BY YUMINIYA WILKIN @ayinimuy
In an Australian first, the NSW Government is investing $9 million over the next five years for medical marijuana clinical trials.
The trials will play a vital role in helping to better understand what medical marijuana can do for debilitating illnesses, eliminating symptoms and decreasing pain for terminally ill patients.
Chief Investigator Associate Professor Meera Agar will lead the team of researchers and conduct the first trials at Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital. Patients will start the treatment in early 2016 with results expected within less than a year.
There will be approximately 30 patients in the first round of trials. The trial will assess two types of cannabis products: vaporised leaf cannabis and a pharmaceutical cannabis. The primary focus will be on improving symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, pain relief, low mood, nausea, insomnia.
“This will add to the existing body of evidence based research to help better understand and evaluate the potential benefits that medical cannabis products may have for terminally ill patients,” Professor Agar said.