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Johns Hopkins Undertaking National Cannabis Study

A new National Cannabis Study led by a researcher at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will track around 10,000 medical cannabis patients across the USA.

While medicinal cannabis is legal in various forms in the vast majority of US states, and in some for many years, more data about its efficacy as a therapy is still needed.

“We have the availability of cannabis as a therapeutic, but we’re lacking the quality of data that we have with other medicines,” says Johns Hopkins’ Ryan Vandrey, one of this new research initiative’s creators. “We hope to provide some starting points for understanding what types of products may or may not be helpful and what types of products may be more risky for use in certain populations or for certain therapeutic purposes.”

Professor Vandrey is collaborating with Johannes Thrul, associate professor of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and others on the project.

Supported by a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the researchers will track patients as they progress from “cannabis naivety” when they may be trialing various products and approaches, through a year or more of use.

This information will be entered into a database, and include variables such as chemical compositions, methods of administration, interactions with other medications, dosages, frequency and timing. As well as providing valuable data on which to base clinical and regulatory decision-making, the registry could be a treasure trove for developing clinical trials and other research.

“Under the umbrella term of cannabis exist hundreds of products that are all different in very important and significant ways,” says Vandrey. “We’re trying to narrow the scope a little bit, find areas of real promise and focus the science on those.”

Previous research by Mr. Vandrey and colleagues last decade on the experiences of nearly 1,300 cannabis patients found cannabis use was associated with improved health and Quality Of Life (QOL) outcomes.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is the USA’s lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and addiction.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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