Medical marijuana R&D license to study Alzheimer’s approved by Denver regulators

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More support for the use of cannabis to treat Alzheimer’s is coming

As one of the state’s pioneers in the legal cannabis market, the City of Denver has issued its first license granted exclusively for a medical marijuana research and development project. The license was granted to Med Pharm on Tuesday night and it has the purpose of allowing the company to examine the effects of marijuana on Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s really exciting,” explained Dr. Tyrell Towle, the Director of Chemistry and Research at Med Pharm. “We’re finally doing research that we should have been doing decades ago, quite frankly.”

According to Med Pharm CEO Albert Gutierrez, this license opens up the door for many future opportunities to study and understand the reach of medical marijuana when helping patients. “We really want to understand how these Cannabinoids and the compounds we put together can help people,” Gutierrez told Makenzie O’Keefe from CBS4. The process hasn’t been finalized yet; the study needs to receive approval by the state. However, Towle added that the company is planning on running a placebo-randomized trial with 150 Alzheimer’s patients. This trial means that a group of patients will receive an oral cannabis compound once a day.

“We’ll be giving caregivers surveys,” said Towle. “The caregivers of these patients will be filling out are they sleeping better, are they easier to deal with, are they experiencing less agitation, are they maybe forgetting fewer names.” Also, the researchers will be monitoring blood to measure the presence, if any, of inflammatory biomarkers, as well as monitoring patient brain scans. “We’ll be monitoring that throughout the study so that we can see if the symptoms that are improving, are correlating to an improvement of blood flow in certain areas of the brain,” he explained.