July 6, 2017, Ottawa – The Canadian AIDS Society has announced a first of its kind research program funded by Canopy Growth Corporation.
By Dave Harrison
The program is designed to provide up-to-date information on the current state of evidence and research pertaining to the use of cannabis for medical purposes and to build tools for healthcare professionals to allow them to confidently assess and prescribe cannabis to appropriate patients.
Funded over two years at $100,000 per year by Canopy Growth Corporation – and guided by a newly created Cannabis Research Task Force of experts in the field of cannabinoid medicine – the project aims to develop guidelines and recommendations regarding the medical use of cannabis for optimal wellness, quality of life and pain management.
“Our goal is to leverage our existing knowledge and expertise in both HIV and the use of cannabis for medical purposes to create a better quality of life for many Canadians facing debilitating health conditions – particularly in the area of chronic pain management,” said Gary Lacasse, executive director of the Canadian AIDS Society.
“This project builds on a body of existing knowledge and research developed by CAS over several years.”
CURRENT LACK OF INFORMATION
The Task Force will be addressing issues surrounding the current lack of information – for Canadian health care practitioners and ultimately for patients – regarding guidance on the use of cannabis for medical or therapeutic purposes.
It is estimated that 10 per cent of Canadian physicians have written an authorization for medical cannabis.
“We are confident that this partnership with the Canadian AIDS Society and the broad medical and social expertise of the Task Force will result in practical guidelines for the use of cannabis that can be applied to many medical conditions,” said Mark Zekulin, president, Canopy Growth Corporation.
“We have dedicated a great deal of effort toward physician education over the last three years and I feel confident that this work will create another valuable tool that Canadian healthcare professionals and Canadians alike can use when considering cannabis as a therapy.”
The Cannabis Research Task Force is expected to review the current state of research for the use of medical cannabis and develop a scope of work for evidence-based Canadian guidelines in such areas as treatment, contraindications, dosing, chronic pain, risk management and regulatory issues, among others.
In Canada, approximately 75,500 are living with HIV and about 250,000 are living with hepatitis C (HCV).
Cannabis has been proven to be effective to relieve symptoms – including chronic pain management – related to many medical conditions.
The Cannabis Research Task Force brought together by the Canadian AIDS Society is expected to review the current state of research for the use of medical cannabis and develop a scope of work for evidence-based Canadian guidelines in such areas as treatment, contraindications, dosing, chronic pain, risk management and regulatory issues, among others.