How to grow medicinal cannabis

Potter DJ. A review of the cultivation and processing of cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) for production of prescription medicines in the UK. Drug Test Anal. 2013. doi: 10.1002/dta.1531. [Epub ahead of print]
The quality demands of the pharmaceutical industry require prescription medicines to be consistent in their active ingredient content. Achieving this, using raw cannabis as a feedstock, is especially challenging. The plant material is extremely inhomogeneous, and the ratios of active ingredients are affected by a range of factors. These include the genetics of the plant, the growing and storage conditions, the state of maturity at harvest, and the methods used to process and formulate the material. The reasons for this variability are described, with particular emphasis on the botanical considerations. To produce the complex botanical medicine Sativex®, which contains the cannabinoids Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and a range of other ingredients, the company had to manage these variables. This medicine, for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, is the first cannabis-based medicine to be approved in the UK. 

I have visited the secret location of the production of Sativex….loads of pot plants & very smelly….due to chemicals called terpenes. 

Maybe they should move production to Germany where Sativex is selling like rock cakes or should that be like space cakes as there is no light on the UK tunnel when it comes to getting NICE approval. 

This is unlikely unless there is movement on the cost front as it is considered to be too expensive from a cost-benefit exercise

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  • PeterReynolds said

    For the benefit of those who have fallen for the great GW Pharma confidence trick, allow me to set out a few facts that have been covered up, twisted and distorted. 1. With the connivance of the UK Home Office and government, GW Pharmaceuticals has been allowed to develop a monopoly cannabis business against all the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961. Cannabis is a very effective and safe medicine for a wide variety of conditions but in order to facilitate GW’s monopoly, the British public has been systematically misled and misinformed by government propaganda. Most seriously, people in pain, suffering and disability, seeking to provide their own cannabis medicine, have been ruthlessly and cruelly pursued by a corrupt law enforcement policy. 2. Sativex IS cannabis. It is pharmacologically identical to the plants from which it is made. It is NOT just an extract of THC and CBD, it contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes LINKS REMOVED

    • Possession of Cannabis is Illegal within the UK and many other countries. It is currently a schedule B drug that carries penalties for suppliers and users. Right or wrong this is the law.

      GW pharmaceuticals have never hidden the fact that Sativex is a mixture of high THC bearing cannabis extract,and a high CBD, low THC cannabis extract and because it was plant-derived. This allowed them a better route.

      The UN Single convention of nacrotic drugs/Misuse of Drugs had made the position that cannabis has not medical benefit.

      We have two varieties of cannabis Cannador and Sativex that have shown this not to be the case in controlled clinical trials. GW pharmaceuticals could only do this because they got a UK licence to grow the plants within the UK, Cannador is manufactured within the EU, but outside the UK. If other companies put in the investment they could create a medicinal cannabis.

      One could argue that if you developed a way to deliver just THC (with or without) CBD you could probably get the effect without the other compounds in cannabis and then you could move the agenda away from cannabis, recreational or medicinal, and towards a pharmaceutical grade product. We showed this with Mexican cannabis that THC was the active ingredient.

      The central problem is cost. If it cost less, the drug would be more readily available and people in need of treatments would not be criminalised.

  • It's unfortunate that cannabis derived compounds are mired in the quagmire of politics. The lack of effective therapies for spasticity in MS and other debilitating illnesses should expedite approval. Where are the alternatives? Cannabis is deemed effective in Germany but for some reason once it crosses the the lines on the map it loses efficacy. What's in a name? People were leery of cloning 20 years ago but when it the term somatic cell nuclear transfer is used it's ok.

  • Anyway, I do have MS and I treat it with a full plant extract from Cannabis sat. L. var. indica, homegrown. I have tried different strains, no problem at all, every year I tried another strain, there is in fact no big difference at all.

    So we the patients don't need the exorbitant expensive Sativex, we need the permission to grow our own or to inaugurate an Cannabis Social Club, where others could grow it for us, pure and clean medicine, grown with respect and love, not with greed and profit.

    I like to citate from The Report:

    Denial of cannabis by Prohibition ‘law’ premeditatedly inflicts suffering, blindness, and, in many instances, death. Those who maintain any use of life-saving cannabis to be "illegal" should be regarded and treated as perpetrators of the gravest of crimes, and deemed unfit to hold any public office in a democratic society.

    The Report collates Empirical Evidence and the Findings of Fact of official clinical studies which exonerate cannabis and vindicate all cultivation, trade, possession and use. The Report establishes massive ulterior money-motive and prejury behind prohibition; and indicts government.

    The Report presents irrefutable Legal Grounds for Restoration: Relegalisation, Amnesty & Restitution.


    • US cannabis often has low CBD compared to say Moroccan cannabis with CBD in a survey in 1998 both people in UK and USA reported benefit..Therefore in my mind it is the THC that is the important thing a certain company would disagree.

      Well I best not hold any public office but I merely state the legal position

  • As I live in the UK and have SPMS I am naturally eager for an effective treatment to be found. I have read the report cited above and wholeheartedly agree with 'anonymous' that:
    "So we the patients don't need the exorbitant expensive Sativex, we need the permission to grow our own or to inaugurate a Cannabis Social Club, where others could grow it for us, pure and clean medicine, grown with respect and love, not with greed and profit."
    I cannot believe that cannabis continues to be outlawed in the face of such convincing evidence given in the Report as to its benefits in so many ways. I have joined CLEAR, a single issue political party which states its aims around decriminalizing the use of cannabis.
    Other than that, it's difficult to know what I and others like me, can do.

  • Cannabis has been known for thousands of years for all it's medicinal benefits and more. The reason it is illegal is offensive to say the least. Good job including this valuable herb on your blog. I am an activist for medicinal Cannabis and advertise my activism proudly. Cannabis Finder

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