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Local cannabis study to determine efficacy of CBD oil

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It is hoped a Shepparton research project will unearth answers on the effects of cannabis oils in cannabis users.

The 12-week project is seeking anonymous participants to determine the efficacy of Cannabidiol oil for mood and sleep issues in cannabis users.

The study, led by Shepparton-based Professor Edward Ogden, will include 33 participants who will meet with a researcher monthly to record results.

CBD oil is an alternative therapy which has promising results in trials for treating addiction around the world.

CBD, unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol — the other main compound found in marijuana — contains no psychoactive or addictive qualities.

“Recreational marijuana is very high in THC and we are seeing an increasing amount of people suffering from cannabis use disorder — a condition defined by severe dependence, cravings and withdrawals,” research assistant Coco Piesse said.

“While cannabis can appear to help issues such as depression, anxiety and poor sleep in the short term, research shows that it can instead exacerbate these issues in the long run — so it is an ineffective long-term coping strategy.”

The study’s primary aim is to assess whether CBD oil can address sleep and mood issues in cannabis users, which may in turn help with their dependency.

CBD has been approved for sale through pharmacies however there is no commercial product registered in Australia to date.

CBD has very subtle effects and does not cause the high commonly associated with cannabis use.

The study is a boon for a regional area such as Shepparton, with Prof Ogden the only addiction medicine specialist in regional Victoria at Goulburn Valley Alcohol and Drug Service.

“He has done a lot of research into addiction and he's got quite a different perspective on substance abuse,” Ms Piesse said.

“This study mimics Ed’s philosophy in his approach to substance abuse, which is, people do drugs for a reason.

“We need to figure out what those reasons are and listen to people.

“This study is about dealing with cannabis abuse in quite a different manner, an understanding and compassionate manner.”

The study is open to people aged 18 to 66 who use cannabis regularly with no history of severe neurological, cardiac, endocrine, gastrointestinal, or bleeding disorders.

People who are pregnant or taking part in other trials are unable to participate.

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