Cancer patients in Australia are being recruited for the world’s first medicinal cannabis trial for the prevention of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

Canadian medicinal cannabis licensed producer Tilray will supply the oral, pharmaceutical-grade capsules containing consistent amounts of THC and CBD to help researchers in New South Wales better understand of how cannabis can provide relief to chemotherapy patients who do not respond to anti-nausea medication.

The clinical trial will involve 80 patients in the first stage and could expand to another 250 patients across the state.

Associate Professor Peter Grimison from Chris O’Brien Lifehouse will lead the trial in association with The University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and other NSW cancer centres.

“We have come a long way with conventional anti-nausea medication, but one-third of patients continue to suffer during and after chemotherapy, said Grimison. “The role of cannabis medicines in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is still unclear, and this study aims to provide a definitive answer to this question,” he said.

Many people who undergo chemotherapy respond well to standard therapies to prevent a nausea and vomiting that often accompanies cancer treatment. However, roughly one third do not respond well to existing treatment methods. The trial will measure the participants’ symptoms, their relief from symptoms and any side effects.