JAN 21, 2021 12:00 PM PST

Injectable Cannabis Overdose Drug Being Developed

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

It’s estimated that the number of visits to emergency rooms because of cannabis overdose tripled between 2011 and 2019, a period of time when recreational and medical cannabis was legalized across many states.

Heavy users may present with cannabis toxicity or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, but so far there are no FDA approved drugs to treat acute overdoses of cannabis or synthetic cannabinoids like Spice and K2.

There have been case reports of successful treatment of with a continuous naloxone infusion, but a new drug is needed for acute cannabis overdose (ACO) and the award of an $850,000 grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to contract development and manufacturing organization IRISYS LLC may now see this come to fruition.

San Diego-based IRISYS have been given the grant to develop an injectable form of a drug called drinabant, which binds to the same brain receptor as THC,  blocking its activity.

Drinabant is currently an investigational drug being developed by Opiant Pharmaceuticals, an NCATS collaborator, but orally ingested drinabant is absorbed too slowly to reverse the clinical manifestations of ACO.

The hope is that an injectable form of the drug will act more quickly to reverse the symptoms of ACO rapidly, thus limiting the time spent in an emergency room.

Symptoms of ACO include anxiety, feelings of paranoia, agitation, visual and auditory hallucinations, and nausea. The popularity of cannabis edibles is believed to be behind  increasing reports of acute overdose as they often contain much higher amounts of THC than available through smoking a joint. Edibles are usually in the form of brownies, cookies and candies, so young children are especially vulnerable because these may be easily mistaken for treats.

"The need to quickly and effectively reverse ACO symptoms, including in vulnerable populations like children, is a strong motivating factor pushing us at IRISYS every day to put in the effort needed to ensure that this drug is ready for clinical trials as soon as possible," stated Robert Giannini, Ph.D., IRISYS president and CSO/CTO.

Sources: Marijuana Business Daily, PR Newswire

 

 

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
You May Also Like
SEP 06, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
How a Genetic Mutation Could Lead to Leaky Gut
SEP 06, 2021
How a Genetic Mutation Could Lead to Leaky Gut
In our gut, there is a vast community of microorganisms. It's crucial that they stay there in the gastrointestinal tract ...
SEP 06, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibiotics Increase Colon Cancer Risk by 17%
SEP 06, 2021
Antibiotics Increase Colon Cancer Risk by 17%
People who take antibiotics are at an increased risk of developing colon cancer within five to ten years. The research w ...
SEP 08, 2021
Health & Medicine
Gene Linked to Endometriosis Could Lead to Non-Hormonal Treatment Options
SEP 08, 2021
Gene Linked to Endometriosis Could Lead to Non-Hormonal Treatment Options
Researchers from the University of Oxford found an association between neuropeptide S receptor 1 (NPSR1) gene variants a ...
SEP 14, 2021
Health & Medicine
A lower sodium diet decreases the chance of stroke and other heart disease
SEP 14, 2021
A lower sodium diet decreases the chance of stroke and other heart disease
A new study found that using a low salt alternative lowered the risk of stroke and other heart disease
SEP 16, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use and Exercise- A Dire Need for High-quality Evidence
SEP 16, 2021
Cannabis Use and Exercise- A Dire Need for High-quality Evidence
It should come as no surprise that exercise is good for our health. Regular exercise reduces the risks of serious chroni ...
SEP 21, 2021
Plants & Animals
Increasing Production of Aquatic "Blue" Foods Promotes Sustainable Access To Healthier Diets
SEP 21, 2021
Increasing Production of Aquatic "Blue" Foods Promotes Sustainable Access To Healthier Diets
What is a “blue” food? Hint: it doesn’t mean foods that are blue in color.  “Blue” fo ...
Loading Comments...