Last month, Drug Sciences announced plans to carry out extensive Medical Cannabis trials in the UK. This week, the first premium and Full Spectrum CBD company, Cannuba announced it is supporting the pilot study.
Drug Science, a UK independent science-led drugs charity, launched Project TWENTY21 earlier this month. Groups involved in the study are aiming to enrol 20,000 patients by the end of 2021. Project TWENTY21 aims to assess medical Cannabis for efficacy, safety, quality-adjusted life year (QALYs), and patient reported outcome. The national pilot will be the first of it’s kind in the UK.
The pilot will aim to asses Cannabis as an alternative treatment in a number of patient demographics. The main focus will be on Chronic pain; PTSD; Multiple Sclerosis; and Tourette’s Synrdome.
Rob James, CEO of Cannuba Ltd., said:
“We are very excited to be working with Drug Science on of this potentially policy changing project. The study will be a great opportunity to collate scientific, tangible statistics for medical cannabis.
“It’s exciting to be at the forefront of meaningful scientific research taking place in the UK.”
Why is the study needed?
Cannabis, and the cannabinoids found within it, have shot back to relevance in the medical community in recent years. Theories around the positive effects of Cannabis has been the leading factor behind the success of the global CBD industry.
Despite the widespread acclaim of the plant, there have been few clinical medical Cannabis trials to provide reliable evidence. However, many countries have already taken the step to legalise both medicinal, and recreational Cannabis. A recent study claimed that 97% of Americans live in a state where medical Cannabis is available to some degree.
In comparison, the United Kingdom has been lagging behind. Despite recent polls indicating that up to 75% of the population support the use of medical Cannabis, and 50% support recreational use, the government maintains the position that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Although the government officially legalised the prescription of medical Cannabis, towards the end of last year, prescriptions have remained low.
Drug Science Chair, Prof. David Nutt, said:
“Despite the UK making cannabis a medicine in November 2018 there have as yet been only a handful of prescriptions on the NHS. In order to rectify this impasse Drug Science has joined forces with the United Patients Alliance, leading academics and several medical cannabis producers to open up a treatment network for up to 20,000 patients.”
Drug Science’s official stance on Cannabis is that “the benefit / risk profile of medical cannabis in certain disorders, and as a treatment for certain conditions, is favourable”.
Aims of the study
The pilot aims to legitimise current claims that Cannabis can treat disorders, from Chronic pain to PTSD. In order to monitor the effects of medical Cannabis on these disorders, patients across the UK will be prescribed medical grade Cannabis for the duration of the study.
United Patient Alliance Director and Founder, Clarke French said:
“Patients in the United Kingdom deserve evidence-based policy and access to cannabis medicines on the NHS. Project Twenty21 will provide a growing body of evidence, to enable cannabis medicines to be accessed by the patients who desperately need it.”
In addition, the pilot also aims to observe Cannabis as a harm reduction strategy in prison populations, and in Cannabis and substance use disorders.