Too High? Take This.

Liz Filmer
31 Oct 2022

A new drug is under development that would treat people who have consumed too much THC and require medical help.

The drug, ANEB-001, is being developed by Anebulo Pharmaceuticals to treat "acute cannabinoid intoxication" (ACI). That is when a person gets so high that they feel out of control and require medical attention. Clinical trials have shown that the drug can safely counter the effects of risky high doses of THC with practically no side effects.

ANEB-001 is a little molecule that blocks the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in the brain, which THC binds to create a high. Patients who require ANEB-001 typically include first-time consumers, especially children who unknowingly consumed a THC gummy. However, they could also be regular consumers who have taken a larger-than-desired dose, which is possible due to individual tolerance.

Medical trials are ongoing at the Center for Human Drug Research in the Netherlands. "part A" of the trials involved giving subjects 10.5 mg of THC and then either 50 mg or 100 mg of the remedy or a placebo. Participants were then put through a series of tests.

Patients that received doses of the drug experienced a substantial decline in a "feeling high" in addition to appearing more alert compared to the placebo group.

For part B, researchers doubled the dose of THC to 21 mg. They lowered the trial drug dosage amounts to 10 and 30 mg. Part B is still in session and has examined two groups of participants. The company plans to enlist at least four more groups before proceeding to the next trial phase. 

ANEB-001 generally reduces the effects of THC within 60 minutes. The next stage will be to test ANEB-100 an hour after participants have ingested THC to simulate real-world circumstances. Following the hopefully successful trials will come FDA approval, with a hope to distribute the drug to U.S emergency rooms before 2025.

"Emergency rooms are overcrowded and expensive; ACI treatment in a psych ward can run up to $50,000. That's big money. "We think not only is there a patient benefit by taking all of these symptoms away very rapidly; there's a massive benefit to the healthcare system." -Anebulo CEO Simon Allen.

The idea for the drug was born after Anebulo founder Dr Joseph Lawlor read an article about a children's party where the attendees unknowingly consumed THC gummies. 

"I figured that if you can find a way to block the CB1 receptor, then we have a drug that can treat THC intoxication," That was the foundation of ANEB-001. It is potent, effective, specific and rapidly absorbed.

Some may ask, considering ACI is not life-threatening and the symptoms generally dissipate in time, why would you develop a drug to treat it? In response, Lawlor compares it to migraines, which people similarly recover from in time. 

"We wouldn't dream of not treating someone admitted to an emergency department with a migraine. And so too with cannabis intoxication; the big difference is there's no approved antidote yet."   

This looks like something that is set to change very soon.





Liz Filmer