Canadian Researchers to Develop First National Database on Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis

Written by Paul James

A new study called Medical Cannabis Real World Evidence is now underway, in which Canadian researchers are examining the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating specific health conditions, such as anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and sleep. While a number of preliminary studies have shown the potential for cannabis to therapeutically treat various ailments, this study hopes to provide a detailed analysis that can, in turn, become the first national database on medicinal cannabis.

“The challenge with the medical use of cannabis is that physicians and patients are unsure of the quality of products being consumed,” notes the head of the study, Hance Clarke, MD. “For the first time, we will have a national repository of data that can provide answers about the effectiveness of these products, to test their claims.”[1]

Every patient has a different experience with medical cannabis and there are two main reasons for this:

  • Different cultivars produce a variety effects due to their unique cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid profiles
  • The quality of the cannabis (whether it’s produced on a pharmaceutical grade or not) isn’t consistent within the industry

Researchers are hoping to enroll 2,000 participants in this study.Those who get involved will have the ability to choose from a versatile selection of cannabis products. While these include different consumption methods (i.e., dry flower, oil extracts, edibles, etc.), it also includes milligram (mg) counts of both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).[1]

Through an online portal, patients will report back on how specific cannabis products affect their symptoms. This will allow those developing the database to get an understanding as to which cultivars and consumption methods are preferable for specific ailments.

As Dr. Clarke mentions, the biggest difficulty medical patients currently experience is consistency in cannabis products. While many will claim cannabis has helped them, “we need the evidence to help us in prescribing the appropriate validated product, at the right dose, for the right patient.”[1]

Currently, there are a number of cannabis companies getting involved with the study, such as Radient Technologies and WeedMD.

Image Credit: Hermes Rivera

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  1. University Health Network. “UHN Putting Medical Cannabis To The Test In The First Real-World Evidence Clinical Trial.” Available at: Accessed September 18, 2020.

About the author

Paul James