A research fund of $700,000 has been given to a medical school in Australia to test the benefits of giving children in the advanced stages of cancer a prescription for medical marijuana to manage their pain and sleep.
This will be a three-year study, and will tackle the largely untouched and taboo field of marijuana for children.
“This group of children may not have long to live, so their quality of life is really important, and we want to know if this intervention can help them in their last weeks or months of life,” says Anthony Herbert, the Associate Professor at QUT, where the study will be taking place.
“This study will contribute to the limited evidence around the role and safe use of medicinal cannabis in children, which can be used to inform future clinical trials.
“In Australia this will be the first research in children using medicinal cannabis to manage symptoms in children with cancer receiving palliative care. No similar trials have been published in the worldwide literature.”
The study will test the difference in reactions between THC and CBD, using an array of combinations between the two.
In Australia, around 770 children ages 0-14 are diagnosed with cancer each year, and about 100 die from the disease.
Since the number of patients is so small, the study can only be exploratory in nature, but could lead to similar, much larger studies in the future.
Read the press release here.