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The researchers will also test for harmful contaminants that can be introduced during the cultivation process, including fungi-produced toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides. The study is only open to current residents of the ACT.

“Growers who are achieving profound therapeutic effects with cannabis are naturally curious about what their cannabis contains. The CAN-ACT study was inspired by an ACT resident who was growing cannabis to help treat his wife’s advanced cancer,” said lead researcher Professor Iain McGregor, Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.

‘Patrick’, a 70-year-old Canberra resident whose late wife had a terminal brain tumour and used home-grown cannabis during her final 18 months, said it gave her a quality of life that could not be obtained using pharmaceuticals.

“The standard ‘end of life’ drug package made my wife comatose. This never happened with cannabis,” said Patrick, a retired New Zealander.

“We had no prior cannabis experience, we had to work out what dosage to take and how often,” he added. “The biggest difficulties arose when we could not figure out if a symptom was the result of the tumour, the pharmaceuticals, or the cannabis. This is where I believe ‘user testing’ can improve our knowledge.”

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