Joshua Wood

Australia’s NSW Government Launches MMJ Trial for Chemotherapy Patients

Australia’s New South Wales government has announced they will fund the world’s first and largest clinical trial of medicinal cannabis for the prevention of vomiting and nausea from chemotherapy. The trial will be conducted by researchers from The University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and cancer centers in New South Wales, including Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

The study will enroll 80 patients who will be given pharmaceutical-grade cannabis capsules with both THC and CBD. The capsules are developed by Canadian medical cannabis producer Tilray. If the first phase garners positive results a second double-blind study with 250 patients would follow. The study will measure patients’ symptoms, their symptom relief, and any side effects.

Associate Professor Peter Griminson, from Chris O’Brien Lifehouse who will lead the trial, said that while conventional anti-nausea medication had “come a long way” about one-third of patients “suffer during and after chemotherapy.”

“The role of cannabis medicines in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is still unclear, and this study aims to provide a definitive answer to this question,” he said in a Sydney Morning Herald report.

Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward said she is hopeful the study will “make the difference so many people claim it will make” noting that despite 30 years of public support “there has been no real investment” in examining those claims.

The New South Wales government is also funding two other medicinal cannabis trials into pediatric epilepsy and palliative care.

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