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Research Faculty

Cannabis Studies

Author cupharmacy | Publish Date October 18, 2017

Faculty member Jacci Bainbridge, PharmD, together with Clinical Neurology Research Fellow Matt Makelky, PharmD, are currently studying cannabis and its effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions including back pain, Parkinson’s tremor and seizure disorders in children.

Some of the first prospective cannabis trials on the Anschutz Medical Campus “Will hopefully help determine the cannabis’ effectives in treating these types of disorders, side effects and dosing levels,” says Jacci Bainbridge. More than 26 million American between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.  Many patients are prescribed pain medications for their pain.  Under the guidance of Emily Lindley, PhD with the Department of Orthopedics, this study will compare cannabis to oxycodone in patients with back pain. In this study, patients and a control group without the disease are given either oxycodone or cannabis with a dose of placebo drug, or a double placebo dose.  “Various cognitive tests will be administered to see the degree of impairment, and also there will be a test to see the degree of pain reduction. Will the patients be able to tell which drug they are being given? Will cannabis give better pain relief? Which drug affects cognition more? All interesting questions that we hope to answer with this study,” says Bainbridge.

The second study, also sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is in phase III clinical trials studying Epidiolex (CBD) in Parkinson’s Disease tremor and how CBD oral oil may help control tremor symptoms. “We are especially involved in the accuracy of the dosing of this product and are looking at safety and efficacy,” says Bainbridge who is working with Principal Investigator Maureen Lehey, MD, and physician at the Movement Disorders clinic at the UCH outpatient pavilion.

Lastly, there is a trial at Children's Hospital for CBD as add-on therapy in patients with tuberous Sclerosis complex who experience inadequately-controlled seizures.  The product used for this trial is Epidiolex (CBD), and is in phase III clinical trials. Bainbridge and Makelky will act as the dispensing pharmacist for this trial.