Australian Researchers Investigate Medical Cannabis to Tackle Obesity Epidemic

Medical Cannabis Obesity - GCI Content Hub - Global Cannabis Intelligence

Australian research partnership will investigate how medical cannabis compounds can be used to treat obesity and promote weight loss.

Researchers at Curtin University team up with Perth-based company, Little Green Pharma (LGP) to explore the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis to treat obesity and related health issues.

The new partnership aims to explore a novel treatment for obesity by identifying cannabinoids which induce a feeling of fullness and decrease appetite, leading to weight loss and diabetes reversion.

Worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980 and the obesity epidemic claims at least 2.8 million lives every year. Overweight and obesity is the fifth leading risk for death globally.

Meanwhile, current drug treatments for obesity have significant adverse side-effects and often need to be self-injected by patients.

Professor Marco Falasca, research lead from Curtin’s Medical School, said the research could revolutionise treatment options for those struggling with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Falasca explained that a number of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant have shown therapeutic potential for obesity. Specifically, this research will explore the therapeutic potential of both phytocannabinoids (produced by hemp and cannabis plants) and endocannabinoids (created within the human body).

According to Falasca, the research will assess the effectiveness of cannabinoids for treating obesity, both synergistically and as isolates.

This new partnership between Curtin University and LGP seeks to develop a better understanding of how these cannabinoids regulate gut function, the active mechanisms involved and optimal dosing for promoting weight loss.

LGP’s Head of Research and Innovation Dr Leon Warne stated that studies will be funded in three stages. Both parties anticipate that research findings will allow this obesity treatment to be studied in human clinical trials by February 2023.

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