In an effort to normalize the cannabis industry and expand the knowledge available to researchers on the drug itself, a public company with access to a breadth of user data will launch a national study in Canada to evaluate the effects of cannabis treating anxiety.

Namaste Technologies (CSE:N; OTCMKTS:NXTTF) announced on Wednesday (April 4) the launch of its first national research study, titled “Cannabis for Anxiety Reduction study.” The study will, as its title suggests, evaluate the potential of cannabis being used as a treatment for anxiety disorders.

Sean Dollinger, president, and CEO of Namaste said he believes studies like this one will attract more patients to Namaste. After the markets closed on Wednesday, Namaste increased its share value by 10.34 percent and closed valued at C$1.60 for a share.

“We plan to undertake additional studies to bring awareness and a better understanding of how medical cannabis can benefit Canadians,” he said.

Namaste revealed it planned to conduct more studies, similar to this initial one in the future. However, the company did not disclose what kind of conditions it intends to investigate treating with cannabis.

In order to be considered for the study, Namaste asks that patients must be over 25 years and have a score of eight or above in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The scale, according to studies, provides a helpful initial diagnosis and serves to track the progression of psychological symptoms.

Namaste said the results from the study may be published in a medical publication at a later date. According to the company, the study will take place during a three month period for each patient.

“The study will be submitted for approval to the Veritas Independent Review Board (IRB) prior to commencement,”  the company said.

In March Dollinger told the Investing News Network (INN) he had not decided just how the company would monetize the data it was collecting through its NamasteMD platform. “Right now we believe the most important thing is collecting that data for future use.”

Need for more cannabis research crucial, experts agree

Last year Dave Berg, chief technology officer for a software company, Strainprint–a company with a focus on the cannabis industry–told INN the lack of sophisticated research about the drug has impacted the development of novel therapies for patients using cannabis.

“[I]t’s been very difficult for people to study cannabis in a clinical way, but there’s been a ton observational data… There’s no really strong observational data set that allows us to make proper decisions,” Berg said.

Despite the lack of current research David Argudo, CEO of High Hampton Holdings (CSE:HC) said the wait for sophisticated data will not take a long amount of time

“I think we are going to see more [cannabis research data] even sooner than 15 years,” Argudo told INN when asked if he expects the amount of cannabis research to increase over that period.

Government support for research is coming in Canada

As part of its endeavor on the legalization of cannabis, the Canadian government announced it will be spending C$20 million for cannabis research as indicated in its 2018 budget.

The money will be split with C$10 million going to the Mental Health Commission to “assess the impact of cannabis use on the mental health of Canadians.”

The remaining C$10 million will go to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction for general research purposes. Both sums will be given over five years.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis  for real-time news updates! 

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: High Hampton Holdings is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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