The Country That Could Save Us From Opioids
Have you heard of Perry Davidson? For those of you who don’t know, he’s the man responsible for providing the first medical marijuana in the Israeli mountains. When he started supplying the marijuana he noticed that most of his patients weren’t smoking it for the high. They used it for its pain relieving properties.
Now, in 2018, Davidson is founder and CEO of Syqe. Syqe is a startup that has created the first “selective dose” inhaler. It’s basically a marijuana inhaler where physicians can control the dosage remotely.
Davidson’s main inspiration for creating this device was to combat the opioid epidemic in the United States. He hopes that the marijuana inhaler will replace prescription opioids that hundreds of Americans get addicted to every day. The opioid epidemic in America has become so bad that the White House declared it as a public emergency. The medical marijuana industry is predicted to be worth $33 billion by 2024.
Because weed is only medically legal in 29 states in America, research of the plant is lacking. Israel is known as the Startup Nation for its tech industry that is heavily funded by the government. It’s startups range from innovations in cybersecurity to agriculture and many other fields. It can now add cannabis-related tech to that list.
Israelis are extremely innovative. Saul Kaye, an entrepreneur, and founder says “it comes down to local assets, we have a scarcity of water, so we developed water systems. Israel is mostly desert, so we developed how to grow vegetables in the desert.”
Just like in America, Israel’s politics are diverse and it’s hard for everyone to agree on everything. Cannabis is one issue that unites in Israel’s political area. Orthodox rabbis have given the ‘ok’ to the use of marijuana and the use of cannabis has been decriminalized.
To put into perspective how far ahead Israel is with cannabinoid research, marijuana was first legalized in the states in 2014 in Colorado. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been running clinical trials with cannabis since 2012.
The Benefits of Marijuana Tech
One large population of Americans that could benefit from medical marijuana use are veterans. One veteran, Matt Kahl, came back from Afghanistan with a spinal injury. To solve his problem, the military prescribed him 60+ pills a day. In mere months his liver started failing. He says, “I felt like they were just trying to make sure I went away like I was a problem.” By 2013 Kahl was barely functioning and still had acute PTSD from his time in Afghanistan.
None of his loved ones knew what to do to help him and then one day, a friend offered him a joint. That’s when everything changed for Kahl. He describes it as a subtle daydream. This was the first time he daydreamed in years.
In 2014 Kahl and his family made the official move to Denver. He now advocates for medical marijuana use for veterans. Kahl believes saying no to pills and using medical marijuana would be a step in the right direction.
The idea of new technology from Israel is exciting. We can all only hope and encourage Israel to keep conducting their trials and studies.