The Cannabis Research Institute of South Africa (CRI) will sponsor the first observational clinical trial on medicinal cannabis’ effectiveness in curbing opioid addiction in South Africa.
The sponsored trial will be a year-long study that examines the effectiveness of medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain management. In addition to demonstrating therapeutic efficacy and pain relief, the objective is to provide credible, reliable, and verifiable data to the relevant authorities to regulate the availability of medicinal cannabis in South Africa, said the CRI.
The study will be conducted in collaboration with the Releaf Cannabis E-Clinics, and registered participants will have free access to their medicinal cannabis through the trial. The trail will be headed up by cannabis clinician Dr Shiksha Gallow, who will work alongside a team of highly skilled doctors in the medical cannabis industry.
“While the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) does not yet have any official cannabis-containing medicines approved for pain relief, anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies point towards its potential to be highly effective in pain management,” said Gallow.
She explained that chronic pain is defined as pain that lingers for longer than six months and can be categorised as visceral, somatic, and neurogenic. This has led to a wide range of treatments – including over-the-counter drugs and opiates such as morphine, oxycodone, or codeine, which instruct the body’s natural opioid receptors to prevent the nerves responsible for pain from signalling.
Read more at Business Tech South Africa