CANNABIS THERAPY

Used as a medicine for millennia, cannabis was greatly stigmatised through racist propaganda and the ‘War on drugs’ in the 20th century. The result of which has been a lasting stigma on how we think about cannabis today. The last few years have seen a vast body of evidence produced through scientific research, demonstrating the benefits of cannabis for treating a wide range of conditions and symptoms; including:

 

  • Chronic & neuropathic pain

  • Psychiatric conditions (such as anxiety, depression and PTSD)

  • Sleep problems and insomnia

  • Loss of appetite

The use of cannabis by those suffering with PTSD has been shown to reduce symptoms [1-3] and millions of dollars have been awarded to research institutions to conduct more in depth and through research.

Cannabis schemes for American Veterans have been operating for many years with many veterans reporting positive outcomes in the management of their conditions and symptoms ().

One of the most promising applications for cannabis use in veterans is in reducing the harms and dangers from use of other illicit and prescribed drugs [4].

How does cannabis work?

 

The cannabis plant contains a range of cannabinoids; most notably Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors mostly found in the brain. The reason these receptors exist is that they form part of a regulatory system in the body called the endocannabinoid system, for which the body makes its own chemicals with very similar structure to those found in the cannabis plant.

 

Consuming cannabis activates this regulatory system and dampens the brain's reaction in a way that can be beneficial if for instance parts of the brain are being hyper-active. The balance of cannabinoids in cannabis alters the overall effect of consumed cannabis. Cannabis with high CBD have been shown to be much more effective for reducing anxiety. Those who consume cannabis report feelings of relaxation, reduced hypervigilance and anxiety, improved sleep, and improved feelings of well-being.

Is cannabis safe?

 

There has never been a known case of anybody overdosing on cannabis. It is generally very well tolerated by people using medicinal cannabis and adverse side effects to cognitive performance are not seen in medicinal users as they are in recreational use.

Like many other substances cannabis can be an addictive substance and should be used responsibly. In comparison to many other substances used to treat PTSD and other veterans related conditions it may be a much safer alternative, particularly used in a short-term program.

Current status in the UK

 

Cannabis has been legal for medical purposes in the UK since November 2018. Despite the law change, insufficient prescribing guidelines for doctors mean that we have hardly seen any prescriptions issued through the NHS, forcing patients to seek out treatment via the private sector.

 

Currently, you can access medical cannabis (with 6,000+ prescriptions to date) at a range of specialist private clinics in the UK. Patients must pay for their own consultation and prescription costs, which are reducing as competition in the sector increases. Medical cannabis prescription costs are now on par with the illicit cannabis market. 

Access treatment

 

Heroic Hearts Project UK supports Project Twenty21, the medical cannabis study run by the UK’s leading charity for evidence-based drug policy, Drug Science

How does cannabis work?

 

The cannabis plant contains a range of cannabinoids; most notably Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors mostly found in the brain. The reason these receptors exist is that they form part of a regulatory system in the body called the endocannabinoid system, for which the body makes its own chemicals with very similar structure to those found in the cannabis plant.

 

Consuming cannabis activates this regulatory system and dampens the brain's reaction in a way that can be beneficial if for instance parts of the brain are being hyper-active. The balance of cannabinoids in cannabis alters the overall effect of consumed cannabis. Cannabis with high CBD have been shown to be much more effective for reducing anxiety. Those who consume cannabis report feelings of relaxation, reduced hypervigilance and anxiety, improved sleep, and improved feelings of well-being.

Is cannabis safe?

 

There has never been a known case of anybody overdosing on cannabis. It is generally very well tolerated by people using medicinal cannabis and adverse side effects to cognitive performance are not seen in medicinal users as they are in recreational use.

Like many other substances cannabis can be an addictive substance and should be used responsibly. In comparison to many other substances used to treat PTSD and other veterans related conditions it may be a much safer alternative, particularly used in a short-term program.

Current status in the UK

 

Cannabis has been legal for medical purposes in the UK since November 2018. Despite the law change, insufficient prescribing guidelines for doctors mean that we have hardly seen any prescriptions issued through the NHS, forcing patients to seek out treatment via the private sector.

 

Currently, you can access medical cannabis (with 6,000+ prescriptions to date) at a range of specialist private clinics in the UK. Patients must pay for their own consultation and prescription costs, which are reducing as competition in the sector increases. Medical cannabis prescription costs are now on par with the illicit cannabis market. 

Access treatment

 

Heroic Hearts Project UK supports Project Twenty21, the medical cannabis study run by the UK’s leading charity for evidence-based drug policy, Drug Science

What is Project Twenty21?

- UK’s biggest national medical cannabis real-world registry.

- Multi-stakeholder partnership with academia, industry, clinicians and patients.

- Gathering the largest body of evidence for the effectiveness and tolerability of medical cannabis.

- Publishing data regardless of whether favourable or not.

- Improving access to treatment for thousands of patients nationwide.

 

Why access medical cannabis through Project Twenty21?

 

Wider societal impact - The data collected through the study provides us with evidence about the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicines, so moving us closer to the ultimate goal of better access to medical cannabis through the NHS.

Price - Prescription costs are set at an affordable price, comparable with the illicit market.

Quality products - The products available to patients are of the highest quality, all EU GMP compliant and manufactured by selected licensed producers. Product information leaflets, detailing cannabinoid content and terpene profiles, are available to patients for their prescribed medicine. 

Trusted clinics - All clinics on the study’s Clinic Directory are CQC-registered and carefully monitored by the Drug Science team.