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VPA is working to assess the safety and efficacy of Cannabis and Cannabis compounds through rigorous scientific study.

The Medical Director at Vermont Patients Alliance has three ongoing research projects:

  1. Randomized, cross-over, double-blinded study of three different Cannabis strains in cancer patients with chronic pain requiring opioids.
  2. Randomized, cross-over, double-blinded study of Cannabis strains in patients with chronic pain due to arthritis who do not require opioids.
  3. Randomized, cross-over, double-blinded study of Cannabis strains in patients with frequent migraine headache.

Results will be analyzed and distributed in January 2016. If you have questions about our work, or if you are a registered patient interested in participating in one of these studies, please contact us here.

Cannabis Potency and Symptom Relief

Cannabinoid ratio and potency vary widely in different Cannabis plants available at Vermont Patients Alliance. Effectiveness of symptom relief also varies widely among different Cannabis cultivars and different patients. We are currently doing research that will better correlate Cannabinoid and terpene potencies with specific symptom relief.

To help obtain data for this study, patients are asked to complete return visit surveys that identify the Cannabis cultivars most effective for various symptoms including chronic pain, muscles spasm, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, and anxiety. To participate in this study please contact us here.

Cannabis and Reduced Opiate Use

Cannabis is helping patients at Vermont Patients Alliance reduce their opiate use. Patients are continually surveyed online and asked if they were using Cannabis to replace their need for opiates. To date 100% of respondents at our dispensary replied yes!

The reason why we think Cannabis is decreasing opiate requirements for VPA patients can be explained by the pharmacology of cannabinoid opioid interactions as recently demonstrated in a randomized study of patients with chronic pain in a top medical journal. From Abrams et al. (2011) :

“Cannabinoids and opioids share several pharmacologic properties and may act synergistically. The potential pharmacokinetics and the safety of the combination in humans are unknown. We therefore undertook a study to answer these questions…We concluded that vaporized cannabis augments the analgesic effects of opioids without significantly altering plasma opioid levels. The combination may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer side effects.”

Abrams et al. (2011). Clin Pharmacol Ther 90(6):844-51.