One need not look further than the decades of debate over cannabis to see that alternative medical treatments often get a bad rap. Federal prohibition of marijuana — classified as a Schedule I drug alongside stigmatized substances like heroin — conflicts growing scientific evidence proving cannabis' efficacy for a variety of medical conditions.
Now, in order to demonstrate the cannabis plant's medical clout, GoFire, a new dispensation product and app based out of Denver, is taking a community based approach. GoFire takes a granular approach to crowdsource information not only on which conditions certain strains of cannabis might treat, but also in which forms and dosages. The startup, which launched in November, is taking a multi-pronged approach to finessing patients’ marijuana medication protocols.
The GoFire device is the first aspect to that approach: a special, proprietary inhaler that dispenses cannabis in precise amounts so you can fine tune your results and repeat them consistently. The unit allows users to extrude cannabis in discrete increments of 2.5 mg of oil per dose, while carefully heating them to maximize flavor and terpene quality, rather than to amplify the high.
This allows users to keep accurate count of how many doses it takes of a particular strain meet their treatment needs. The goal is for patients to get the most out of the cannabis compounds that can help conditions from anxiety to epilepsy, without necessarily ending up couch locked or unsure of how to repeat a successful smoke session.
The second aspect of GoFire's approach is an easy-to-use, community-based app that lets users of the inhaler record their dosages, strains, and results, per each condition that they are hoping to treat. That information, in turn, is anonymously made available to all GoFire users, creating an unprecedented catalogue of which strains, dosages, and forms of consumption are best for a variety of ailments, from insomnia to alcoholism to writer’s block.
The final piece to the GoFire puzzle is the use of tracking systems like QR codes to make it as simple and convenient as possible for users to add new cannabis products to the GoFire database. That includes not only the oils that the inhaler dispenses, but also edibles, flower, topicals, and so forth. That means users can compare strains of, say, Grape Ape or Charlotte’s Web from different manufacturers in different forms.
The end result of the GoFire system is that users can discover, for example, that the Blue Dream you acquired in Colorado produces the same results as the strain by the same name grown in Oregon, or if a big dose is better for social anxiety than a small dose, or if you might be better off trying a gummy than a joint. You can also keep a journal that might be handy to take to your doctor or budtender to further finesse your personal regimen.
Gofire is still super new, and is currently working in partnership with Colorado’s Wana cannabis company as it takes off. Over 90% of Wana products will have the GoFire’s Dose Code on the packaging, enabling GoFire users to track edibles usage the same way they can chart their use of cannabis oil. The more users who get in on the community, the more powerful a tool GoFire becomes. Although I could only check out the app from Oregon, and had a limited amount of information I could peruse, the interface seems intuitive and the potential impressive. If GoFire lives up to the promise of its patents and wins over the understandably meticulous patients coping with chronic illness and looking for an alternative approach to health, this startup could be a serious game changer for how we approach herbal medicine.