The NSW Government has committed $9 million to support medical cannabis clinical trials.
The NSW Government has committed $9 million to support medical cannabis clinical trials.

Australian-first medical cannabis trial starts next year

THE country's first clinical trials of medical marijuana will begin in NSW next year.

Premier Mike Baird announced about 30 adult hospital patients in Newcastle would enter the study in early 2016, after the NSW Government pledged $9 million to get testing started.

"We do not want patients or carers having to play pharmacist," he said.

"That is why it is so important to explore the safest and most effective ways we can deliver compassionate care and improve the quality of life."

READ RELATED: 'Medical cannabis is helping save my son's life'

Associate Professor Meera Agar from the University of NSW will lead the research to evaluate two kinds of products - vaporised marijuana leaf and a pharmaceutical product that may come in pill or liquid form.

"It will be undertaken in two parts, and will assess the potential ability of cannabis to alleviate distressing symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, altered taste and smell for food, low mood, weight loss, nausea, insomnia and pain," Professor Agar said.

"This will add to the existing body of evidence-based research to better understand and evaluate the potential benefits that medical cannabis products may have for terminally ill patients."

Results from the study are expected by the end of next year and may lead to the trial of a broader range of patients across city and regional hospitals. 

For more information about the trial please visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/cannabis  

-APN NEWSDESK



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