A multi-state cannabis company is beginning a study on opioids with a university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Opioids for Cannabis
According to Ethos, the study will focus on assessing the viability of using medical cannabis as an opioid replacement therapeutic aid.
The study’s purpose is to learn if medical cannabis can help people who take opioid pain medication to manage chronic pain.
TJU aims to determine whether medical cannabis could replace opioids for people struggling with opioid dependency and opioid use disorder.
“We fully appreciate the risk of long-term opioid use, including progression to opioid use disorder,” says Lead Researcher Brooke Worster MD, FACP. “There is potential in cannabis as a safer, tolerable therapy to lessen the reliance and impact of opioids. However, we have minimal quantifiable science to feel comfortable making solid medical recommendations to patients. This study is an important step in that process, using forms and strains of cannabis that are common in the marketplace and getting real-time patient assessments in terms of effective pain relief, side effects, reduction in opioid cravings, and withdrawal.”
Worster says the research team expects to have meaningful data collection over the next 18 months, which could directly translate into clinical practice change.
Jefferson is looking for participants in the four-month study who are not currently using medical cannabis products.
Participants must also have been diagnosed with chronic pain and taking opioids such as oxycodone, Percocet, or morphine.
Some study participants will introduce medical cannabis products into their treatment plan in a double-blind manner.
Jefferson researchers will observe the impact of medical cannabis products on participant opioid use, pain, and withdrawal symptoms.
Ethos says that all study participants will complete compensated baseline, daily, weekly, and monthly questionnaires and interviews regarding their health and opioid use.
Ethos CEO David Clapper says that state law has been instrumental in facilitating the new opioid study.
“The Pennsylvania legislation that created the Clinical Registrant permit program exponentially expanded our ability to do effective, impactful research in this space,” says Clapper. “Ethos is thrilled to continue working alongside Jefferson’s dedicated team to progress our understanding of medical cannabis.”
Ethos is one of eight Clinical Registrant permit holders in Pennsylvania conducting medical cannabis-related research.