Three research projects to increase our knowledge of medicinal cannabis

01 November 2018

Three projects have just been granted funds to give us more knowledge about the efficacy of medicinal cannabis. A total of DKK 5 million have been distributed of the funds that were appropriated by the negotiating parliamentary parties under the special funds agreement 2018-2021 to accumulate scientific knowledge of medicinal cannabis.

The first allocation of funds for the accumulation of scientific knowledge was distributed in April. This means that two scientific projects financed by the parliamentary parties negotiating the special funds are already running to accumulate knowledge and experience on the use of medicinal cannabis.  An additional three projects have now also been allocated funds.

The funds in the second allocation have been allocated to accumulate experience with cannabis products comprised by the pilot programme. In the second allocation of funds, it was also emphasised that the funds were intended for research projects that used registry data and patient interviews, which meant that doctors and researchers with other educational backgrounds, such as statisticians and sociologists, could apply as well.

The Danish Medicines Agency received a total of 12 applications in the second allocation of funds, five projects were considered eligible for funding, and three projects have been granted funds.

The three projects that have been granted funds for accumulation of scientific knowledge of medicinal cannabis under the second allocation are:


Carsten Hjorthøj, Senior Researcher at Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, et al.

The project is a registry study intended to elucidate the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for different indications and to uncover adverse reactions. The studies are intended to find out if it is possible to measure the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for the indication it is prescribed for.

The project is granted DKK 1,688,206.

Gitte Handberg, Senior Head Physician at Pain Centre South, Odense University Hospital and Chair of the Danish Pain Society, et al. 

The project is a case-control study intended to gather data from patient records on the efficacy of medicinal cannabis treatment on pain, sleep, etc. The purpose of the project is to follow a group of unselected patients at Pain Centre South at Odense University Hospital and record their perceived experience of efficacy in their treatment with medicinal cannabis.

The project is granted DKK 900,000.

Jens Søndergaard, Head of Research Unit, Professor, PhD in Clinical Pharmacology, General Practitioner at the University of Southern Denmark

The purpose of the project is to evaluate patients’ treatment, use and perceived experience of the efficacy of medicinal cannabis. The analysis is based on experience with the use of medicinal cannabis among patients and surveying of the use and treatment course in the same group of patients through interviews and registry-based extracts.

The project is granted DKK 2,411,794. 

About the selection

The scientific evaluation of the applicants’ projects was made by the Innovation Fund Denmark.

The projects that the Innovation Fund Denmark found eligible for funding advanced to the next stage where a monitoring group established by the Danish Medicines Agency then prioritised between the research projects considered eligible for funding.

The monitoring group comprised medical representatives and representatives from patient organisations with knowledge of matters pertaining to the use of medicinal cannabis.

The monitoring group recommended that three applicants be granted funds, which was endorsed by the Danish Medicines Agency. The final decision to grant the special funds to the recommended projects was then made by the Ministry of Health.