Pubdate: Wed, 17 Aug 2016
Source: Vancouver 24hours (CN BC)
Page: 5
Copyright: 2016 Vancouver 24 hrs.
Author: Michael Mui


Mice Given Mushed Cannabis Mixed With Milk - They Won't Be Smoking Any Pot

Researchers out of the University of B.C. are feeding lab mice pot 
and comparing the results to standard painkillers to see if cannabis 
will be more effective than regular medication in treating 
cancer-related nausea and pain.

The project is headed by Dr. Lui Franciosi, Veritas Pharma Inc. CEO 
and an adjunct professor in pharmacology at UBC, who is funding a 
team of seven UBC researchers at Cannevert Therapeutics to test 
different strains of cannabis.

Franciosi said the team just got approval from Health Canada this 
spring to conduct the experiments, and expects the tests to run at 
least until fall this year.

Franciosi said he anticipates this to be the first study in Canada to 
use animals as a means to compare the effectiveness of marijuana 
versus traditional painkillers.

"You're able to put the standard clinical drug side by side to see 
how these strains are matching up," he said.

"Eventually, once we know which spectrums of chemicals (CBD and THC) 
produces the best biological effect, we know we got a hit. All we do 
is create a huge table of all these strains and get a sense of how they rank."

Franciosi stressed there's an animal care committee to ensure the 
mice are properly treated.

The mice are given mushed cannabis mixed with milk - the mice won't 
be smoking any pot. The painkillers that Veritas is trying includes 
morphine and other narcotics, he said.

So far, about six strains have been tested and the company is testing 
up to another two strains per week.

"We've given ourselves an 18-month period. Next year, we're hoping to 
have the start of some (human) trials. We're targeting the BC Cancer 
Agency," Franciosi said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom