A new British study has found that cannabis extracts appear to dramatically extend the life of patients suffering from Glioma. Glioma, also known as Glioblastoma multiforme is a kind of brain cancer with high mortality rates. Most patients do not survive much more than a year after diagnosis and being treated with conventional medications. 28% survive a year after diagnosis. 4% survive four years after identification.
The study was funded by GW Pharmaceuticals, the best-known cannabis pharmaceutical company in Europe and located in the UK. Patients treated with extracts containing CBD and or THC plus cancer medication extended survival rates by almost another year.
Why This is Good News For Many Conditions
There is a focus on combining cannabinoids with other medications, particularly in cancer research and particularly in Europe right now. The results also, overwhelmingly, and over a number of decades at this point, show one thing very clearly.
Cannabis is good for cancer patients, particularly when combined with other therapies. It helps conquer pain and nausea. It also shrinks tumours.
However, this is not the only good news. Beyond cancer, one of the biggest reasons cannabis has remained illegal is because pharma companies understand very well that cannabis has healing properties. As such it has up until now, been seen as a competitor to manufactured products that can be patented. Now, there is real evidence that combining cannabinoids with other medications may make both works better. Instead of competition, in other words, cannabis could easily come to be a critical adjunct drug to existing medication.
It is also likely to be a must-have drug for long-term survivors of many chronic conditions.
That is the great long-term news.
Why This Also Means More Delay
The places research into this kind of drug combination therapy seems to be happening is Europe and Israel with Australia and Canada expected to continue contributing to an expanding knowledge base. This means that formal trials will be underway for some time. That is good news. The delays in formal, country-sponsored cannabis research thanks to prohibition are coming to an end – at least outside of the United States.
However trials also take time, and they will continue to be hard to get into. This means that fewer patients who need the drug will have ready access.
That said, while perhaps a light grey cloud, this news is far from bad. It just means that people who need the drug will continue to face challenges in obtaining it that should be in the rear view mirror by now.
How Do I Find Out About Trials?
The internet is a great place to find out what trials are going on in your area. In the United States, this is difficult right now. Why? The few sponsored trials that are underway are not in any federal government database. You have to look locally, within state-sponsored efforts.
If you are outside the United States, there are different ways to find medical cannabis patient networks in every country where reform is a topic. In Europe, in particular, there are organized political parties who have made cannabis reform their top priority. Medical access is also a mainstream topic in many places like Germany. The other place to look is for doctors who say they will prescribe the drug as medication on their websites. This is often difficult. You also have to search in the local language.
One of the most organized national campaigns anywhere in the world right now on a medical level is in fact, in Germany. The top cannabis doctor in the country has been on a hunger strike to bring attention to the need for more research into cannabis as medication as well as patient access. His organization also exists to help promote the use of cannabis as medicine. There are other doctors like him, both in Germany and in other places in the world. Look for newspaper articles mentioning helpful doctors in your area. That is also a very good place to start. Doctors associated with research universities are also a good bet.
What Kinds of Conditions will be Covered in Trial Research?
The additional good news about the findings of the British researchers, of course, means that cancer trials of all kinds including cannabinoids are ensuring that this kind of condition will have more immediate access in the near future if not now.
Start looking on European databases for what kinds of cancer trials with cannabinoids are ongoing near you.