It’s been used for all kinds of purposes for around 5,000 years, but we’re only just beginning to uncover cannabis’ potential for treating a number of illnesses and conditions.
Over the last two decades researchers have started to discover more about the endocannabinoid system. Located in the brain and the nervous system; it’s linked to pain, appetite, memory and the immune system. It also responds to as many as 60 chemicals found in cannabis.
Since then, researchers have begun exploring how cannabis could be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and even some forms of cancer.
Even though some of these studies have shown promising results, most have been small and short-term. That’s because as a restricted drug it’s been impossible to carry out large, in-depth clinical trials with medicinal cannabis. Until now.
Cann do attitude towards cannabis research
Earlier this year, Cann Group was issued Australia’s first Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation Licence, plus two research licenses from the Office of Drug Control. The new licence allows Cann Group to produce Australian grown cannabis that can be prescribed for patient use.
We’ve teamed up with Cann Group to help them develop products that could be used to treat a range of conditions, including childhood epilepsy, chronic pain and loss of appetite in chemotherapy patients.
Cann Group is cultivating different strains of cannabis for medical use. Once our dedicated lab is fitted out, we will start analysing the crop for Cann Group to get a better idea of the cannabinoids present, their biological effects and how extracts could be manufactured.
While most research on medicinal cannabis has focussed on the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannibidiol (CBD), we’re going to explore the minor cannabinoids and terpenes, which give the plant its characteristic smell.
From these results, we’ll begin developing various extracts with different chemical profiles tailored for certain conditions. It’s expected that these extracts will be taken as oral drops or inhaled as vapour.
Up until now, medicinal cannabis products have varied a lot, from the strain used to how they are delivered to patients. To tackle this, we are helping Cann Group develop a manufacturing process that will produce consistent, quality-controlled products that will be suitable for clinical trials.
In addition to learning more about the potential side effects and the best way to use medicinal cannabis, the results of large clinical trials will make it easier for doctors to prescribe it to patients. This means that medicinal cannabis will be accessible to the people who need it most.
9th October 2017 at 12:41 pm
My 78 year old husband died earlier this year from lung cancer. I tried all ways to get access to cannabis, but no one would/could help.. He was on endless pain relief, but even when he was asleep I could see the pain on his face. I wish I could send you a photo of him (which I enclosed with my pleas to various locations) but I don’t know how with this site.
10 Hoya Court
7th October 2017 at 7:53 am
Australia is a long way behind other researchers so it will be catchup science for a long while . Quality imported products will flood the market in the very near future stifling Australian commercial interests. Cannabis has wide potential in many industries – bio degradable packaging – food – horticulture – textiles to name a few .
I remain sanguine that “authority ” has loosened its grip on our country and that science can be the foundation of future policy
6th October 2017 at 2:44 pm
God bless all associated,it would seem Australia has recognised that Big Pharma is Big Pharma, mostly about quarterly balance sheets and an exclusive run at solutions
6th October 2017 at 12:48 pm
Fantastic initiative. My psychologist has been telling me for years that cannabis is one of the best things to help my son who struggles with “life” due to his Asperger’s Syndrome. I can only hope that it will also help people like my 85 yer okld Mum who has suffered for years and years with chronic pain due to her arthritis and scoliosis. Thank you.
6th October 2017 at 9:22 am
I have immediate access to medical cannabis that has low THC naturally – let me know CSIRO if you would like free access to these products too.