Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) is no stranger to testing for positive health effects derived from medicinal cannabis products.

In its latest step, the company has obtained approval to test for the viability of medical marijuana in the treatment of opioid addictions for chronic pain sufferers.

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It follows other trials to treat various ailments including autism, cancer, anxiety in pets and eczema.

To run the trial, Zelda will team up with St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, with testing scheduled to begin immediately. The company said final results would be obtained before the end of the year.

Shares in the company are up almost 5 per cent to 4.4c in morning trade.

On the research trail

For Phase 1 of the trial, Zelda will provide treatment for nine patients currently being prescribed opiod treatments for chronic pain (non cancer-related).

The test patients will be provided with whole plant marijuana extract in both single and repeat doses. Zelda’s first goal is to confirm safety and tolerance levels, before assessing any changes in pain, mood and sleep patterns.

The results will underpin a proposed round of phase II testing, which will test the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis when used as part of a tapered opioid reduction program.

Zelda managing director Dr Richard Hopkins said the company would apply a full plant extract “containing THC and CBD” in phase 1 of the trial.

“If successful, the outcome of these trials will likely have immediate impact in major global markets where opioid overuse and addiction is a major problem,” Hopkins said.

In other ASX cannabis news today:

Medical tech company Lifespot Health (ASX:LSH) has signed a heads of agreement with US-based IONIC, which runs a portfolio of cannabis brands in the US market.

As part of the deal, IONIC will get exclusive rights to distribute Lifespot’s Bluetooth-enabled vaporiser — which can be used for recreational cannabis — in the US for a 12-month period. Shares in LSH rose 11.25 per cent to 8.9c on the news.

And shares in eSense (ASX:ESE) shot higher by almost 30 per cent to 2.2c after the company announced it had received an order to supply another 10,000 30ml bottles of electronic cigarette liquid (used in the manufacture of vaping products) by US company VaporSpec.