The system, in the brain for example, has an effect on memory, control of movement, modulation of pain, development of nerve growth and plasticity, and the adaptability of the nervous system. It has an influence on sleep, appetite, anxiety and social behaviour to name but a few important functions. Outside the brain the endocannabinoid system is also widespread and has effects on the bladder, the bowels, the reproductive system, the heart, the hormonal and metabolic systems and has a role in the control of cancer. In other words, it is one of the most important bodily systems – yet one of the least understood.
We know that there are at least two cannabinoid receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2, but in the next few years we are certain that more receptors will be isolated. There are natural chemicals circulating in the body that attach to these receptors and it is through this chemical attachment that the endocannabinoid system performs its functions. The natural plant cannabinoids are supplementing and assisting the body’s natural circulation of cannabis-like chemicals. Thus, it is not surprising that the plant has many medical benefits.
MD FRCP, HONORARY PROFESSOR OF NEUROLOGICAL REHABILITATION
One clear fact that is emerging is that the whole cannabis plant has medicinal value, rather than just the constituent parts. There are well over a hundred different cannabinoids in the plant, but, we only know a substantial amount about two (THC and CBD), a little about ten, and virtually nothing about the others. Thus, we have a long way to go to understand all the different properties and potential medical benefits of the cannabinoids. Despite this complexity, there are two main chemicals in the cannabis plant that are known to be the leading components that have the most medical benefit: THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive and this gives individuals the cannabis “high”. CBD is not psychoactive and indeed, to an extent, counteracts the “high” of the THC. Thus, the balance between THC and CBD is one of the most crucial factors in understanding what effects will be seen in a particular cannabis variety. We know that both CBD and THC have medicinal properties. One of CBD’s most important effects is as an anticonvulsant. However, to illustrate the complexity of the plant, whilst CBD is a very potent anticonvulsant, many children with epilepsy respond even better when there is a little THC added into the medicine. This is a good example of how the whole plant has a better effect than individual components. This is known as the ‘entourage effect’.
Additionally, cannabis medication plays an important role in the reduction of deaths from opioid poisoning. We now know that when legal cannabis is introduced into a population the number of opioid deaths reduces by at least 25%, and cannabis can offer a safer form of pain-killing medication. So will cannabis be used in future healthcare systems? The answer is definitely yes. Cannabis is now legal for medical purposes in 44 countries around the world and this number is increasing month by month. It is, in our view, the most exciting medical development of the early 21st century (source: The European Cannabis Report T M, Prohibition Partners)
The plants will be grown in a high security facility with climate controlled conditions. Cultivation to GAcP standards with EU GMP drying and processing.
The extraction facility will be constructed alongside the cultivation within the same high security building. Extraction and Processing facility to EU GMP standards.
We intend to produce a cannabis based medicinal product (CBMP) suitable for specialist prescription to UK patients via our clinical and distribution partners.