South Africa’s first ethically-approved cannabis clinical trials have begun in Johannesburg with the goal to determine if cannabis can replace opioids for pain management, according to a June 21 press release. More and more, cannabis shows potential for reducing or replacing opioids for certain types of pain management.
Biodata, subsidiary of Labat Africa, “is the brainchild of Dr. Shiksha Gallow, a cannabis clinician, and the principal investigator in the trials, which took over 18 months to get official clearance,” the announcement reads. Dr. Gallow is a South African pioneer in the field of international medical cannabis research.
Researchers will observe 1,000 participants who have been taking opioids for pain management for at least three months and are prepared to switch to cannabis as an alternative. Two chemovars currently being used are Tallyman and Exodus—sourced from Labat’s Sweetwaters Aquaponics SAHPRA-licensed facility in the Eastern Cape. Aquaponics is a cultivation technique believed to allow for more benefits. The third strain to be introduced shortly, 9 Pound Hammer, will be next—chosen because of its high THC and CBG profile, and being rich in beta caryophyllene and myrcene.
“We are currently recruiting patients, and data-capturing all the questionnaires and feedback from the patients for the live study,” Dr. Gallow said. “It has been fairly slow. However, more options have been introduced in the live study as suggested by the patients in the pilot study. The pilot results of the study were very promising, as it showed 98% of the patients have some sort of pain relief from the cannabis.”
Researchers were able to wean patients off their opioid treatment. Flower contained a high amount of THC, 15-25 mg THC, with 0.5 mg of CBD. The Oil (1:1