University to study medical marijuana

University to study medical marijuana

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Professor Marco Falasco is leading research into medicinal cannabis treatment at the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute.

Curtin University researchers were studying the benefits and side effects of ingesting medicinal cannabis for people living with cancer.

Researchers at the university’s School of Biomedical Science have been researching the plant’s benefits and the first batch of legal medicinal marijuana arrived in Perth last week.

The study was focusing on identifying longer-term effects of the drug, which was medicinally consumed as an oil or vaporised.

School of Biomedical Science professor Marco Falasco said the university was entering new territory with the research.

“There is evidence of benefits and side-effects,” he said.

“We have evidence that isolated cannabinoids work well in an experimental setting. The plan is now to demonstrate its effects and move to trials to get solid evidence that it works.”

The first legal shipment of the plant arrived in Perth last week but Mr Falasco said it was still a challenge to get hold of the plant.

“It’s not easy to study,” he said.

“It’s difficult to use it and to have it. We need to provide solid scientific background to prove it is working.

“It’s a lot of work.”

Mr Falasco said positive side effects of the drug for people suffering with nausea, pain and vomiting had already been observed but Curtin’s research would provide further important tangible evidence.

He said Curtin University would be publishing results from its research in the next few weeks.