Zelira Medicinal Cannabis Trial Enlists Retired AFL Players

Preliminary results from Zelira's trial have shown that cannabis may be able to replace morphine as a treatment option for severe chronic pain patients.

The Australian cannabis company, Zelira Therapeutics (ASX: ZLD), is making waves in the sporting world thanks to a new medicinal cannabis trial targeting retired athletes.

According to the Managing Director of Zelira, Dr Richard Hopkins, the issue of chronic pain and sporting injuries is a "silent epidemic", that has not received the focus it deserves.

Not only did we find that our cannabinoid formulation is safe for them to use and did not result in any serious side-effects, but we have also seen promising positive effects on their physical and mental wellbeing. Zelira Therapeutics Managing Director, Dr Richard Hopkins

The study's launch has also proven particularly timely for the Australian Football League (AFL), as the sporting body is currently dealing with a "chronic pain crisis", not to mention an epidemic of on-field concussions that has recently prompted a class action lawsuit.

Luckily for athletes like ex-WAFL and VFL player Ryan Gale—who was left with debilitating chronic pain after years of playing the physically demanding sport—Zelira's world-leading clinical trial has found that daily doses of medicinal cannabis may be able to provide relief to patients who were formerly reliant on powerful opiates to manage their symptoms

"It's so much better than taking some of the other stuff," Gale said.

"I don't think I ever went one week without pain somewhere. (You say) yes you are alright, give me an injection and get me back on the field."

Gale would eventually require a hip replacement at age 33, which he says may be partially attributable to his decision to "push through the pain".

Preliminary results from the Zelira Therapeutics trial—which is being carried out at Emerald Clinics in Perth and St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne—have shown that medicinal cannabis may even be able to replace morphine as a treatment option for severe chronic pain patients.

Currently there are seven patients participating in the trial who were formerly reliant on receiving at least 60mg of morphine—or an equivalent strength opiate—per day to manage their chronic pain.

However, many of the patients have now begun reporting a "significant improvement" in their pain levels after being administered two doses of a medicinal cannabis formulation per day.

"In the United States, an estimated 49,000 people died from opioid overdose in 2017 and that's why it's so important that we find alternative medications to treat chronic pain," Dr Hopkins said.


This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.

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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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