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Medical cannabis and pain: Dr. Hance Clarke

Medical cannabis and pain: Dr. Hance Clarke

Dr. Hance Clarke and his colleagues are conducting a research project to explore how and why cannabis might be useful for the pain of osteoarthritis. Dr. Clarke’s team is studying whether cannabinoids, the chemicals found in cannabis, are reaching joint cartilage, bone tissue and spinal fluid. 

The team is hoping to answer the questions: What are the major cannabinoids that are affecting these tissues? Do any anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis stem from the patient’s central nervous system or is it a joint-specific response? Is there evidence of an alteration of cytokine levels?

Since cytokines regulate the immune response, understanding their role in arthritis and how cannabinoids affect them has implications for everyone living with OA.

 “With scientific rigor, we’ll hopefully get some answers. Our findings can inform treatment options going forward.”
-    Dr. Hance Clarke



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The Arthritis Society is a leading advocate for dealing with medical cannabis the same way as other treatments, urging the Canadian government to eliminate the tax and expand access to pharmacy distribution.