Oxford, Mar 17: The University of Oxford is to head a multimillion-pound research program investigating the effects of medical marijuana on acute and chronic conditions.
It is reported to partner up with a private equity company Kingsley Capital Partners, which will provide up to £10 million (US$12.36 million) as a start-off investment to look into the use of medical cannabis.
The partnership aims to devise new treatments for people affected by cancer, chronic pain and inflammatory diseases.
“Cannabinoid research has started to produce exciting biological discoveries and this research program is a timely opportunity to increase our understanding of the role of cannabinoids in health and disease,” Ahmed Ahmed, professor of gynaecological oncology at Oxford, said in a statement.
‘X-Men’ and ‘Star Trek’ actor Patrick Stewart told sources that, “two years ago, in Los Angeles I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands.
“As a result of this experience, I enthusiastically support the Oxford University Cannabis Research Plan,” he said. “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.”
The political arena is sharply split over this decision of the premier educational institute of UK. The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party both back the legalisation of medical marijuana, but Labour and the Tories have not given their official support.
Although cannabis is proven to alleviate pain for people affected by chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, it is also linked to mental health problems.
Dr Zameel Cader, another member of the research team, pointed out that at no stage will the research be aimed at providing cannabis for smoking, which is normally associated with “unwanted effects.”
The research will instead concentrate on isolating the cannabinoids, compounds that are found not only in the plant but also in the human body, which give positive effects.