The first large scale study in European history regarding cannabis is set to take place, and it could be huge with regards to waking health professionals up to the benefits of cannabis for various health conditions. The project is called TWENTY21, and the lead researcher in charge of the study will be David Nutt, a well known neuropsychopharmacologist from the University of Bristol.
The study will examine cannabis’ effects on chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder, and substance abuse. It will most likely add to the already robust evidence showing that cannabis can be an effective treatment for such disorders and ailments.
It’s ironic media reports found that many hospitals in the UK did not recommend medical cannabis because of the “risk of serious side effects.” That’s ironic because many prescription drugs actually do and have had some very serious side effects, far greater than cannabis.
Project TWENTY21 will also be funding medical treatment for 20,000 within the next couple of years, and they have also announced that it will be doing work in the fields of prison population harm reduction and the use of cannabis as a solution to drug addiction.
Project TWENTY21 will enrol 20,000 patients by the end of 2021, creating the largest body of evidence for the effectiveness and tolerability of medical cannabis – with an aim to demonstrate to policymakers that medical cannabis should be as widely available, and affordable, as other approved medicines for patients who would benefit from them.
It will also support prescribers across the country to feel confident in providing medical cannabis to patients. We hope that the findings will make a powerful case for NHS funding, by proving the favourable risk/benefit ratio of medical cannabis in seven key identified conditions. In the first instance, this real-world registry will be targeting the following patients and situations, specifically focusing on those in which alternative treatment has failed:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Substance Use Disorder (as a harm reduction strategy)
- Tourette’s Syndrome
Treatment will be provided at a network of clinics across the UK which utilise best-practice in medical cannabis treatment from recognised global leaders in medical cannabis, including Canada and Australia.