Recently, several research centers and hospitals have announced new medical studies into the therapeutic effects of cannabis and its cannabinoids.
Over the past month, advocates of scientific research in the cannabis industry have received encouraging news with recent announcements of new marijuana-related studies. Several hospitals and medical centers will be soon conducting research studies into the therapeutic effects of cannabis, examining its ability to help treat concussions, traumatic brain injuries, epilepsy, pain, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Studying CBD’s Effects on Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
The University of Miami’s Project to Cure Paralysis and Miller School of Medicine received a $16 million grant to examine the effects of a cannabidiol (CBD)-based pill on reducing brain inflammation following concussions and traumatic brain injuries, the Miami Herald reports. The research will involve studying CBD’s effects on rats, tweaking dosages and timing, before moving onto a small human pilot study. Overall, the study will last three to five years. The researchers, led by Dr. Gillian Hotz, are still awaiting a special federal license to perform the CBD research.
“I’m excited that this could be a new treatment pathway for the hundreds and thousands of people that have this type of mild brain injuries,” Hotz told the Miami Herald.
“It’s not a guy smoking a joint, playing video games anymore. People have to get past that picture. We’re way beyond that,” Hotz added. “[Cannabinoids] can really be helpful for a lot of people that have neurological conditions. It just has to be systematically evaluated.’
Investigating the Therapeutic use of Cannabinoid’s for Epilepsy and Other Disorders
Australian philanthropist Barry Lambert donated $3 million earlier this month to Thomas Jefferson University’s recently launched medical marijuana research institute in Philadelphia, according to Philly.com. The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp is dedicated to medical marijuana education and research.
Lambert, who has said he’s never consumed marijuana in his life, donated the money in the interest of his granddaughter Katelyn, who has been diagnosed with the rare pediatric epilepsy disorder Dravet syndrome. Traditional epilepsy drugs have proven to be ineffective, but Katelyn is responding well to CBD hemp oil.
“It’s been miraculous,” Lambert told Philly.com. “Now she’s speaking to some extent and runs around and laughs and enjoys life like any normal 5-year-old.”
The Lambert Center at Jefferson plans to investigate the therapeutic uses of both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD for the treatment of epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic neuropathic pain.
“We are extremely grateful to the Lamberts for this bold and visionary gift, which will have an immediate impact on our research and education efforts,” said Charles V. Pollack Jr., MA, MD, Director of the Institute of Emerging Health Professions, in a statement. “From the start we have had an ambitious agenda to elevate the science that underpins the therapeutic use of cannabinoids, and this donation provides a huge boost of momentum to pursue the most promising ideas and potential therapies for a range of conditions.”
Examining How Cannabis Can Replace Opiates for Pain Relief
St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut was recently awarded state approval to study how cannabis can serve as a safer and more effective pain-relieving option than opiates in patients with traumatic injuries, such as broken ribs, the Hartford Courant reports. The hospital’s eight-month-long research will involve about 60 patients who would normally be prescribed opioid medications but instead will be treated with medical marijuana.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that opioid abuse kills 44 Americans everyday. The prescription painkillers carry a high risk for abuse, addiction, and overdose. Previous research indicates that cannabis is a safer and more effective substance for managing pain.
“Medical marijuana is nonaddictive, it’s almost impossible to overdose on it, and it has very mild side effects,” Dr. James M. Feeney, led researcher and director of trauma services at St. Francis, told the Hartford Courant. “If we can stop prescribing opiates [as painkillers]… we can stop the whole cycle of abuse.”
Looking into How Marijuana Helps Terminally Ill Patients
The United States’ first hospice, Connecticut Hospice Inc. in Branford, recently announced it would be conducting research into how marijuana can alleviate pain and nausea and stimulate appetite in terminally ill patients, according to the Associated Press. The palliative care facility is examining whether medical marijuana can reduce the need for opioids, which caused nearly 400 deaths in Connecticut in 2015.
The six-month study, expected to get under way in January, will involve administering medical marijuana in a capsule form, three times daily, for a period of five days. The participants’ pain levels, appetites, depression levels, and respiratory functions will be assessed. The center has already acquired federal approval for its study.
Exploring Cannabinoid’s Effects on Irritable Bowel Syndrome
AXIM® Biotechnologies, a Medical Marijuana, Inc. investment company, recently announced that it had received approval from the Medical Ethical Committee (METC) of Wageningen University, located in The Netherlands, to begin a clinical trial of its CanChew® Plus CBD gum for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Earlier this year, AXIM® announced that it had secured the necessary funding to move forward with a group of cannabinoid-based clinical trials on its MadChew® RX, CanChew® Plus, and AX-1602 topically applied cannabinoid ointment. The company has scheduled or started clinical trials for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, psychosis, dementia, Crohn’s disease, restless leg syndrome, psoriasis and eczema, glaucoma, and the pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.
Decades of credible medical studies have revealed cannabis’ exciting therapeutic potential. You can learn more about the groundbreaking findings so far about medical marijuana by visiting our education page.