Releaf Group has partnered with Drug Science UK to launch an observational study of medicinal cannabis in Australia.
Known as Project Twenty21 Australia, it will be run by Releaf’s research arm the Australasian College of Cannabinoid Medicine (ACCM) in collaboration with Drug Science UK.
Operational in the UK since 2019, Project Twenty21 is an observational study which aims to improve access to medicinal cannabis for patients living with debilitating and chronic conditions.
For the Australian study, data will be collected on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and multiple sclerosis.
Releaf Group chief scientific officer and co-chief investigator Professor Kylie O’Brien said while previous international studies have tended to be short-term, it is important to understand what happens over longer time periods.
She added: “By engaging at least 1,000 patients locally, we intend to track the outcomes of their medicinal cannabis treatments to gain valuable insights and information which will contribute to improved patient care in Australia.”
“I am delighted to be working with UK colleagues including neurologist Professor Mike Barnes, psychiatrist Professor David Nutt and epidemiologist Professor Michael Lynskey, who are leading the way in the UK in cannabis research.”
Launched last week, study participants will be followed for 12 months, completing online questionnaires every three months to collect real-world data over the period.
Co-chief investigator and medical practitioner Professor Justin Beilby said the information collected will be analysed “to increase our understanding of the real value of these new medications to alleviate the suffering experienced by people with these conditions.”
The study will be conducted at Releaf Clinics in St Kilda and Armadale (Victoria), Fortitude Valley, Caloundra and Noosa Heads (Queensland) and in new Releaf sites as they open around Australia over the next 12 months.
Information will be available publicly via the ACCM website and study results will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals for publication as well as presented at conferences.
The study is supported by Cann Global, Beacon Medical, Levin Health, Infinity Wellness and Releaf Dispensaries.
Meanwhile, Releaf has launched a new educational podcast hosted by O’Brien. Considering Cannabis will drop fortnightly, with a different expert guest on each episode.