How do many, if not most, cannabis studies, including some of the promising ones, end? With something along the lines of “more research is needed before we can have a sufficient body of evidence.” Well, this is precisely the need that Project Twenty21 is striving to answer.
Launched by drugs advisory committee Drug Science on November 7, 2019, the project is meant to be “Europe’s first and biggest national medical cannabis registry” and should include 20,000 patients by the end of 2021. That registry should be extensive and deep enough to provide irrefutable proof of “the effectiveness and tolerability of medical cannabis,” thus convincing policymakers that “medical cannabis should be as widely available, and affordable, as other approved medicines…”
But Project Twenty21 takes into account the prescribers’ role in the whole situation rather than just the strictly regulatory one, aiming to be the source for the peace of mind they need to confidently provide medical cannabis to their patients.
“We hope that the findings will make a powerful case for NHS [National Health Service] funding, by proving the favourable risk/benefit ratio of medical cannabis in seven key identified conditions,” which are anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance-use disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome.
This project will utilize a network of clinics across the United Kingdom which will follow the medical cannabis treatment best practices set by “recognised global leaders in medical cannabis, including Canada and Australia.” Drug Science plans to track the patients’ medical history and outcome measures every two months for two years.
If Project Twenty21 goes according to plan, it might be the difference between promising results that can serve as the basis for further research and the solid proof of cannabis’ multiple medical benefits.
Image Credits: Drug Science