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CANNADOR & cannabis studies completed

Cannador (Society for Clinical Research, Germany) is an oral capsule containing a whole plant extract, with standardized THC content and a CBD amount controlled to lie within a fixed narrow range with a THC:CBD ratio of about 2:1.

It has been used in several clinical trials and is a registered trademark in many countries. It has been clinically tested for reduction of muscle stiffness, spasms and associated pain in Multiple Sclerosis, for anorexia, in cancer patients, and for post-operative pain management.

Cannabis effective at relieving pain after major surgery

A cannabis plant extract provides pain relief for patients after major surgery such as knee replacements, a study by Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council has shown.

Details of a trial published today in Anesthesiology shows how effective Cannador, a cannabis plant extract, is at managing post-operative pain.

Dr Anita Holdcroft, from Imperial College London, and lead researcher said: "Pain after surgery continues to be a problem because many of the commonly used drugs are either ineffective or have too many side effects. These results show that cannabinoids are effective, and may lead to the development of a wider range of drugs to manage postoperative pain."

The researchers tested Cannador on 65 patients who had previously undergone surgery. 11 patients received a 5mg dose, 30 received a 10mg dose, and 24 received a 15mg dose. While all patients who received a 5mg dose requested additional pain relief, only 15 of those who received the 10mg dose and 6 of those on the 15mg dose did so.

As the dose increased, patients reported decreasing pain intensity and increasing side effects. Side effects included increasing nausea and increased heart rate in some patients.

Professor Mervyn Maze from Imperial College London, and one of the researchers, added: "We thought cannabis might be beneficial in helping manage pain following surgery, as previous research indicated cannabinoids help 'top up' the body's natural system for reducing pain sensation. This research proves it can be effective, with minimal side effects at low doses."

The study was conducted using patients from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, Kings College Hospital, The Manor Walsall, The Whittington, St Bartholomew's, University College London Hospital, West Middlesex and Ravenscourt Park Hospital.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Westminster Medical School Research Trust, which is administered by the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust. The Cannador was donated by the Institute for Clinical Research, Berlin.



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A multicenter dose-escalation study of the analgesic and adverse effects of an oral cannabis extract (Cannador) for postoperative pain management

TitleA multicenter dose-escalation study of the analgesic and adverse effects of an oral cannabis extract (Cannador) for postoperative pain management.
Author(s)Holdcroft A, Maze M, Dore C, Tebbs S, Thompson S.
Journal, Volume, IssueAnesthesiology. 2006 May;104(5):1040-1046.
Major outcome(s)The optimal dose was 10 mg Cannador, effectively reducing postoperative pain without serious side effects.

BACKGROUND: Cannabinoids have dose-related antinociceptive effects in animals. This clinical study aimed to investigate whether a single oral dose of cannabis plant extract (Cannador; Institute for Clinical Research, IKF, Berlin, Germany) could provide pain relief with minimal side effects for postoperative pain. METHODS: Patients (aged 18-75 yr) were recruited and consented before surgery if patient-controlled analgesia was planned for provision of postoperative pain relief. Each patient received a single dose of 5, 10, or 15 mg Cannador if he or she had at least moderate pain after stopping patient-controlled analgesia. Starting with 5 mg, dose escalation was based on the number of patients requesting rescue analgesia and adverse effects. Pain relief, pain intensity, and side effects were recorded over 6 h and analyzed using tests for trend with dose. RESULTS: Rescue analgesia was requested by all 11 patients (100%) receiving 5 mg, 15 of 30 patient (50%) receiving 10 mg, and 6 of 24 patients (25%) receiving 15 mg Cannador (log rank test for trend in time to rescue analgesia with dose P < 0.001). There were also significant trends across the escalating dose groups for decreasing pain intensity at rest (P = 0.01), increasing sedation (P = 0.03), and more adverse events (P = 0.002). The number needed to treat to prevent one rescue analgesia request for the 10-mg and 15-mg doses, relative to 5 mg, were 2.0 (95% confidence interval, 1.5-3.1) and 1.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.7), respectively. The study was terminated because of a serious vasovagal adverse event in a patient receiving 15 mg. CONCLUSION: These significant dose-related improvements in rescue analgesia requirements in the 10 mg and 15 mg groups provide a number needed to treat that is equivalent to many routinely used analgesics without frequent adverse effects.


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Dose(s)5-15 mg
Duration (days)1
Participants65 patients who had undergone different kinds of surgery
DesignControlled study
Type of publicationMedical journal
Address of author(s)Anita Holdcroft, Reader in Anaesthesia and Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist, Imperial College London and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
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