Medical Cannabis Chronic Kidney Disease Clinical Trial

Kidney disease and medical cannabis

MediPharm Labs Inc has initiated a clinical trial to research and evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s cannabis-derived medicines for the treatment of end-stage renal disease or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

Chronic kidney disease involves kidney damage over a long period of time that impacts on the organ’s ability to filter blood, meaning toxic wastes build up in the body. The progressive condition can result in major complications including eventual kidney failure and death.

It’s prevalence is quite shocking – according to Kidney.org, 37 million American adults have CKD and heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with the condition. The main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Combined, these are responsible for up to two-thirds of  cases.

MediPharm Labs has partnered with Canadian firm OTT Healthcare Inc. for the trial, which will initially investigate dosing and safety profile of cannabinoid formulations, as well as assess pain and Quality of Life scores of patients receiving the medicines – the details of which weren’t revealed in the announcement.

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Data gathered from this investigation will then support randomized double-blind clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of these products.

“Renal disease is the 11th leading and 6th fastest-growing cause of death globally and those with it suffer from pain, pruritus (severe skin itch), impaired sleep, depression and fatigue,” said Medipharm Labs CEO  Pat McCutcheon. “We believe deep research into the use of medical cannabis to treat the effects of this devastating condition is long overdue.”

According to a paper published in the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology in 2017, two different types of receptors (CB1 and CB2) activated by pharmacologically active ingredients of cannabis are found in numerous tissues, including the kidneys – so there is potential for beneficial effects.

If medicinal cannabis could help treat or manage CKD, that would be quite a breakthrough.

In other recent news from MediPharm Labs, early this month the Canadian-headquartered firm announced it had entered into a buyout agreement to acquire the remaining part of the company’s 80%-owned subsidiary MediPharm Labs Australia; which was established in 2017.