As the cannabis movement moves forward, more and more major academic institutions are getting involved in its research. The latest is Oxford University, who have just launched a major project with the aim of developing new treatments for pain, cancer, neurological disorders, and inflammatory diseases.

The oldest university in England is teaming up with Kingsley Capital Partners, who will be funding the research with up to £10 million Pounds, or €11,5 million, as a start-up investment. Kingsley Capital Partners is a private equity business based in London. It will be conducting and managing the funding through a new-born cannabis company, named Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies. With its money, eight scientists and their teams at the Oxford University will be able to investigate different the medical applications of cannabis. This is the first and unique case in Europe of an investment company entering the legal cannabis market. Medical cannabis is already helping millions of patients with the most distressing conditions.

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TIME TO START SERIOUS RESEARCH

This is going to be some serious scientific research from a big hitter of the academic word - their findings are sure to have a huge impact. This new research programme at Oxford University will benefit from cross-competence teams with lab and clinical expertise in immunology, neuroscience and cancer treatment. Scientists will be focusing particularly on pain treatment, also because there is already a huge body of evidence on the efficacy of THC and CBD in this clinical field. The research will then investigate how the effect on the nervous system of cannabinoid from the plant compares with that of body’s self-produced endocannabinoids. Scientists at Oxford also believe cannabis holds great promise for developing novel therapies for cancer patients, so this will be another area of interest.

Very few medicines based on natural cannabinoids have yet been developed on rigorous scientific methodologies. In the UK, cannabidiol (CBD) has recently been classified as a medicine, yet neither the Conservative nor Labour party are seriously committed to legalising cannabis for medical use. Fortunately, money doesn’t always follow politicians. This privately-funded research in Oxford will try to identify new therapies through a deeper understanding of cannabinoids’ molecular, cellular and systemic activity.

This new research programme has also received backing from the actor Patrick Stewart, star of the X-Men and Star Trek movies, who uses cannabis derivatives to treat the symptoms of his ortho-arthritis. “This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has, for too long, been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance,” Stewart said. The actor uses a cannabis ointment to bring back mobility to his hands, and a chewy ganja bar to improve his sleep at night.

 

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