitis shoulder pain: began 100 mgs Vitamin B6 Pyroxidine; pain gone one day.
    (Vitamin B’s repair Nerves;known since 1865.)

  31. Rick: I know Medicaid pays for Cesamet: whether Medicaid pays for Marinol depends on your state laws. I would recommend either.)AR

  32. yeay israel does it again if people only google the term pallywood . they would know how much of a bad rep we get – but we now help the world use marijoana in a good way – everybodys happy

    the pharmacological company cant say its not medical

    and no one gets “high” its purely medical

  33. I am sure “Hemp Seed Oil would be helpful”.

    Ask your local pharmacy about the “Vitamins”.
    re: “Riboflavin Vitamin B2”.
    If you have “burning feet”; try B2 or drink milk. Milk a top source of Vitamin B2 +B12.
    Hempseed Milk is high in Vit. B2 Riboflavin.

    If you get a headache in the Sun; try “B2”.
    Almond Milk is a top source of Riboflavin B2.

  34. My husband started with chemo induced neuropathy 9 years ago during treatment. He is now almost crippled from it. He takes methadone for the pain but that knocks him out. He was self employed as a tile setter and now can hardly work. We are going to apply for disability. He has his medical marijuana card in CT but the prices are over $500 an ounce through the dispensaries. So we go broke either way. He smokes easily 2 ounces a month and we are broke because of it. I want to try this inhaler, there seems to be nothing to help the medical marijuana patient. Our life has changed so much. He sleeps most days to get out of the pain, taking 3 meths and 1/4 ounce of weed a day is not the way to live. Please help

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