EUROPE’S largest ever medical cannabis trial is still recruiting patients as it looks to gather further evidence to support its wider adoption.
Known as Project 21, the two-year trial was launched by Britain’s former Drugs Czar Prof David Nutt. He is seeking to recruit 20,000 patients.
Project 21’s partners include the United Patients Alliance and The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), with the aim of creating the largest European medical cannabis body of evidence.
It is being backed by three medical cannabis businesses – Italian company Althea and UK, Firms Alta-Flora and Canuba – who will supply subsidised cannabis medicine.
The trial will focus on a number of conditions including; chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder or who have had a history of substance misuse.
Patients Are Forced to Break Law
Prof Nutt stated that up until 1971 cannabis had been used as a medicine in the UK for over a century before ‘it was banned for political reasons’
“Since then hundreds of thousands of patients have been forced to break the law to get a treatment that most find preferable to their previous prescription medicines,” he said.
He said Project 21 will provide a ‘solid clinical database from which experience of and confidence in, medical cannabis prescribing will develop, providing a foundation for other medical prescribers to build on’.
Professor Wendy Burn, the RCP president said it hopes the trial will ‘address the paucity of evidence’ for the use of cannabis-based medicine.
Dr Arun Bhaskar, President of the British Pain Society said some 28m people in the UK will at some stage, suffer from chronic pain.
“Data from several countries reveal that medical cannabis have benefited several thousands of patients,”he added.
Prof Nutt, dismissed by the UK Government for saying alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous to health than ecstasy, LSD and cannabis, went on to form Drugs Science – an independent, science-led drugs charity.
For information on how to participate in the trial visit: https://drugscience.org.uk/project-twenty21/