Study Involving Famous Charlottes Web Strain to be Conducted at University of Colorado
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 09/04/2014 in Medical Marijuana Research
Location: Denver, Colorado | Source: Time
According to an article posted on Time Magazine’s website, medical marijuana patients suffering from certain forms of epilepsy may soon receive the hard clinical data they need to validate their claims that medical marijuana is the only thing that helps their conditions.
A possible ground breaking clinical trial set be begin next month may finally provide patients and the public alike with more concrete evidence and answers into marijuana’s effectiveness when dealing with seizure conditions. The study which is believed to be the first of its kind will be conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and will examine the genes of individuals with a specific form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. The specific form of epilepsy has gained much media attention in recent months due to its association with the famous non-psychoactive strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web”. The name comes after the case of Charlotte Figi, a young girl who suffers from Dravet Syndrome whose parents say has only been relieved by the use of medical marijuana.
The University study will attempt to explain if certain genetic components can tell us why some epilepsy patients see positive results from using medical marijuana while others do not.
Charlotte’s Web was originally developed and grown by a family of 5 brothers in Colorado through a non profit organization known as the Realm of Caring. Their unique strain of cannabis is extremely low in THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana that gets users high, and extremely high in CBD, a cannabinoid believed to reduce seizures in those suffering from epilepsy. It is primarily administered to children in a oil concentrate form.
Traditionally evidence supporting the effectiveness of Charlotte’s Web has been mostly anecdotal. Edward Maa, the chief investigator of this new Charlotte’s Web study says new trials may be the first step to creating a body of information and research on how and why medical marijuana is so effective in treating certain forms of epilepsy. “This is the first attempt to get the information people are interested in that is observational in nature,” says Maa, an assistant professor at UC Denver and chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Programs at Denver Health.
Researchers conducting the study will seek to recruit epilepsy patients who already have a history of using Charlotte’s Web. Patients will be separated into two groups, those who have had their seizure incidence reduced by 50% or more while taking Charlotte’s Web and those who had less dramatic or no results from using the specific cannabis strain. Researchers will then analyze the genetic components of the patients in both groups and compare them to find any specific similarities or differences that may account for the differences in reaction to Charlotte’s Web.
Team researchers at the UC Denver campus will additionally collect data on the dosages used by patients in the hopes of being able to continue more indepth research down the line. “The more data we are able to collect in a large sample, the closer to the truth we will get,” says Maa.
Ideally the study would allot patients suffering from Dravet Syndrome to be pre-screened before attempting to use Charlotte’s Web so that parents and caregivers may know ahead of time if cannabis would be an effective form of treatment.
He says the study could allow children with Dravet Syndrome to be genetically screened before taking Charlotte’s Web so parents could know ahead of time if their children would benefit. It’s possible to conduct the study in Colorado because Charlotte’s Web is grown there legally and is home to many families who have moved to the state to specifically to access the marijuana strain.