London scientists probe cannabis pain relief role

EMMAC, an independent European medical cannabis company, has announced it is working with Imperial College London to evaluate the “entourage effect” of cannabinoids for pain.

The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds act together to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant, primarily through THC.

The collaboration will add to an existing long-term comprehensive research programme designed to inform and shape the future of medical cannabis therapies.

The overall programme aims to investigate mechanisms of action of cannabis-based medicinal products related to several clinical applications, including pain and cancer, as well as characterise cannabis-based medicinal products in disease-specific models with a focus on translation to clinical trials.

“This is a very exciting area of pain research”

Professor Praveen Anand, Imperial College London

Professor Praveen Anand, Imperial College London, said: “This is a very exciting area of pain research, which aims to characterise the entourage effect and related mechanisms of cannabis-based medicine combinations at a molecular level.

Pain relief

“Our results may support the rational design of future clinical trials to enhance pain relief and minimise adverse effects. We look forward to working with EMMAC in developing these experimental platforms and pipelines, to advance the treatment of patients with neuropathic pain.”

Under the terms of the new Collaboration Agreement signed between the parties, EMMAC will fund a post-doctoral research fellow for an extendable one-year period, to explore the efficacy of EMMAC products in neuropathic pain to support their development towards clinical trials.

Tom Rooke, Chief Operating Officer of EMMAC, added: “The strategic partnership between EMMAC and Imperial College London is important to advancing the industry’s understanding of the medical benefits of cannabis, and as a result of the mutually positive and productive experience of working together, we are delighted Imperial College has chosen us as academic partner in the UK to expand our existing research programme.”