Researchers to study efficacy of medical cannabis in Pennsylvania

Jul 28, 2020

Praised for having one of the most well-run medical cannabis operations in the nation, Pennsylvania is expected to see profits double north of $500 million this year, with experts predicting sales to reach nearly $1 billion within the next four years. Moreover, as the fifth most-populated state in the country, many in the cannabis industry are eyeing up the state as a potential target for recreational legalization in the near future.

With all of that success, researchers have been attempting to study the quality of life of medical cannabis patients in the Keystone State. According to a statement released on Tuesday, The University of the Sciences and has partnered with Releaf App, a mobile app that helps users to track, learn from, and improve their use of cannabis. Together, with local dispensary Keystone Canna Remedies, they are performing research on the effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program.

The study is the second of its kind performed by the University and Releaf App, the first of which sought to analyze how effective cannabis was in providing pain relief. Results of that earlier study showed that THC levels were a determining factor in whether or not patients found relief from their symptoms. Researchers used a 10-point scale, with patients scoring THC products at two points and CBD products at one, a statistically significant difference.

“The results of the first study showed that THC products used by PA patients had a beneficial effect on pain, but now we need to find out if a patient’s health-related quality of life is also improved as a result of the pain relief from cannabis use,” said Dr. Andrew Peterson, Executive Director of the Substance Use Disorders Institute in a statement.

As for the current study, its goal is to determine how THC affects both pain and quality of life issues. Over a period of two months, patients will answer a standard set of questions relating to their cannabis use, with the total number of surveys taken being no more than four.

“KCR has always prioritized the furthering of cannabis research in Pennsylvania, and dispensaries with established patient bases should be looked at as data-rich resources,” said Victor Guadagnino, Founder of Keystone Canna Remedies in a statement. “As part of our ongoing care, we equip our robust patient base with tools to self analyze which should prove very effective for this study. Participation in this study also empowers patients to have an active role in their healthcare while engaging in a way that can shape the overall understanding of cannabis beyond state lines.”

Pennsylvania is seen by many as having a robust and well-run cannabis market, which makes it the ideal setting for such a study.

“While Pennsylvania has a robust clinical research program designed specifically for pre-approved licensed operators and universities, one of our goals is to open up research opportunities beyond the pre-approved stakeholders to a wider group of universities, dispensaries, and cannabis brands who are commonly motivated to contribute to our growing body of cannabis research,” says Keenan Keeling, CEO of MoreBetter Ltd, the company behind Releaf App, in a statement. “Focusing on the efficacy of Pennsylvania products, as reported by Pennsylvania patients, allows us to provide actionable insights to cannabis patients and regional stakeholders. Ultimately, we aim to improve the experience for both patients and healthcare professionals within the state.”

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