Washington State University and the Puyallup Tribe Team Up to Study Cannabis

Washington State University (WSU) and Puyallup Tribe of Native Americans collaborated to study the effectiveness of medical cannabis in regards to pain relief, opioid use reduction and patient’s overall mental and physical well-being. The evaluation will be conducted at the Tribe’s Qwibil Natural Healing and Research Center.

The WSU research team will be led by Michael Mcdonell, the director of Behavioral Health Innovations, and Elson S. Floyd, an associate professor of community health at the university. They will make use of the patient registry used at the Qwibil Clinic to build up a cannabis-focused information system.

According to the WSU website, McDonell has stated that, “We are excited to partner with the Puyallup Tribe on medical cannabis research. This partnership allows us to use our expertise in medicinal cannabis, Native health, and screening and treating addiction and mental health to develop a cannabis-focused learning health system the Qwibil Natural Healing and Research Center can use to track patient outcomes.”

Both patients and clinicians will be able to use the protected information system for online as well as iPad data entry. The patients will then be prompted to respond to a survey that will assemble information in relation to their cannabis consumption. The research team will use the gathered data for the study and team-up with the Puyallup Tribe to update clinical decision-making and quality assurance.

“Partnering with the Puyallup Tribe provides us with the unique opportunity to gather real-world data on medical cannabis use in patients that we may not be able to gather otherwise. Our ability to analyze data from patients’ use will provide us with a framework to understand how patients can benefit from cannabis use,” McDonell said in the WSU press release.

“From time immemorial, the Puyallup have practiced traditional healing,” stated the chairman of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Bill Sterud. “This partnership with WSU and Qwibil will help us research the safety and efficacy of cannabis as medicine for our patients’ use.”

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