The Yale University School Of Medicine is teaming with a Portland-based medical marijuana grower to conduct the first state-approved study of medical marijuana’s impact on stress and mental health.

Yale and CT Pharmaceutical Solutions Inc. (CTPharma) on Friday announced they will conduct a phase-one study on the impact of various medicinal marijuana strains commonly used to alleviate pain and stress. Other conditions may also be examined in the study including post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and opioid-replacement, according to Yale.

Yale said the “groundbreaking” clinical study is the first approved by the state Department of Consumer Protection’s (DCP) medical marijuana research program to study stress and mental-health related issues.

The new study will build on CTPharma’s current work involving human subjects, which began with Yale’s Dr. Rajita Sinha in 2016.

Photo | Yale University

Dr. Rajita Sinha

In 2017, Sinha in collaboration with CTPharma received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an investigational New Drug application to examine how medical marijuana products effect subjective and physiological responses to stress and pain.

“With increasing levels of use of medical marijuana products in the U.S. today, it is imperative that we understand the science of how these products are working to alleviate patient symptoms,” Sinha said in a news release. Sinha said the hope is the study will offer new findings on “how medical marijuana may alleviate pain and stress symptoms and contribute to developing new cannabinoid based treatments.”

[Read more: As CT’s medical marijuana industry grows, finding, training workers creates challenges, opportunities]

According to Yale, the first phase will examine men and women between the ages of 21 to 45 who are recreational marijuana users but do not qualify for medicinal cannabis use. The second phase will include men and women ages 21 to 60 with chronic pain. Each participant will receive a placebo, cannabidiol (CBD), the cannabis compound promoted for health and wellness benefits, or the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Side effects such as vital signs of heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and clinical symptoms will be assessed.

The new study surfaces just weeks after state lawmakers added several new conditions to Connecticut’s medical marijuana program. 

There are now 36 conditions approved for adults, ranging from treating Tourette syndrome to Crohn’s disease, and 10 for patients under age 18.

Meantime, there are currently 37,927 patients in the medical marijuana program, 1,196 certifying physicians, 15 dispensaries and four producers in Connecticut, according to DCP. Hartford, New Haven and Fairfield counties, respectively, have the most registered patients. 

The study will also begin during a time of growth for CTPharma, which employs about 40 people in Portland.

The grower is planning to move into a larger, 173,000 -square-foot facility in Rocky Hill vacated last year by pharmaceutical company McKesson Corp.

CNN


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