Project Twenty 21
On 1 November 2018, the UK law changed to allow Medical Cannabis availability on the NHS.
However, since November, less than 20 prescriptions have been issued by the NHS.
The lack of prescriptions is due to various reasons; lack of knowledge of the subject, supply-chain, GP’s/Practitioners need for education and Politics.
Project Twenty21 has been born out of a need to satisfy the Governments’ request for UK scientific proof. The study is to demonstrate the efficacy and tolerability of Cannabis in humans.
Of course, it is only natural that scientific evidence is sort.
Although; the evidence is already in existence; there is an extensive set of data from fellow Countries like Canada, The Netherlands, Isreal and the Czech Republic. These Countries are considered The Giants in Cannabis Growth and Research.
More and more research results are published daily; it is an exciting time for this humble but mighty plant.
The UK is now collating its evidence; privately by Drug Science was founded in 2010 by Professor David Nutt.
Drug Science brings together the leading drugs experts from a wide range of specialities, to carry out ground-breaking research into drug effects.
Drug Science aims to put together the most extensive study in Europe’ Project Twenty21′.
It is important to note; this is a Registry and not a Clinical Trial. There is no placebo involved in this study.
At the same time, it is providing a much-needed service of Private Cannabis Prescriptions. Of course, limited to those who can afford the prescriptions, we will get into the costs later on, in this article.
With Project Twenty21, eligible patients can access medical cannabis treatments, monitored by Drug Science. The organisers of the project aim to enrol 20,000 patients by 2021. This will create the largest body of evidence , all for the effectiveness and tolerability of medical Cannabis.
Drug Science hopes the findings of Project Twenty21 will provide proof for NHS funding where the benefits of treatment with medicinal Cannabis are proven to outweigh the potential risks.
Who is Professor Nutt?
David Nutt was the Chair of the Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council; famously removed from his post for announcing after much thorough research ‘ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol’ at a lecture in King’s College London. The lecture was on drug risk and classification.
The honest answer was not desirable and swiftly followed by Professor Nutt’s removal from the Panel.
Almost ten years on little seems to have changed when Prof Alex Stevens, resigned from the Advisory Council (ACMD), due to inappropriate Policiatal interventions.
The UK is currently challenging the Government and the laws surrounding Cannabis.
Activists, Scientists and Doctors have come together to change the way we see this plant, and it’s many benefits, Discussing the plant with Members of Parliament and GP’s to encourage a change in how we see Cannabis.
This treatment can be life-changing, yet patients in the UK are unable to access or afford it. There are too many barriers, social stigma’s and fear attached to this beautiful natural treatment.
Families of children who have epilepsy are desperate for NHS funding for Cannabis treatments, which have proved very effective. Patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Tourette’s Syndrome and Substance Use Disorder or PTSD – could benefit from Cannabis via our health system but are currently finding it challenging to gain assistance from our National Health Care System.
It is estimated up to 1.4 million patients are left with no alternative than to turn to illegal means of gaining Cannabis—Criminilzing and putting themselves in harm’s way.
Families are deprived of NHS assistance and have grown desperate. They are trying to fund their prescriptions privately.
Without prescriptions, the costs can be enormous, some being more than a monthly mortgage price. Many of the treatments are imported from other European Countries. This is incredibly frustrating as the UK is one of the largest suppliers of Medical Cannabis; in the world. (The UK was the largest supplier until this year).
These families now face a new problem in Brexit with the absence of a Deal combined with COVID, further issues with trade haven arisen. The flow of Medical Cannabis is about to grind to a halt.
The stress increases further and a painful inability to gain access to their treatments, devastating.
Life-Threatening in some cases.
The Twenty21 cannabis study is crucial in the UK to move forward and to realise this plant’s potential and in turn, change UK laws surrounding the plant.
This plant requires renewed respect, and it will see a renaissance in the UK. As a nation, we need to grow it freely, without the shackles of licences and post-production laws that are starved of logic.
We require access to the treatment on a large scale, and every day the need is growing more urgent.
Prof.Barnes is a campaigner for changes in attitude to cannabis-based therapies. He worked with Hannah Deacon in gaining one of the first Prescriptions for Hannah’s son Alfie Dingley.
When Alfie was Seven, he was granted a special licence to use Cannabis oil is and is now living a “pretty normal life”, in Hannah’s words.
Alfie has a rare form of epilepsy and was enduring up to 150 seizures every month. Those seizures have stopped, and Alfie is a happy smiling boy.
Professor Barnes and Hannah now work together on the campaign, and both are standing up for other patients’ rights, patients in need of these treatments. The campaign is ‘End Our Pain’.
I am one of the Project Twenty21 Participants and have a Cannabis Prescription.
Proud to be a part of this study, as a CannaActivist myself. I’m very keen to have the UK Laws changed, to move with the times, so everyone can enjoy the freedom cannabis gives. The scope of benefits is much broader than described above, but the study has to have a set of parameters.
My prescription is via The Medical Cannabis Clinics, created by Medical Director, Professor Mike Barnes.
My initial step was to ensure I was eligible for treatment.
To be a patient and part of the study, you must have one of the following conditions, recorded by your GP:
Substance Use Disorder
The second criteria, you must have tried at least two prescribed treatments that have not worked.
If you satisfy the above, you can access the website and Choose a Clinic. You can call (make sure when you phone you confirm you require Project Twenty21) or access an online booking system and make yourself an appointment for a consultation with a Consultant.
