Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
The annual CannaTech event held in Tel Aviv on March 20, 2017.

Israel has become the first country in the world to classify a vaporizer for inhaling medical marijuana as a medical device.

The Health Ministry recently certified the VapePod vaporizer developed by Israel-based Kanabo Research Ltd. as a medical device. The device allows patients to consume the cannabis in precise doses, which is why the ministry approved it, according to the start-up’s co-founder and CEO Avihu-Tamir.

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He expects sales in Europe to begin next quarter and distribution locally in Israel by June if local red tape is resolved.

Tamir said it was his personal experience working with medical cannabis patients that gave birth to the Tel Aviv-based company in 2017. “In Israel, a medical cannabis patient is often directed to smoke his or her prescription – or even mix it with tobacco to ‘make it burn better,’” a company statement explains. “Concerned about the long-term health effects of smoking, and especially smoking tobacco, Avihu began exploring and providing healthier routes of administration for Israeli cannabis patients.”

Kanabo partnered with a U.S.-based vaporizer company to develop the vaporizer platform. The company also develops, medically validates, and patents formulations of medical cannabis extracts designed to target specific Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, according to the company’s website.

“The first formulations under development focus on sleep disorders, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders with a special focus on post-traumatic stress disorder… Kanabo Research conducts clinical validation activities in Israel for all technology and formulations under development, to ensure safety and efficacy of all company products.”

Kanabo’s VapePod vaporizer platform was granted initial certification as a medical device by the Israeli Ministry of Health, making it the first extract-based vaporizer ever approved for medical use.

Kanabo has also initiated pre-clinical trials on its first patented formula to test its efficacy in treating sleep disorders.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.