California researchers seek more than 130 people to participate in four upcoming clinical studies involving cannabis, including a study with children.
The studies, to be conducted by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research will focus on the use of cannabinoids as a treatment for anorexia nervosa, autism, essential tremor, and schizophrenia, and are all expected to launch in 2019. The four studies will be conducted separately and will run for different durations.
The university will be examining the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) in the reduction of symptoms and improvement of cognitive abilities in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The clinical trial will also look into how CBD affects the response to stress and eating behaviors in people on antipsychotic medication.
The clinical trial would involve 78 adults who have been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia that has been stabilized with antipsychotic medication. It will be a double-blind procedure; neither the participants nor the investigators will know which subjects are receiving oral doses of CBD or which are receiving placebos until the participant has completed the six-week trial period.
Researchers will try to establish how safe it is to use CBD on autism patients and whether it alleviates any of its symptoms. They also plan to observe whether CBD improves brain connectivity and how it might alter neurotransmitters in the brain. Lastly, the study will look at how CBD could potentially alter any biological indications of neuroinflammation, a condition commonly associated with autism.
The clinical trial will involve 30 children between the ages of eight and 12 who have been diagnosed with at least moderate autism. The children must be in otherwise good health. Using a double-blind method, half of the children will receive doses of CBD and the other half will receive a placebo in the first phase of the study, then the groups will switch dosages in the next phase.
Adults with essential tremor can apply to be part of another study that aims to determine how effective a blend of CBD and THC could be in treating the condition. The study will require 16 adults diagnosed with essential tremor, a nerve disorder characterized by uncontrollable shaking in the limbs or head. Researchers plan to use a 20:1 CBD:THC ratio medication as well as a placebo in another double-blind trial.
Finally, another study will also set out to discern whether adults with anorexia nervosa can be treated effectively with CBD. The clinical trial will involve 10 adults who have been diagnosed with anorexia, a condition that causes lack or loss of appetite for food. The participants will either receive CBD or a placebo in a double-blind procedure.
Anyone with these diagnosed conditions who might be interested in participating in one of the aforementioned studies can get more information or apply through UCSD's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research website.
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