Technology

California startup developing medical-cannabis technology

While many people can agree that medical marijuana can provide real relief for a variety of ailments, there’s not yet a strong scientific consensus on which strains, in which quantities, administered in which ways can help specific patients. A new medical-marijuana startup aims to change that with several developing products.

Palo Alto-based Potbiotics is already trumpeting the first of its products, the PotBot, a “virtual budtender” that asks users about what ailment they seek to address, then gives recommendations based on the user’s preferences, available scientific research and other users’ reviews. The PotBot can be accessed on desktop computers and mobile devices, but is also available in an in-store kiosk for dispensaries.

Now the company is beginning to demonstrate its latest invention, the BrainBot. A wireless EEG (electroencephalography) helmet, the device is being marketed toward general practitioners as a diagnostic tool for medical marijuana patients. The device captures electrical waves that move through the brain, allowing doctors to figure out how a patient is responding to cannabinoid stimulants and help decide what types and quantities of marijuana patients should be using.

“Brainbot’s vision was to get a more objective view, more empirical-based evidence on how cannabis affects patients,” Potbiotics founder David Goldstein told MarketWatch. “There’s over 30,000 different strain names on the market. For the adult use market, that’s fine. You can market it, you can brand it, you can try to sell it, get a celebrity to endorse it, but for a medical patient, if you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, or multiple sclerosis, its very confusing to pick between all those varieties.

“Imagine this was a painkiller, and you’re telling someone hey, go try all these different painkillers, at different doses and different consumptions, and which one works for you? It really helps not only further the conversation of cannabis, but gives patients a better understanding as to what’s helping them.”

The company is also developing a DNA reader, NanoPot, which will analyze cannabis seeds to give growers as much specific information as possible about their origin, allowing them to grow specific strains to address specific ailments.

Watch a video demonstrating the BrainBot: