Researchers at the University College San Diego have announced their intention to investigate the effect of using cannabis extracts to treat or manage essential tremor.
The announcement came after the group of researchers (led by Dr. Fatta Nahab) got permission from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) to import capsules of CBD and THC from Tilray, a Canadian-based cannabis company. Tilray conducted an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S.
The researchers opted to import the capsules since none are available from the sole source of cannabis for research purposes (University of Mississippi). Capsules were preferred for this study because of two main reasons.
The first reason is that it would be easy for the researchers to control how much cannabis the study subjects received. This isn’t easy to do if the subjects smoke or vape the product.
Secondly, capsules were thought to be more acceptable to the study subjects who may have had issues with being asked to smoke or vaporize the cannabis.
The researchers had to jump through numerous hoops in order to get approval for the importation of the cannabis. For example, they had to submit the designs of the study to the research review panel of California as well as explain that the selected ratio of 20:1 CBD and THC was tailored to minimize the high and possible addiction by the patients who consumed the products during the study. The regulatory hurdles faced by the researchers are well known to companies like Lexaria Bioscience Corp (CSE: LXX) (OTC:LXRP) and Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTC:PHVAF), who have the eagle eye of regulators on everything they do.
The research team hopes to enroll 16 to 20 essential tremor patients to participate in this study that is expected to begin early next year and run for a year or more.
It is hoped that the study will provide scientific evidence for the anecdotal claims that essential tremor patients improved when they consumed cannabis. The researchers want to discover how much cannabis is sufficient to produce the desired results without triggering any adverse effects.
Such a cure would be a major breakthrough, since there is no medication designed for managing or treating essential tremor (ET). Patients are given high blood pressure medication or epilepsy drugs to manage this neurological disorder. The results of such interventions vary widely.
About 10 million Americans suffer from ET, and the condition is often mistaken for Parkinson’s disease. The International Essential Tremor Foundation and Tilray have funded the research. Tilray insists it will not have any say in the outcome of the study.
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