The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.
Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year.
Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020.
After outrage from campaigners, the Dutch government agreed to continue supplying the life-saving products until 1 July, 2021 while a more permanent solution was reached.
This waiver period has now been extended until 1 January, 2022.
Health ministers promised to work with officials in the Netherlands to find a “long-term” solution, but according to those at the forefront of the campaign, there is still “some way to go”.
Hannah Deacon’s son Alfie Dingley, who is prescribed Bedrocan products for a rare form of epilepsy, recently celebrated one year seizure-free.
In a letter to Deacon on Thursday 13 May, the DofH said it was working with the Dutch government, Bedrocan and the Transvaal pharmacy to proceed as “quickly as possible” with the UK production of these medicines.
It added that domestic production is “complex” and that manufacturing “unlicensed herbal medicines” comes with “significant challenges”.
Deacon said that the UK production of Bedrocan products was the “only solution”.
While other cannabis-based medicines are available in the UK, experts have warned that there is ‘significant variation’ from one product to the next and switching an epilepsy patient’s treatment could be ‘life-threatening’.
“With the 1 July deadline for Bedrolite supply to cease from the Netherlands looming ever closer, we made it clear we wanted an extension to the agreement to stop the situation becoming dangerous for Alfie and the other patients receiving this vital medicine,” commented Deacon.
“The long term solution of Bedrocan products being made in the UK still has some way to go, but it can be the only solution and we thank everyone who is working very hard to achieve this.
“This is still a long way off from being okay, but for now we have the pressure taken off on the supply issue.”
With limited access to medical cannabis on the NHS, families are still calling for the Government to help fund their children’s prescriptions, which can cost thousands of pounds each month.
Deacon added: “The ever-pressing issue of financial burden on the many families and patients wishing to use medical cannabis in the UK remains and this is a huge issue which needs dealing with.
“There are many ways in which the Government could step in and help access for very vulnerable people and we will continue working as hard as we can to make things better for all.”
Clinical trial will assess if CBD can be used to treat PTSD
A new clinical trial could be a breakthrough moment for the treatment of PTSD
US biotech firm Ananda Scientific has launched clinical trials of a cannabis-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The company has teamed up with New York University Grossman School of Medicine to carry out the eight-week study.
The Phase II double-blind, randomised trial will involve 120 patients in a large scale placebo-controlled experiment which could be a breakthrough moment for the drug.
If successful, the trial will be an important step on the journey to winning regulatory approval Ananda’s Nantheia treatment, a drug incorporating CBD into a liquid application.
PTSD is a common mental health disorder which occurs in people following a traumatic experience and is a particular problem among people who have served in the armed forces.
A 2014 study found as many as 12.9 percent of US soldiers who served in Iraq displayed some symptoms of PTSD.
Recent months have seen warnings health workers on the front line during the Covid-19 crisis could also be experiencing PTSD.
A study in the British Medical Journal compiled earlier this year found 39.5 percent of staff on critical care wards ‘met the threshold for probable clinical significance’ when surveyed for PTSD symptoms.
The study will also evaluate its impact on patients with neurocognitive impairments resulting from a traumatic brain injury.
Sohail R. Zaidi, Ananda’s president, said: “This is an important milestone for Ananda’s clinical development program, and we look forward to continuing to work with the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
“We are impressed by the scientific rigour and professionalism of the NYU team in getting a cutting-edge program in place to test the efficacy of our very promising drug.
“The initiation of patient enrolment in this study reinforces our commitment to our goal of improving health and wellness empowered by cannabinoid science.
“This is also an important step in our efforts to provide patients with PTSD with potentially improved therapeutic options.”
This trial is being led by Esther Blessing, assistant professor of psychiatry and Charles R. Marmar, chair of psychiatry.
Dr Marmar leads NYU’s PTSD research programme and is a leading expert in clinical trials for innovative treatments for PTSD and related conditions.
He said: “We are excited to get this important trial underway. Our collaboration with Ananda Scientific allows us to progress in the development of evidence-based CBD products for this debilitating condition.”
Why are people using CBD?
New survey data reveals why people in the US are consuming CBD – here are some of the key findings.
New survey data reveals how and why people in the US are consuming CBD – here are some of the key findings.
Data intelligence firm New Frontier has released two new reports providing in-depth analysis on CBD consumer groups in the US and the factors shaping their behaviours.
For the survey, respondents were grouped into four cohorts based on their primary reason to consume CBD including; medical, pain management, unwinding and general wellness.
Just over half of those described as ‘unwinding’ consumers are under the age of 35, while most who use it to manage pain are aged 55 or older, according to the findings.
Medical and general wellness consumers are roughly evenly distributed across age groups.
A whopping 92 percent of medical users reported having a ‘positive impression’ of CBD and 71 percent have recommended it to someone they know.
