United Kingdom


Psychedelics and mental health: This may be the next big thing in pharma technology

psychedelic image

Virtual therapy got a big boost last year from meditation apps like Headspace and Calm, luring the user into a meditative state using words and music. In the midst of a global mental health crisis, it should be no surprise many of us are seeking such digital tonics: A report by GlobalData on mobile health apps estimates a combined total of 90 million users for meditation apps Headspace and Calm as of June 2020.


Families of epileptic children to protest outside parliament seeking greater access to medicinal cannabis

family sitting in a forest holding hands

‘Our families are at the end of their tether,’ parent says

Families of children with severe epilepsy are set to protest outside parliament in a call for greater access to medicinal cannabis.

Specialist doctors have been allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients since 2018, when the government changed its rules over the treatment.


Police find 1,646 weed plants being grown across 23 rooms

marijuana plant

An arrest warrant executed last week by the Cumbria Police in the U.K. paid off big when officers discovered a massive grow with 1,646 cannabis plants filling 23 separate rooms.

The misuse of drugs warrant and search of a property in Egremont were carried out at 8:35 a.m. on Oct. 12, the police reported on Facebook .


University of Plymouth builds classroom out of mud and hemp

Hemp and Mud building materials

Researchers at the Sustainable Earth Institute at the University of Plymouth are constructing a building on campus using the mud and fibre material. The single-storey building will be a classroom and laboratory, with its performance studied and monitored. Project bosses said it would be a "living lab and demonstration site".

The construction work is part of the institute's CobBauge project, which the university said was "investigating whether an optimised version of cob can become a sustainable solution for a new generation of energy-efficient housing".

Prof Steve Goodhew said one of the major issues was trying to "reduce the energy use, and therefore the emissions, in buildings".


Cannabis Oil Effective for UK Chronic Pain Patients

cannabis oil

Medical cannabis has been legal in the United Kingdom since 2018, but we’re only now getting the first evidence on the effectiveness of cannabis oil for UK chronic pain patients.

One hundred ten patients enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry reported significant improvements in their pain, discomfort and sleep quality after one, three and six months of treatment with cannabis oil. There was also statistically significant improvement in their health-related quality of life.

Due to strict rules, it is difficult to get a prescription for medical cannabis from the UK’s National Health Service. Patients can only be prescribed cannabis when conventional therapy has not provided adequate relief for conditions such as pain, anxiety and multiple sclerosis.


CBD Science Group aiming to show the value of real-world data as it develops pioneering cannabis-derived pain relief for people with cancer


Researchers will look at a ‘more holistic data set’ than the simple pain scores used in traditional clinical trials when putting together its final submissions. The goal is to provide a more thorough assessment of the use of cannabis-based analgesics

If the pandemic has turned the world on its head, the transformation hasn’t entirely been for the worse.

The balance between work and home has been redressed (a little), our carbon footprint has shrunk (a tad), and a communications revolution has been spawned (thank-you Zoom).

Necessity was the mother of invention when it came to finding vaccines in a matter of months rather than years, and the UK led the way in this regard.


Cannabis products are being sold as sleep remedies — here’s the evidence about their effectiveness

tired woman

Problems with sleep are common. In recent research, 48 per cent of UK adults said sleeping badly had a negative effect on their mental health. For teenagers, this proportion was significantly higher — 66 per cent.The large number of people experiencing sleep problems makes for an attractive market. Some companies have seized the opportunity to provide remedies, including several manufacturers of cannabis products.


Weed among the weeds? Hardy marijuana plant makes itself at home along roadway in the U.K.

farmer in a cannabis field

Eagle-eyed police officers in the U.K. reportedly found what appeared to be a single marijuana plant growing amidst a bunch of friends — these plants, actual weeds — on the side of A14 at Ipswich on Sunday.

The roadway is described as a dual carriageway, according to the BBC. But Suffolk Police were likely taken aback when they saw that the throughway had a little extra something rooted in the dirt and gravel just off the road.


Scotland’s First Patients Prescribed Legal Cannabis — Finally!

bagpiper in Scotland

A few hundred years ago my Cowan ancestor got on a boat in Scotland and headed west. I have been to Edinburgh in the winter, so I am grateful to him for many reasons.

A report from the BBC reminded me of another reason.

The BBC reported that, “Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic has begun prescribing to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions
 The Sapphire Medical Clinic in Stirling was approved by regulators in March and
. provides unlicensed cannabis-based medicines for people with conditions that do not meet the criteria for NHS-prescribed cannabis products
 Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018 and doctors are allowed to prescribe it in certain situations.”


Cannabis could be used to make cushions after research by Scots scientists



Farmers could soon be growing cannabis to make ­eco-friendly foam cushions thanks to research done by ­scientists in Scotland.

Researchers at ­Scotland’s Rural College have found hemp – a plant best known for its ­hallucinogenic variety – can be used to make greener versions of ­environmentally damaging petrochemical products such as insulation, foam cushions and packaging.


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