SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) -- The recent passing of HB130 legalized the study of cannabis oil.
It's opened the door to research on the subject and potentially help combat the opioid epidemic.
A local health research company, Endo-C has launched a study of the use of cannabis oil in pill form to alleviate pain without the effects of THC.
It's a personal cause for former Congressman Chris Cannon. His daughter died from breast cancer.
"She was in a lot of pain."
Cannon still struggles with how his daughter suffered at the end of her life.
"A dad would do anything for a daughter in pain. I'm convinced the pain would have been much easier on her and there is a lot of evidence on cannabidiol having an affect on cancer itself."
Cannabis oil is not legal in Utah but the study of cannabidiol or CBD is. Cannon is the founder of Endo-C, a company researching the effects of CBD.
"I passed the bill. What we're trying to do is get research done so we can have good information for doctors," said Utah Representative Brad Daw.
Endo-C believes their method of hemp extract put into in a pill is much more effective than traditional cannabis oil put under the tongue.
Dr. Steven Warren is the primary investigator for Endo-C.
"So it's immediately absorbed by the stomach and intestines so we're bypassing the way the body deals with oils."
"Instead of 5 percent absorption it's 50 percent, that's much more effective," said Daw.
Warren, "I think anyone could benefit from it right now. We are focusing on sleep, pain and anxiety. But all the patients could benefit with acute injury, chronic pain to inflammation, MS, dementia."
"We're excited to go down this road and give doctors a legitimate alternative that isn't as dangerous as opioids," said Daw.
Opioid abuse is the number one killer in Utah. The Beehive State sees on average six overdose deaths a week. Seven thousand opioid prescriptions are written everyday in Utah, according to the CDC.
The company hopes to expand to other states to include tens of thousands of patients.
There is a fee for the study. This is not a FDA subsidized study but backed by Health and Human Services so there is limited funding.https://www.endo-c.com/studies/
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