Unsurprisingly, medical users were more likely to consume CBD on a daily basis and spent more on the supplement, with one in four claiming to be spending more than $100 per month on CBD products.
The majority of those surveyed said they used CBD for pain management and were “highly satisfied” with CBD and most likely to believe that it has “valid medical uses”.
But in general this group was “uninformed” about the cannabis market, says the report, and only one in five weren’t interested in learning more.
This group was younger than the average and nearly three-quarters said they had discussed CBD with friends, while more than 90 percent have friends or family who also use it.
By contrast, general wellness consumers were among the least likely to have had a conversation about CBD (11 percent) and nearly 1 in 5 (17 percent) did not know any friends or family who consume it.
Oils and tinctures were the most popular consumption method, followed by topicals, edibles and drinks and vaping, with CBD in capsule and pill form the least common.
Concluding key takeaways from the survey, the authors write: “The deepening fragmentation of the CBD consumer market will continue as consumers become more familiar with the products, and more targeted in the ways by which they integrate CBD into their lives.
“While medical consumers are most likely to be regimented in their use, more likely to be brand-loyal, and most focused on dosing, other consumers groups are far less entrenched in their product preferences or consumption habits.”
While 30 percent of surveyed consumers expected their CBD usage to increase in the next six months, just under half (49 percent) said they did not have a preferred brand.
New Frontier Data founder and executive chair, Giadha A DeCarcer, noted: “As the market is flooded with more product choices, CBD brands and retailers would be well-served to delineate and target their consumers as they would in any other mainstream product category.”
See the full report at New Frontier Data
Friends and CBD founders donate profits to mental health charity
10 percent of the brand’s profits will go to the Mental Health Foundation this month
Two friends who co-founded a CBD brand after experiencing anxiety, are donating a percentage of the company’s profits to a mental health charity this month.
Best friends and CBD co-founders, Laura Walton and Catherine Meardon know the importance of looking after your mental health.
Both of them have experienced anxiety either personally, or through a loved one.
This June, the pair who co-founded CBD brand Moi+Me, are donating 10 percent of their profits to the Mental Health Foundation to help raise awareness.
The charity provides support for those experiencing mental health issues, as well as campaigning to raise awareness and reduce stigma.
The friends and former colleagues founded Moi+Me after Laura’s struggles with anxiety after losing her mum.
She says discovering CBD, along with other tools and being able to be open about her experience helped her find her “way out”.
As a friend, Catherine has found it difficult to know what to say and together they wanted to build a brand that could provide tools and support, as well as taking the confusion out of CBD.
“Both of us have been touched personally by anxiety, either through our own suffering or that of those we love,” said Laura.
“I used CBD along with other tools during her mental health journey and found them to be a great support, but I didn’t want to only create a brand or product, we want to help support as much as we can by encouraging people to take extra care of themselves and have self-love.”
She added: “It is our mission to raise further awareness of mental health, we are fully aware it can still be hard to be open about mental health in fear of being judged so by supporting this charity who in turn helps others also suffering feels a perfect fit for our brand.”
The concept for Moi + Me came from the idea that our busy lifestyles leave us feeling pulled in different directions with little time for reflection and self-care.
The range includes CBD balm, temple roller, peppermint oil mist and massage candle to encourage customers to take time for themselves.
Catherine added: “We both understand the importance of getting your life balance right. If you don’t allow time in your life for reflection and relaxation, things can very quickly feel on top of you.
“Our busy lifestyles can leave us feeling like you have one soul and two minds. One ‘Moi’ side of us is thriving externally while the other ‘Me’ side feels tired, worn out and has too much on.
“We’ve designed our high-quality, pure CBD product range to help bring moments of calm into your daily routine through a combination of stimulating flavours and scents.”
Access mental health information and support via the Mental Health Foundation
Introducing our new B2B title
- Weekend digest: Six big stories from the cannabis world you might have missed
- New tracking app launches for UK medical cannabis patients
- Isle of Man launches medical cannabis export sector
- The CBD brand helping black women love their natural hair
- “I could be a better father with cannabis as my medicine”
- Washington offers free cannabis to boost Covid-19 vaccine uptake
News11 months ago
NHS lines up cannabis medicine manufacturing
News7 months ago
Community extends support to cannabis icon Rick Simpson
Case Studies1 year ago
CBD oil and fibromyalgia – a case study
News9 months ago
Cancer survivor claims cannabis oil helped her beat brain tumour
Feature12 months ago
Medical cannabis could help long-term effects of COVID-19, says David Nutt
Insight8 months ago
I’ve gone from a wheelchair to walking thanks to cannabis
Industry5 months ago
“Game changer” for the sector: First cannabis company expected to list on LSE next month
News9 months ago
“I’m not a bad person” – chronically ill woman convicted of growing medical cannabis