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Brainwave device to measure effects of cannabis launches in Europe

The Cognalyzer® scans EEG (brainwaves) of consumers and leverages AI to quantify if a person is experiencing psychoactive effects.

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As legal cannabis becomes increasingly available across Europe, the first commercial brainwave analysis device is expected to advance understanding of its effects.

Canadian AI neurotechnology company, Zentrela, announced the launch of its brainwave analysis device on the European market at the end of June.

The Cognalyzer® is a portable non-invasive device that scans the EEG (brainwaves) of consumers and leverages AI to objectively quantify if a person is experiencing cannabis’ psychoactive effects.

Launched in Canada and the US in 2021 following five years of R&D and independent scientific validation, the device aims to deliver a faster and more cost-effective way to conduct objective, reliable cannabis effect research, offfering an alternative to clinical trials–which are often lengthy and expensive.

It comes at a time when jurisdictions are increasingly introducing more liberal policies around its consumption, with Germany taking the first steps towards full legalisation in April.

Israel Gasperin, Engineering Scientist and CEO of Zentrela, who founded the company with the support of Dr Dan Bosnyak, a University of McMaster neuroscientist with 20 years of unique experience in EEG technology, neuroscience, and AI, said: “The emergence of the cannabis market in the European Union creates the urgent need to generate accurate and reliable cannabis effect information that enables Europeans to make informed purchase and consumption decisions.”

A faster, cheaper alternative to clinical trials

For the past three years, companies including PAX and Kinloch Wellness, are said to have been integrating the test in order to conduct observational and/or controlled experiments to objectively measure the psychoactive effects of cannabis products.

In a press release announcing the launch, Gasperin explained: “This is the real disruptive value of our proprietary AI and wearable EEG technology. We’ve created a new way of conducting human trials for cannabis effect research that can be completed in three months rather than 18 months studies, including clinical trials. 

“Most importantly, our EEG-driven research model is standardised and already approved by independent ethics research boards and Health Canada for C3 Non-Therapeutic Research on Cannabis (NTRC) studies, which are the non-clinical version of research in Canada.”

Valuable research applications 

European cannabis companies, labs, research universities, clinics and even police stations can now integrate the wearable EEG device into research models. 

The company has also highlighted the range of valuable research applications, including for regulators who could leverage this technology to improve the investigation process of cannabis-impaired driving.

The device can also be used to study the pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids and their direct relationship to human factors like BMI or gender, and to support health professionals in the prescribing of cannabis medicines at the right dose to minimise unwanted side-effects.

While currently available for cannabis research, Zentrela intends to expand to measure which pharmacological treatments used to treat anxiety and depression (which have increased 25% since the pandemic), work best for individuals, and help to monitor brain biomarkers like stress and relaxation objectively. 

 

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister title and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email sarah@prohibitionpartners.com / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag

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