Imperial College London and EMMAC Expand Cannabis Research

17th September 2019

Imperial College London is planning to expand on its Cannabis research, alongside research partner, EMMAC Life Sciences. Their research will aim to evaluate the “entourage effect” of different cannabinoids, in helping to treat pain.

EMMAC will be using a range of medicinal cannabis combination products for the in-vitro studies. As the leading European independent medical Cannabis company, EMMAC hopes that their findings will help to support clinical trials in patients with both acute and chronic pain, in the future.

The extended research programme comes amongst calls for increased clinical trials of Cannabis-based medical products (CBMPs). The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and NHS England released a draft of their guidelines on the use of medical Cannabis products, last month.

In the draft, the agencies highlighted the need for more evidence to be gathered through reliable clinical trials:

“Having now considered all the available evidence it’s therefore not surprising that the committee has not been able to make many positive recommendations about their use.”

Imperial College London and EMMAC will aim to add to the long-term research programme that is currently underway. As a whole, the research aims to investigate the effects of CBMPs on a variety of conditions, including chronic pain. Researchers will also hope to characterise CBMPs in disease-specific models, and focus on translating these findings to patient clinical trials.

The extension of the programme will be focused on the effects of cannabinoid combinations and the “entourage effect” on pain. It is also expected that the EMMAC will partner with Imperial College London on future cannabinoid research programmes.

Professor Praveen Anand, from Imperial College London, said:

“Our results may support the rational design of future clinical trials to enhance pain relief and minimise adverse effects.”

“This is a very exciting area of pain research, which aims to characterise the entourage effect and related mechanisms of cannabis-based medicine combinations at a molecular level.”

The “entourage effect” is a term given to the suspected added therapeutic value when multiple cannabinoids are applied together.


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