Australian researchers prepare to explore suitability of using medicinal cannabis for weight loss

Researchers at an acclaimed Australian university are embarking on an investigation into the use of medical cannabis as an obesity aid.

Highly regarded by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Curtin University will collaborate with Perth-based Little Green Pharma Ltd (LGP) for the study. 

Professor Marco Falasca from Curtin’s Medical School is being tasked with the job of leading the study into cannabis for weight and related health issues. 

“I am delighted to start this collaboration with LGP and very thankful for having the opportunity to expand my research in the field of medicinal cannabis in relation to obesity and gastrointestinal diseases,” said Prof. Falasca.

He feels confident that the study will transform the future of treatment for people who are obese and/or struggle with type 2 diabetes.

“Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying annually as a result of being overweight or obese and current drug treatments have significant adverse side-effects and need to be injected by patients,” he added.

Cannabis for obesity: Successful outcome will trigger next trial phase launch 

Although it remains uncertain as to what the Australian research team will learn after the study’s completion, officials from Curtin and LGP are optimistic that the findings will prompt the next stage of human trials into cannabis for obesity.

Should this happen, it will have a significant impact on the worldwide obesity treatment drug market, which was worth US$729.9 million in 2019. As a market that’s predicted to top US$1.08 billion in value by 2027, it’s clear that weight loss treatments are high in demand.

“Some of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant cannabinoids have been shown to have therapeutic potential for obesity,” said the team. “Our research will seek to unlock further understanding of the role these cannabinoids can play in regulating gut function, their mechanism of action and optimal dosing for therapeutic effect to help weight loss.”

The last stage of Curtin University and LGP’s study into cannabis for obesity is on-track to be finalized by February 2023. It will receive three stages of funding, according to LGP’s Head of Research and Innovation, Dr. Leon Warne.

“LGP is excited to commence this investigation into a novel proprietary treatment option for obesity and related diseases,” Dr. Warne said. “Supporting this type of research, which studies the use of medicinal cannabis in difficult to treat conditions, is a cornerstone of our business and key to our R&D strategy.”

About Curtin University

Recognized as the largest university in Western Australia, Curtin University provides education for almost 60,000 students. 

Both the staff and student pool includes people from more than 100 countries. Approximately 50 percent of the university’s international students engage in studies at Curtin’s offshore campuses. 

Aside from Curtin University’s main campus, which is located in Perth, the school also boasts campus grounds in Midland, Kalgoorlie, Dubai, Malaysia, Mauritius and Singapore.

About Little Green Pharma

A vertically-integrated cannabis company with a global presence, Little Green Pharma specializes in the medicinal cannabis and psychedelics sectors. The company’s diverse operations vary from cultivation and distribution to manufacturing and production.

LGP prides itself on improving patient access in the medicinal cannabis market. The geographically diverse company is heavily involved in the promotion of educational outreach programs and the execution of research efforts/clinical investigations into contemporary delivery systems.