Little Green Pharma (LGP) has partnered with Southern Cross University to conduct research on fibromyalgia by providing a three-year PhD scholarship and supervision, as well as the medicinal cannabis products needed for the project. 

The research will assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of medicinal cannabis in relieving pain and other symptoms in adult patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FMS). 

As well as the PhD funding, LGP will provide supplies of its balanced and classic 10:10 medicinal cannabis oil and a similar oil (in touch and smell) for the placebo. 

PhD student Inna Kurlyandchik

The study is intended to run over three years and will be conducted in three stages starting with a literature review and survey. 

The final stage is a Phase 2 randomised, double blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial which will use medicinal cannabis in a 1 THC: 1 CBD ratio versus a placebo for a three-month period with follow-ups for six months post trial. Recruitment for this phase is planned to begin in 2022. 

Dr Janet Schloss is principal investigator, LGP head of research and innovation and clinical researcher Dr Leon Warne is co-supervisor, with PhD candidate Inna Kurlyandchik receiving the scholarship funding. 

Kurlyandchik said the project “will allow me to build upon previous research in this area and further understand the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of this complex disorder”. 

She added: “Fibromyalgia is a complex condition with limited treatment options available. Last year, we undertook a systematic review and found that medicinal cannabis has potential to reduce pain and improve the quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.” 

Dr Warne said: “FMS is a debilitating disease and knowing that LGP is doing its part to assist in a clinical trial into the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating FMS sufferers goes to the heart of our goal of providing a cost-effective therapy to enhance the quality of life of patients.”

The trial will be run at Griffith University’s Clinical Trial Unit with clinicians from the Gold Coast University Hospital and private practice, and patients recruited from the public and private sectors via clinician referral. 

The results will be shared via peer-reviewed scientific publications and conference talks during the three-year timeline.

Hannah Adler

Hannah is a communications professional and early-career researcher in the disciplines of health communication and health sociology. She is a PhD student at Griffith University currently writing a...