Research is one of the biggest things that stands between medical marijuana and patients – governments both here in the United States and abroad are all uncertain about allowing cannabis as a medicine, almost always citing their reason for being weary as lack of research.
In recent years, more and more scientists and researchers have been doing what studies they are able – but all these small-scale studies don’t seem to carry enough weight individually (and somehow collaboratively) to make a difference to those who make the laws.
In an effort to determine just what kind of potential cannabis has as medicine, Oxford University has recently announced a medical marijuana study that is expected to cost £10,000. The study will be funded by Kingsley Capital Partners, through their new investment firm called Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.
Together, with the funding provided by Kingsley Capital Partners and the expert researchers at Oxford, they are hoping to find ways to develop new cannabinoid based treatments for cancer, inflammatory diseases and pain.
“The research programme will develop results into innovative therapies designed to help improve the quality of life of millions of patients,” said the university.
This study comes after many recent calls for the U.K. to allow medical marijuana for patients with dozens of conditions who would definitely benefit from it. Currently, the only cannabis based medication available in the U.K. is an oral spray called Sativex and it is only available to patients with multiple sclerosis to help reduce muscle spasms.
Sativex is produced by G.W. Pharmaceuticals, who also make Epidiolex (which is under FDA review in the states). Even if both of the company’s medications were approved in the U.K., it still wouldn’t be the kind of access to medical cannabis that activists and patients are calling for.
“We know that’s particularly important for many neurological disorders,” Dr. Cader said. “It’s really an area of huge untapped potential.”
According to Dr. Cader, who is an associate professor in clinical neurosciences, the study is going to focus on the endocannabinoid system and learning how to best utilize its response to different cannabinoids. He also mentioned that there are at least “50 – maybe 80” cannabinoids, and we’ve only managed to utilize two so far – THC and CBD – and have no idea what any of the others are capable of.
So along with finding out how to best use the cannabinoids we already know about by learning how they react to the endocannabinoid system in people with certain conditions, they will also be looking for any unlocked potential that the cannabis plant may have.