RTE article 2:40 The Government’s first-ever Cannabis for the Brain initiative has been announced.
Dr Brian MacKinnon, the new chief executive of the Medical Research Council, will launch the Cannabis for Brain initiative in Manchester on Tuesday morning.
It will give scientists the chance to test the medicinal properties of Cannabis for a range of disorders and diseases, and will involve trials with a number of pharmaceutical companies.
The UK has the highest cannabis consumption in the world.
The initiative is expected to see up to 1,500 patients tested in a clinical trial, but it will be up to the patients themselves to decide if they are willing to take part.
Dr MacKennons will outline his plans in a press conference, which will take place at 7am.
The launch comes as the Government is preparing for its annual Autumn Statement on Wednesday, when it is expected that cannabis use will rise by up to two per cent in England and Wales.
A number of cannabis research organisations have previously announced their plans to launch clinical trials of cannabis for the treatment of conditions such as Crohn’s disease, PTSD and Parkinson’s disease.
The MRC announced a similar initiative in 2014.
Dr Ian Gaffney, the co-director of the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NICE), which is currently overseeing the clinical trials, said that the MRC’s decision to make this announcement is a step forward.
“We know the benefits of cannabis to the individual, but also to society,” Dr Gaffneys said.
“It’s an issue that we’ve been really keen to take up, but we’ve had some difficult challenges with funding and how the system is set up.”
This is a very positive step for the country.
“Dr Mackennons’ announcement comes as another of the Government’s drugs plans is set to be announced, following the launch of the Department of Health’s new drug policy.
It is believed that the new drug policies will include a new approach to cannabis, and that it will allow the Government to control the availability of the drug in the UK.
This will allow for a more controlled supply, and therefore a higher level of regulation of the market.
Dr Gaffans announcement comes ahead of the first trial to test out the effects of cannabis on cancer, which is expected in 2018.
The trial will involve patients with colorectal cancer and a variety of other conditions, and the researchers will be looking at whether cannabis can help the patients cope with the pain, anxiety and depression that can be experienced when their cancers grow.”
He said the drug companies that are working on cannabis research are already working with MRC to ensure that the trials go ahead.””
We’re looking at some of the things that cannabis can do to help these patients.”
He said the drug companies that are working on cannabis research are already working with MRC to ensure that the trials go ahead.
“I think it’s fantastic news for the cannabis industry, and I hope that it’s a great sign for the future,” Dr McKennasaid.
“Cannabis has a lot of potential for many medical uses, so it’s great to see it being taken seriously by the Government and to see this trial going ahead.”