As debate continues about the effects of medical marijuana on multiple sclerosis (MS) and other diseases, cannabis company GB Sciences and Louisiana State University (LSU) have agreed on a cannabinoid research and development project.
This collaboration between a public and a private enterprise is a first in the therapeutic cannabis industry, according to a press release from GB Sciences. Louisiana permits the cultivation, extraction, processing, production, and sale of medicinal cannabis.
Specifically, the five-year Master Research and Development Agreement for the production of therapeutic cannabis targeting severe medical conditions and diseases is with LSU’s Agricultural Center. It results from a mutual wish to participate in joint projects related to the production of medicinal cannabis in the state.
Following a public bidding process, the center chose GB Sciences subsidiary GB Sciences Louisiana to cultivate and produce therapeutic cannabis for Louisiana patients with specific disorders, namely MS, cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), cachexia (a condition that causes extreme weight loss and muscle wasting), seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease), muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, muscle spasms, intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and some forms of autism.
The agreement gives GB Sciences and the center the rights to background intellectual property during the collaborative research and development efforts to allow them to fully conduct their work. In addition, the parties will permit the commercialization of technology developed during the project.
The two enterprises have had early discussions regarding opportunities for clinical trials, research collaboration, and general patient care with Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the LSU Health Science Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana, and other prominent medical centers.
With a focus on biopharmaceutical development, GB Sciences has applied for the patented use of medical marijuana for Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, chronic pain, some heart problems, and neurodegenerative disorders such as MS.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society — which works to improve the lives of MS patients while working toward a cure — supports patients’ rights to, where lawful, work with healthcare providers to get marijuana for symptomatic treatment. The nonprofit also supports more research to better understand prospective benefits and risks involving treatment with cannabinoids.
Research studies suggest that some cannabis strains in particular can help with spasticity, pain, sleep quality, vision, and gastrointestinal problems.