Applied Cannabis Research Partners with Cymra for Groundbreaking Chronic Pain Study

The nationwide study will track the impact of cannabis on patient wellbeing by examining dosage levels, side effects, and overall treatment satisfaction.

There was exciting news this week from Applied Cannabis Research (ACR)—which operates as a division of Southern Cannabis Holdings—after the company announced that it is partnering with Cymra Life Sciences to take part in Australia's largest running observational study into the effects of medicinal cannabis on chronic pain.

The announcement from ACR comes at a point when medicinal cannabis has begun seeing increased interest from researchers, doctors, and patients alike, and is particularly timely given recent data that indicates up to 70% of the cannabis prescriptions made under the government's SAS program were approved for some form of chronic pain.

Chronic pain is a complex problem and globally is a leading cause of disability and burden. Up till now, many medications and interventions have been utilized with varying degrees of success, so we are looking to novel treatment options, including medical cannabis, to solve this chronic pain problem worldwide. The more research we can do, the more equipped we can be with evidence-based and effective treatments. CA Clinics Medical Director and Addiction Specialist, Dr Mark Hardy

The CA Clinics Observational Study (CACOS) is looking to recruit approximately 3,000 patients nationwide and will examine the effects of medicinal cannabis on patient's wellbeing by collecting data pertaining to dosage levels, side effects, and overall treatment satisfaction.

The study has a planned launch for Australia's National Pain Week, which aims to shine a spotlight on patients living with chronic pain.

At the same time, Cymra is also in the process of conducting a related sub-study that will treat patients who suffer from refractory chronic pain with a unique "balanced" cannabis formulation. 

"There has been limited evidence from published clinical trials to date for the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis products," Cymra medical advisor Professor Paul Glare said.

"There are lots of reasons why this situation has arisen but the observational data, including the exponential growth in SAS Category B scheme applications, as well as my own clinical experience all point to the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis products in chronic pain patients, as a second line therapy prior to prescribing opioids, when other medicines are ineffective, or when patients are self-medicating their pain with marijuana or non-pharmaceutical cannabis products."

"Large well-designed clinical trials are urgently needed."

Additionally, earlier this week ACR announced that MedReleaf Australia would also be joining the CACOS, to help explore the potential therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis for Veterans.

The partnership with Cymra Life Sciences is being seen as a valuable addition to the observational study, as the company is currently in the process of developing new products aimed at ameliorating patient pain while simultaneously limiting the intoxicating effects of THC.

The unique genetic strains developed by Cymra also offer reduced labour costs, improved yields, and reduced pathogen risk, as well as unique cannabidiol formulations.  

"Australia provides huge competitive advantages for companies looking to do research in new therapeutic areas including medicinal cannabis, and our world class clinical platform and team is excited to help Cyrma with this study" Southern Cannabis Holdings Director Tim Drury said.

During its participation in the study Cymra will also collect data from roughly 360 CA Clinics patients over a one-year period.

According to the company, this will be used to further strengthen its understanding of the "pain outcomes and health-related quality of life" experienced by patients making use of Cymra products.

"Cymra is excited about the potential benefits of cannabis medications for chronic pain, given the existing alternative medications available," Cymra CEO Joel Hardy said.

"Our future plans include an observational study; dose ranging study and a full phase IIB clinical trial to establish quality evidence and register a cannabis medication."


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Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.

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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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