Article by Simon Plumb, New Zealand Herald
A major medical marijuana trial is underway in New Zealand – testing the effects of a new cannabis gel on epilepsy patients.
The Ministry of Health has given the green light for Kiwis to be part of the ground-breaking clinical trial, investigating the effects of the newly-developed cannabidiol gel ZYN002 in stopping or reducing epileptic seizures.
Across Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch, 12-week trials have been going on with the last wave of New Zealanders being recruited before the trial ends in late November. Also running across 10 centres in Australia, a total of 210 adult patients will be involved.
Every 12 hours, patients rub the gel into their upper arms and shoulders. However, the randomised test means neither the recruits, or their doctors, will know which of three possible gels they are receiving – high dose, low dose or a placebo – until the trial is over.
By being absorbed into the skin, it’s understood the gel’s cannabis-derived contents will hit the brain more quickly and powerfully than oral forms of medicines which must first pass through the gut and liver.