South Africa's Therapeutic Cannabis Research Institute (CRI) has announced that the government has approved a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment for opiate addiction. This project, which the organization will conduct with the support of sponsors from Releaf Cannabis E-Clinics, will be the first clinical trial of its kind in the history of the republic.
According to the representatives of the public organization themselves, the project will last at least one year, during which scientists will observe how the use of cannabinoids affects the psychological and physiological state of the subjects, as well as how these substances affect their perceived craving for opiate drugs. Medical professionals want to know if the use of cannabinoids affects the physical sensation of pain and discomfort in the body experienced by many people trying to get rid of opiate addiction.
The head of the project will be a well-known hemp medicine specialist in South Africa, Dr. Shiksha Gallow. Actually, she confirmed to the media that the research project had already been approved by the regulators of the republic, and that the team was already ready for its launch.
“Currently, the South African authorities do not support the use of cannabis in the treatment of opiate addiction, in particular the consequences of the drug withdrawal syndrome that all people who quit opiates face. Preliminary data, in the form of local and foreign private studies, allow us to believe that cannabis can be used in this capacity, however, we do not have strong enough evidence of such an effect. Actually, the new project aims to find evidence of the possibility of the effective use of hemp and the active substances of the plant in this field of medicine,” the doctor tells reporters.
Also, the doctor does not exclude that the study will reveal new data on the nature of the work of pain receptors in the human body, as well as on their contact with various active compounds that affect their activity. As Dr. Gallow suggests, it is possible that some of these mechanisms can be effectively exploited with the help of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids, modulating their activation and strength of work. Potentially, such a technique could allow humanity to completely replace "dangerous" painkillers, in the form of the same opiates, with safe and non-addictive cannabinoids.
"In fact, we can find a solution to a whole range of problems associated with opiate drugs, ranging from the risks of their use to human health, to side effects, such as the development of dependence in patients and crimes associated with this factor," says the doctor.
Preliminary trials have already started in June of this year, led by another CRI partner, Labat Africa and its subsidiary Biodata, which tested the effectiveness of cannabis as a pain reliever with a group of 1,000 volunteers. In the trial, which demonstrated the high safety and efficacy of cannabinoids, the company used locally produced new therapeutic varieties called Tallyman and Exodus. The company that provided them, Sweetwaters Aquaponics, has already launched these plants into the national medical market, along with another new creation, 9 Pound Hammer, which contains a significant admixture of CBG, balanced with THC.