The Cannabis Industry Needs Hard Data On Medical Marijuana. This Study Could Provide It

The University Health Network in Canada is embarking on a six-month study

Despite the growing popularity of cannabis, there’s limited information about what the substance can and cannot do. And with marijuana classified as a Schedule 1 substance in the U.S., it’s nearly impossible for researchers to conduct studies on it. In Canada, however, pot’s legal for both medical and recreational use. Researchers there are hopeful that a new study could help answer some of the uncertainties surrounding cannabis and its effectiveness in treating various ailments. 

There’s lots of anecdotal evidence of cannabis helping alleviate various ailments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s even approved a cannabis-based drug made by GW Pharmaceuticals Epidiolex. It’s the only FDA-approved drug that’s derived from cannabis and it can treats children with two rare forms of seizures — Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. And the FDA recently approved it for a new indication: treating seizures due to tuberous sclerosis complex. Trulieve Cannabis is another top medical marijuana company and it has benefited from tremendous growth in its home state of Florida. More than 380,000 patients there hold marijuana cards, which is up 28% since the beginning of the year. But despite the demand for medical marijuana, there are still many people who doubt its effectiveness, and that’s why more research and studies are necessary.

An effort to achieve real-world results

The University Health Network (UHN) in Canada is embarking on a six-month study that aims to put some solid data behind claims that cannabis can help patients. The Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence Study is seeking to enroll at least 2,000 people who have been prescribed medical marijuana for certain conditions including chronic pain, sleep, anxiety, and depression. The study will utilize a portal run by Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart that contains accurate and reliable information about the medical cannabis products it sells including dried flower, oils, extracts, edibles, and topical preparations. Patients will select cannabis products from the platform and then report on the product’s effectiveness in treating their symptoms.

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