Medical cannabis could take a big step forward this year as Oxford University launches a new cannabis research center. The ultimate goal of the research center is to develop new medical cannabis therapies and treatments.
A Cutting Edge Cannabis Research Center
To get the research center going, Kingsley will invest up to £10 million, or nearly US$12 million. Funding will come from the firm’s new biopharmaceutical branch, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT).
Organizers and researchers hope the project will create new research and innovations in two main ways.
The first will be through research performed by scientists at Oxford. The other will be by creating new opportunities for researchers to share and discuss their work.
The research center plans to host the International Cannabinoid Biomedicine Conference. According to a press release, that event should take place later this year.
Through both of these channels, researchers hope to advance our understanding of the plant’s medicinal properties. Ultimately, they hope that will translate into new medicine.
“Medical cannabis and cannabinoid medicine is already helping patients with some of the most distressing conditions,” said Neil Mahapatra, Managing Partner at Kingsley.
“Through OCT, we hope our strategic partnership with Oxford will support the development of innovative new therapies to help millions of people around the world. The partnership gives the UK a global leadership role in this fast-growing field.”
The State Of Cannabis Research
Cannabis research is in a sticky position. On the one hand, there have been some promising breakthroughs.
Similarly, research has shown that cannabis can effectively treat disorders like epilepsy. In addition to that, patients dealing with chronic pain have also had success using medical cannabis.
There is even growing evidence that the plant can help treat certain types of cancer. As the U.S.’s National Institute on Drug Abuse puts it: “Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.”
Despite all of this, cannabis research faces some challenges. The plant is illegal in most places around the world. And that includes the U.K.
Although the country still outlaws the plant, it has made some changes. The most important is that it now classifies CBD as medicine.
As far as current research understands, cannabinoids like CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. These interactions produce a number of effects.
Some of them include the sensation of being high. But others can include the release of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals. And some of these effects can be harnessed to produce positive health outcomes.
The Final Hit
These positive outcomes are exactly what Oxford’s new cannabis research center aims to learn more about.
“Cannabinoid research has started to produce exciting biological discoveries,” said Ahmed Ahmed, a professor at Oxford. “This research program is a timely opportunity to increase our understanding of role of cannabinoids in health and disease.”
He added: “This field holds great promise for developing novel therapeutic opportunities for cancer patients.”