Applied Cannabis Research Launches Largest Medicinal Cannabis Study in Australian History

The CMOS is expected to run for five years, with patients to be recruited nationwide via medical centers, prescribing GP's, and specialists.

Earlier today the specialist contract research organisation Applied Cannabis Research (ACR)—which operates as a division of Southern Cannabis Holdings—announced the official launch of the largest medicinal cannabis study in Australian history.

Applied Cannabis Research will collect data from 20,000 patients nationwide as part of the Cannabinoid Medicine Observational Study (CMOS), with the goal of assessing the safety and efficacy profile of medicinal cannabis products.

Knowing which type of cannabis to prescribe is one step closer thanks to research underway at Applied Cannabis Research. Cannabis has been available legally for medicinal purposes since 2016, but with more than 100 cannabis products available in Australia, knowing what to prescribe and for what condition is becoming increasingly difficult. Through CMOS, we expect to be able to tell whether a particular cannabis product is effective in the treatment of a particular disease and give doctors guidance in their cannabis prescribing. Cannabinoid Medicine Observational Study Principal Investigator, Dr John Barlow

The CMOS will be led by Applied Cannabis Research, with assistance provided by key industry partners and leading figures in the Australian healthcare community, including Althea Group Holdings, Cronos Australia, Cymra Life Sciences, Medcan Australia and Cann Global.

According to ACR, the project presents a "first-of-its-kind opportunity" to study medical data from a wide range of Australian prescribers and patients, across numerous refractory conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndromes, PTSD, epilepsy and other mental health and neurological conditions.

The study's launch is also particularly timely, as there has been an explosion in the amount of medicinal cannabis approvals—with the total number granted under the SAS-B program jumping to over 67,000 in September—over the last several years.

However, at the same time there is still a significant dearth of randomized clinical trials within the medicinal cannabis space, and the need for substantive data on treatment-related progress, dosing and side-effects has grown ever larger.

"CMOS is going to be a really important study because it will bridge the knowledge gap in medicinal cannabis prescribing in Australia. Currently we have no detailed understanding of how medicinal cannabis products are prescribed here and what the treatment outcomes are," ACR Advisory Board member Dr Melissa Benson said.

"This study aims to solve this problem and in addition, the data collected will be an invaluable resource not only to researchers, but also to clinicians, patients and governments, who are all looking to understand the health impacts of medicinal cannabis."

The CMOS is expected to run for five years, with patients to be recruited nationwide via medical centres, prescribing GP's, and specialists.

Subsidised medicinal cannabis products may also be made available to study participants, while data will be collected from both healthcare providers and patients to gain a greater understanding of efficacy, side effects, dosage, adherence to medication, and progressing health status.

 "We are very excited to participate in CMOS, which is the biggest and most extensive medical cannabis trial ever undertaken in Australia," Cann Global CEO Sholom Feldman said.

"At present, I believe the biggest issue surrounding the legalisation of cannabinoid medicine is the lack of data for doctors to confidently prescribe cannabinoid-based products to their patients."

"We believe that this study will provide us with important clinical validation which should significantly increase both consumer confidence in pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis products, and the confidence of the medical industry to widely and responsibly adopt the prescribing of products to potentially naturally alleviate many ailments."

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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