By Anthony A. Mestas

In response to a call by the medical community for guidelines on the use of medical cannabis in accordance with new state government regulations, Colorado State University’s Institute of Cannabis Research will launch a national, medical cannabis patient data registry.

The development of the registry has been led by CSU-Pueblo faculty researchers and an off-campus collaborator. The institute is funded by the state of Colorado.

According to institute officials, national estimates suggest that more than 1 million U.S. citizens legally consume cannabis to relieve symptoms from such diseases as multiple sclerosis, HIV, cancer or epilepsy.

“We must improve our understanding of the real-world use of medical cannabis and to make these data available to other researchers and collaborators,” principal investigator Dr. Sue Sisley, MD, president, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Research Institute said in a statement.

Sisley also is a former member of the steering committee of the CSU-Pueblo Institute of Cannabis Research and collaborator on the development of the registry.

“This is one of the first registries of cannabis users to be reviewed and approved by a university Institutional Review Board which will allow it to stimulate research and to broaden our knowledge of this field. The registry will eventually help us better understand the possible risks and benefits related to the use of this product.”

The CSU-Pueblo Institutional Review Board provides oversight to research studies involving human subjects at CSU-Pueblo.

Institute officials said the researchers hope to engage physicians and their patients to submit data as participants in the research — an approach that could be adapted to study the safety and effectiveness of other drugs over the long term.

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