A large-scale cannabis study in the U.K. will be providing thousands of patients with medical cannabis that is otherwise hard to obtain.
According to Sky News, the only options currently for cannabis patients in the U.K. are to obtain cannabis illegally or to pay for a private prescription. This new study, known as Project Twenty21, will provide cannabis for 20,000 patients to determine how it affects those who suffer from chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder and substance abuse.
Professor David Nutt of the organization Drug Science, the group that is running the study, told Sky News that he believes medical cannabis will play an important role in the future of medicine. “I believe cannabis is going to be the most important innovation in medicine for the rest of my life. Cannabis medicines can be life-saving in disorders like severe childhood epilepsy. There are children who have died in this country in the last couple of years because they haven’t had access to cannabis,” he added. “It’s outrageous; it’s unnecessary, and we want to rectify it.” While the study is going to help many medical patients, it will still have to overcome the skepticism and a generally anti-cannabis attitude.
Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, is looking forward to seeing how the study progresses. “The college welcomes this pilot project which it hopes will make an important contribution towards addressing the paucity of evidence for the use of cannabis-based medicinal products,” she said.
Although there has been much resistance, things in the U.K. are finally changing. The country recently accepted its first shipment of medical cannabis oil, and a family who had their cannabis oil confiscated was returned when the young girl in the family suffered a seizure. The U.K. is slowly but surely starting to accept what cannabis can do for those in need.