I meet the criteria as I endure Chronic Pain due to an old fracture that will not heal. I’ve tried many combinations of medications and treatments; none have been successful and only exacerbate my complaints. My GP is fully aware, and I also have a pain specialist I see every four months.
The process was fascinating and odd at the same time, making an appointment to gain Cannabis on a prescription. It was a day I thought would never come; it gave me butterflies
There are different Consultants to choose from, depending on your medical requirements.
The initial appointment was £150. I went ahead and booked my first consultation with the Pain Specialist and created an online account with the Medical Cannabis Clinic at the same time. It was all straight forward stuff, a pleasantly easy process.
Then came a quick courtesy phone call from the Clinic before our appointment. My Consultant just had a couple of questions to check and ensure this was the correct avenue for me.
Getting the appointment is no guarantee of a prescription; initially, your Consultant will weigh up your suitability and discuss it with your GP.
All being well, an e-mail arrived with a consent form. I was giving my permission for the Consultant to access my medical records.
My GP has not contacted me about this process; instead has agreed my suitability. Previously, My GP had not been altogether enthusiastic about Cannabis Therapies, but it would appear this is no longer the case, and I applaud his open-mindedness.
Two weeks later, I had an online meeting with my lovely Consultant.
The appointment lasted roughly 30 minutes.
During the call, it was agreed Cannabis is the way forward for me.
We went through my medical history and complaints and discussed the various treatments options.
Each prescription costs £150; Initially, I had two prescriptions, with 30ml of 12:25 Oil & 30g of Flower each month.
The cost for a repeat prescription is £30.
Follow up appointments are £65 (every three months).
The project appears expensive, yet the outcome for me is priceless.
There were four treatments available to me at the time.
30ml bottle 100% CBD Oil
30ml bottle 12:25 Oil – 12mg/ml THC & 25mg/ml CBD
30ml bottle 25:25 Oil – 25mg/ml THC & 25mg/ml CBD
Khiron – Indica with 18-22% Thc
The flower terpene profile is Carophyllene oxide 0.96% Humulene 0.66% Carophyllene 0.61% Alpha-pinene 0.26%.
The bottles hold 750 drops in an MCT carrier oil (Medium Chain Triglyceride).
The cannabis treatments are a mix of CBD’s and THC’s, so the psychoactive elements and their healing properties are present.
Of the above list, I’ve tried everything on the menu aside from the 100% CBD
(as CBD is my business, I’m lucky to be aware of its benefits).
My Prescriptions allow for both Flower and Oil. Initially, when this journey began for me, the Flower was not available, I was added to a waiting list and started straight away with 12:25 Oil.
Within a few days, I received a call from the Green Pharmacy. We discussed and confirmed my prescription and address. All systems go, I made an over the phone payment.
Transaction complete, the wait began for my Cannabis to be delivered through the post.
The day arrived, a black padded envelope was handed over, and my new, improved life began.
My suggestion is to forget everything you think you know and follow the Consultants instructions. I got ahead of myself and took to much too soon.
Begin slowly, 0.1ml to start twice a day for one week, then increase to three times per day. The third week, I raised this to .02ml three times per day. The fourth week arriving at my target of .03 three times per day.
(I only use more when required).
After the first bottle, which lasted for over six weeks, I switched to the larger dose of 25:25mg/ml.
Then after two months, my Flower arrived. Not the Khiron that we had discussed. Due to logistical issues, the Khiron was unavailable.
A different strain of Flower was provided in its stead, and it came from Isreal.
It looks initially like a box for a pair of tights. Inside is a foil bag; each bag contains 30gms of buds.
The new Flower was more of a mix of Sativa than a pure Indica, around the same THC level.
I use the Oil with a measured pipet under the tongue and hold for as long as I can, usually around two minutes.
A 30ml bottle of Oil will last me for one month, thereabouts (once up to correct dosage).
The Flower Vape daily, as and when I need it or using an old fashioned bubbly. I’ve had the Flower for around six weeks now and still have a couple of weeks remaining. It is too early for me to see a pattern emerge yet.
What a joy, I can only sing the praises of this therapy, it has been life-changing for me.
Cannabis has assisted my painful spine, knees, arthritis, anxiety and pre-menopausal issues. Just Wow!
The full natural plant extract, unmolested, is the way forward. No synthetics are required here. The plant is perfect just as it is.
The Oil’s are excellent. I’m enjoying a tad more physical freedom; part of My disability has been downgraded from Enhanced to Standard. My head is in a great place, and my body is very grateful.
How to describe pain relief? It’s an odd thing; one-moment I’m in terrible pain, my partner grabs my oils and gives me a few drops or an added big vape. The next, I’m being asked how I feel and for a split second am confused by the question.
You seem to forget about the pain; it just melts away oh so quietly, delightful!
Routine is the best with Cannabis Therapy if I forget a dose, I know about it. Consistency seems to be the key here.
Historically, I would struggle with the side effects of taking my old medications. Sour stomach or feel nauseous was the common theme; Not any more.
Once you found your correct levels for Cannabis, it’s a joy to behold. Everyone is different, so we are in charge of our dosage. It is very much up to the individual to establish.
My next job is to report back to the Consultant.
Every three months, we report back to our specialists. Information is vital for the study.
*This, of course, is only my personal experience, I cannot speak for anyone else. I am not making medical claims as Cannabis is personal and a different experience for everyone.