A french study using cannabis-based painkillers has gone horribly wrong, leaving four people in the hospital and one individual brain dead.

The Portugese lab Bial produced the painkiller and the trial was being run by UK research company Biotrial. There were a total of 90 people who took this drug while others were given a placebo.

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine  said that, “A serious accident took place during a therapeutic trial near Rennes.”

This drug was only in Phase 1 testing, healthy individuals were given the drug in order to see if it would be safe for consumers to ingest. This phase is where safety issues are usually revealed. Lecturer in clinical pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, Daniel Hawcutt, says “Undertaking Phase 1 studies is highly specialized work.”

According to the research company that conducted this trial, all standard protocols were followed and adhered to.

Biotrial’s press release stated the following, “During (…) a study which was being conducted for a sponsor, serious adverse events related to the test drug have occurred in some subjects. The trial has been conducted in full compliance with the international regulations and Biotrial’s procedures were followed at every stage throughout the trial, in particular the emergency procedures for the transfer of subjects to the hospital. We are in close and regular contact with the Health Authorities and Ministry in France. The priority at Biotrial remains the safety of our subjects.”

It is not yet known what role cannabis played, but it should be noted that in it’s natural form cannabis has never caused any side effects like this. Those who morally oppose cannabis will surely use this as an example of why it shouldn’t be legalized.

  • Réal Guy


    It was some eye-opener article for sure, though i didn’t read exactly the same thing as what’s announced by the headlines:

    Essai thérapeutique à Rennes. Une mort cérébrale, cinq hospitalisés (2016-Jan-16)
    [ Ref.: http :// www . ouest – france . fr ]

    M’well, please correct me if i’m wrong. At 11h somebody declared the molecule WAS cannabis-based, apparently, then we can read at 16h20 the medication under test did NOT contain any cannabis nor even a derivative, yet we learn this unknown compound DOES target the endo-cannabinoïd system after all…

    It’s still unclear to me how the news got twisted between zero cannabis and a cannabis-based painkiller, but it seems to me the bigot journalists of anti-cannabic convergence were just too happy to generate confusion around it!

    The fact remains in nature slow-pace evolution has produced a plant with an excellent reputation in terms of safety while THC, CBD, CBN, terpenes, etc. are mixed and will modulate each other into a synergy effect… So i’ve got to wonder, was it not actually INTERFERENCE from bigot anti-cannabic prohibitionnist laws that our traditional media should have been quick to incriminate 1st?…

    Good day, have fun!!

    • Réal Guy


      The brain-dead patient is reported deceased by the French press (Le Monde, Le Parisien, L’Espress). I conclude it happens this was effectively a case of confusion created by some sensationalist media: we now know the deadly molecule was named “BIA 10-2474” and it was supposed to inhibate the FAAH enzyme to influence a patient’s anandamide level…