The rootd podcast provides a backstage look into the business side of the legal cannabis industry through interviews and research.
Ehave Connect is pioneering an evidence-based approach to treatment using cannabis to support the emerging industry and to improve patient outcomes.
Currently, the cannabis industry lacks comprehensive data for clinicians to draw from when advising patients on treatment plans, as well as reliable systems to track outcomes. Ehave Connect may enable more accurate and efficient study of cannabis and help establish objective guidelines that clinicians can rely upon when prescribing cannabis therapies.
We Seek to Answer Common Questions and Concerns
- Is cannabis the right therapeutic to prescribe?
- What is the most effective strain for a particular condition?
- What is the appropriate dose or delivery method for a particular condition?
- How does a clinician compare treatment options?
- How can clinicians ensure that patients are using the product as prescribed?
- How do patients know their prescription is working the way its supposed to?
- Do payors have the right reimbursement criteria?
- Where should licensed producers concentrate their research and development efforts?
Cannabis has been cultivated for its medicinal, psychoactive, and physical properties for thousands of years. The cannabis plant contains more than 400 chemicals and over 80 of these are considered cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) is the dominant psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis and has been the focus of much research until recently. Cannabidiol (“CBD”), cannabinol (“CBN”), and cannabicyclol (“CBL”) are less psychoactive, and are also being investigated for medicinal uses.
Researchers are investigating the use of cannabis for the treatment of mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), anxiety, and depression. While some data suggests the potential for efficacy, an evidence-based approach is needed to determine whether cannabis and its components are beneficial.
Attitudes towards cannabis and rules governing cannabis research are starting to change in markets like the U.S. and Canada, opening the door to new research opportunities.
OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES
Some evidence suggest that cannabis may benefit some persons suffering from mental health conditions. However, physicians are trained to make medical suggestions based on robust clinical data which is lacking in the emerging field of cannabis.
An evidence-based approach is needed to conclusively determine the medical benefits of cannabis – the results of this research may drive physician and patient adoption of cannabis. Additionally, more research is needed to characterize the compounds found within cannabis that may offer therapeutic benefits – this could maximize the benefits of cannabis while potentially reducing unwanted side effects.
Ehave Connect is a mental health informatics platform that seeks to empower patients, clinicians, and researchers with the tools needed to monitor every step of the cannabis treatment life cycle, from diagnosis and treatment planning to outcomes verification.
MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS AND CANNABIS
Cannabis is being used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and others. While the use of cannabis is becoming more widespread, data supporting its use is extremely limited and potentially biased. A systematic review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”) in 2015 examined 79 articles focused on cannabis and determined that only four of them had been conducted with a low-risk of bias.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”)
Cannabis has been proposed as a treatment is PTSD. The use of cannabis among patients with PTSD is particularly prevalent among veterans. The clinical evidence regarding the use of cannabis is contradictory. A recent case-control study of 700 veterans found no improvement in PTSD symptoms among cannabis users compared to non-users. An observational study of 2,276 veterans published in 2015 suggests that, not only does cannabis not provide benefits for persons with PTSD, it may be harmful.
Cannabis is being investigated as a treatment for anxiety disorders. A study of 24 patients given CBD (a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis) reported improvement in anxiety symptoms as compared to a control group given a placebo. However, the study was determined to have a high risk of bias in a review by JAMA. Four other studies have suggested that cannabinoids may improve anxiety symptoms, but all four trials reported these effects as ancillary findings in studies being performed for other purposes. The analysis of cannabis for the treatment of anxiety is further complicated because anxiety is a common side effect of cannabis use.
Cannabis is being investigated for use in patients with depression. A review published in JAMA found that no clinical trials had specifically evaluated the use of cannabis as a treatment for depression – however, depression was included as an outcome measure in five studies performed with other primary objectives. No benefits were reported in any of the studies.