Cannabis to be given to patients to test impact on seven conditionsRuth Mabhiza
Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK a year ago, but only a handful of patients have had access to the drug on the NHS.
Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK last year
Thousands of patients are to be given cannabis in the first large-scale study of the drug’s clinical effect.
Medical cannabis, which is grown to a precise grade of active ingredient, was legalised in the UK a year ago.
But only a handful of patients have since been prescribed the drug on the NHS because of what medical authorities have called a “paucity of evidence” that it works and is safe.
Professor David Nutt says cannabis medicines can be life-saving in disorders like childhood epilepsy
The only option for patients is to either source cannabis illegally, and risk prosecution, or pay for a private prescription of the drug
The new study, called Project Twenty21, will subsidise cannabis for 20,000 patients to test its impact on seven conditions: chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder and substance abuse.
Professor David Nutt of the organisation Drug Science, which is running the study, told Sky News: “I believe cannabis is going to be the most important innovation in medicine for the rest of my life.
Cannabis to be given to patients to test impact on seven conditions.