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NHS Scotland to fund clinical trial on CBD and endometriosis

It is hoped the findings will lead to a UK-wide study of cannabinoids in endometriosis-associated pain.



Endometriosis, a condition where cells similar to the womb-lining are found elsewhere in the body, affects around 190 million women worldwide.

NHS Scotland is funding a six-figure clinical trial to explore the effects of CBD on pelvic pain related to endometriosis. 

The Chief Scientist Office, part of the Scottish Government Health Directorate responsible for funding research in NHS Scotland, will provide £300,000 for the trial, Ananda Developments, announced in a press release on Tuesday 15 August.  

Endometriosis, a condition where cells similar to the womb-lining are found elsewhere in the body, affects around 190 million women worldwide and often leads to debilitating pelvic pain among other symptoms. 

The placebo-controlled randomised control trial (RCT), led by Dr Lucy H R Whitaker, a clinical lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Edinburgh, will look at the effects of Ananda’s oral CBD tincture (MRX1) in 100 women with pelvic pain related to endometriosis.

MRX1 is a broad-spectrum oral tincture containing CBD isolate and additional terpenes.The company is said to have developed a proprietary method for formulating cannabis medicines which are essentially THC-free but contain other components of cannabis which contribute to the ‘entourage effect’. 

The product which will be used in the trials. Photo: MRX/Ananda

Over a 12 week period participants, recruited from two Scottish hospitals, will be given either the patent pending MRX1 or matching placebo and then asked to complete questionnaires on their symptoms. 

Researchers hope the findings will demonstrate the feasibility of a UK-wide study to determine whether a cannabinoid can reduce endometriosis-associated pain. If successful, it is possible this would provide a pathway for the product to be funded through the NHS

Ananda announced its intention to conduct two landmark trials on MRX1 in complex pain conditions in March. 

A separate RCT investigating its potential on MRX1 in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) was due to get underway at the University of Edinburgh earlier this year. 

Ananda’s CEO, Melissa Sturgess, commented: “Our objective is to have MRX1 included by the NHS as an efficacious and cost-effective treatment for pain associated with endometriosis. Getting NHS funding for this trial using MRX1 is a clear statement of the importance of endometriosis as a public health issue and we believe clearly demonstrates the interest in the use cannabidiol as a potential treatment for endometriosis and other complex chronic inflammatory pain conditions by the UK’s public health bodies. 

“The chronic, complex inflammatory pain market was recently estimated to be worth at least £5 billion per annum in the UK alone.”

The trial is expected to begin recruiting participants later this year.

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Home » News » NHS Scotland to fund clinical trial on CBD and endometriosis

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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