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Cannabis-in-brief: First ‘victory’ for medical cannabis in Ukraine, Scotland’s bold approach to drugs and pain comes out top in trials

Your weekly debrief of the latest cannabis news.

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We bring you the headlines you might have missed from the week just gone.

The top lines this week: Politicians in Ukraine have given the green light to the first reading of a bill to regulate medical cannabis, while leaders in Scotland have been praised for their ‘bold’ call for decriminalisation of all drug use. 

Elsewhere, a new report explores the progression of cannabinoid medicine over the last decade and the largest survey to date on attitudes towards medicinal cannabis in the UK suggests up to half of the population could be eligible for a prescription. 

Read this week’s headlines below:

Ukraine approves first reading of bill to legalise medical cannabis 

Officials in Ukraine voted to adopt a bill on regulating cannabis for medical, scientific and industrial use, at its first reading in the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] of Ukraine on Thursday 13 July.

A total of 268 MPs voted in favour of the bill at the plenary session, with President Zelenskyy and Health Minister Viktor Liashko having publicly expressed their support.

It will see doctors permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicines for conditions including pain and PTSD. 

Iryna Rachynska from Patients of Ukraine, described it as a ‘victory’ with up to six million patients and veterans expected to potentially benefit.

The bill will now undergo a series of amendments and proposals before a second vote is held. 

Read the full story here 

 

Scotland praised for ‘bold and welcome’ proposals to decriminalise drug use

Scotland’s call for the decriminalisation of all drug use has been welcomed by international experts in policy and public health. 

In a report, published on Friday 7 July, the Scottish Government called for a ‘caring, compassionate and human rights-informed approach to drug policy’ that is informed by public health and harm reduction. 

Author of the report, Scottish Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy, Elena Whitham, called on the UK government to engage with them in the introduction of ‘meaningful drug reform’.

However, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said there are no plans to change the government’s ‘tough stance on drugs’.

Read the full reaction here 

 

Half of UK population may benefit from medicinal cannabis, finds report

A new report suggests that up to 50% of the UK population could be eligible for a medicinal cannabis prescription, but less than 1% of those have been able to access one.

UK cannabis company, Releaf, surveyed 4,210 people for the report, the largest to date to explore attitudes towards medicinal cannabis among the general public.

It revealed that approximately 29.6 million people in the UK could be entitled to a prescription for medicinal cannabis, equating to just over half of the population. 

However, while 83.7% of respondents were aware cannabis could be used to relieve a range of health conditions, more than half (58.5%) were unsure of its legal status.

Read more 

 

Clinical trials show cannabis holds ‘promising potential’ for pain, says report

Pain is the most prevalent symptom treated in clinical trials on cannabinoids with cannabis-based medicines consistently showing ‘promising potential’ in this area, says a new report.

An upcoming report, seen by Cannabis Health ahead of publication, explores the progression of cannabinoid medicine, with a detailed breakdown of clinical trials which have been carried out in the field over the last decade.

Chronic or neuropathic pain, encompassing conditions such as fibromyalgia/myofascial pain, cancer-related pain, is particularly prevalent, as well as pain associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s.

Several ‘emerging areas of research’ have seen ‘high activity’ in clinical trials and have advanced to later stages including some phase 3 trials, in conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression in bipolar disorder, endometriosis and alcohol use disorder. 

Read the full story here 

 

Legalising medicinal cannabis has little impact on recreational use, finds study

The change in law to permit the prescribing of cannabis for medicinal purposes in the UK has had little impact on recreational use, according to a new study. 

The study, published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law, analysed data taken from an online survey investigating drug use and nightlife behaviours in just under 2,500 participants aged between 18-34. 

Researchers explored whether people’s attitudes towards cannabis, and their perception of the risks associated with recreational use, changed after the rescheduling. 

Almost 90% of participants stated that the law change would have no impact on their use of recreational cannabis and no significant changes in risk perception between responses in 2017 compared to 2020 were identified.

Read more 

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Home » News » Cannabis-in-brief: First ‘victory’ for medical cannabis in Ukraine, Scotland’s bold approach to drugs and pain comes out top in trials

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister title and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email sarah@prohibitionpartners.com / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag

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