Science’s Power Plant? Engaging the Public on Consumption, Questions & the Role of Cannabis
Posted on Fri, 09 Mar 2018
Medicinal marijuana has been used therapeutically for over 5000 years, with evidence in traditional Chinese medicine from as early as 2700 BC. Over time, the use of medicinal cannabis for pain relief has been adopted by Western medicine and is a rapidly emerging field garnering the interest of large numbers of researchers and health practitioners. Numerous controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that the consumption of cannabis alleviates several types of neuropathic pain. Despite this, cannabis use has been associated with fear rather than favor due to the lack of understanding regarding safe administration and clinical evidence supporting its use.
At KGK Science we are developing a clinical trial, in London, to address important unanswered questions about marijuana and to improve our understanding of how adults safely metabolize various compounds in both medicinal and recreational cannabis.
Despite prohibitive legislations, survey results indicate that 21% of youth and 30% of young adults in Canada reported using cannabis within the past year (2014), moving usage in Canada to one of the highest in the world. The proposed Cannabis Act to legalize cannabis production, distribution, sale and possession has been a spotlight in Canadian politics for over two years. Canadians can expect significant changes in how marijuana is perceived, discussed and used.
Being the first industrialized country to fully legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis use Canada has the advantage of setting the stage as a pioneer in the field. We also have the opportunity of being in the forefront with product innovation with our licensed producers using advanced technology to improve offerings and tailor products to niche consumers for various purposes.
The Canadian Institute of Health Research has invested C$1.4 million in 14 different cannabis research projects that aim to understand the health benefits as well as risks associated with cannabis use. Hospitals, universities, industry and healthcare professionals are finding scientific evidence to provide the health perspective needed to guide decisions of families, patients and the public surrounding medicinal and recreational cannabis use.
What Do We Know?
Cannabis is a family of plants that produce more than 60 bioactive substances called cannabinoids. The main psychoactive ingredient is referred to as THC which produces the ‘high’ by acting on the central nervous system. Cannabidiol or CBD is the second most studied cannabinoid, which is associated with medicinal properties without exhibiting the psychoactive properties. Medicinal products containing these two cannabinoids are used as therapeutic agents for a variety of medical conditions.
Recently, medical cannabis has gained widespread acceptance as a therapeutic agent and it has now been used in the treatment of pain, cognition, infection, epilepsy (seizures) and anxiety along with gastrointestinal disorders. A large survey from Arizona in 2015 demonstrated that 77% of fibromyalgia patients, 63% of patients with arthritis and 51% patients suffering from neuropathic pain reported experiencing significant relief of their symptoms. Cannabinoids have also been suggested as potential therapeutic alternatives for certain epilepsy patients with refractory seizures. Cannabinoids have also been suggested as potential therapeutic alternatives for certain epilepsy patients with refractory seizures. Charlotte’s Web is a cultivar developed by Colorado breeders that contains low THC and high CBD and has gained increased attention due to its high medical potency in assisting in the treatment of seizures in adults and children.
The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes merits scientific research to answer questions regarding strains, effective dosages and route of administration. A large proportion of cannabis research so far has focused on the social harms and risks associated with consumption. We need to build a foundation of information from adequately controlled studies on dosages, forms of products, the effects of cannabis use in the presence of other conditions (such as asthma or pregnancy) and effects of self-medication. An interest for our researchers is cannabis effects on physiology and cognition along with identifying cannabis strains and products which can be appropriately used for recreational purposes.
Improved methods to administer medicinal cannabis are required and advocating valid outcomes from controlled trials is essential for medical professionals to make informed decisions regarding public health. Updated treatment approaches will help physicians work with their patients in controlling pain, reducing the reliance on narcotic medications and enhance the quality of life of Londoners. Providing research opportunities, prescribing practices and engaging healthcare and education professionals through Continuing Medical Education will be vital to improving our understanding around cannabis use.
KGK Science Inc is currently requesting feedback from the public to assist in our efforts for developing a study that delivers on the questions residents in London are most interested about. We are looking to engage with active medicinal or recreational cannabis users; as well as infrequent users or those that may have only tried 1-4 times in their life.
Our online survey is open to any resident of Southwestern Ontario to complete. The information will be used to develop our research study and provide important information on trends, uses and misconceptions related to cannabis use.
Our cannabis clinical trial is expected to launch in May 2018 and provide compensation for your time and open to both men and women between the ages of 18-65. The survey can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at www.surveymonkey.com/r/kgkcannabis