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Project Twenty21 - April Update

Doctor prescribing medical cannabis

In this update, we reveal the latest data and patient experiences with Project Twenty21, and reveal some exciting news from NICE. 

We also announce new events related to the project and how you can get involved.

Last month we asked for your stories, and we’re thrilled with the response we received. These provide us with valuable insights and snapshots into the experiences of our patients, both the benefits and the challenges. Thank you so much for submitting these, and we would love to gather more of these stories in the coming months.


“I used to be on 480 tablets a month – a mixture opiates, sedatives, gabapentin. Now I am free from 10 years of opiate use.”

“I’ve been sleeping better, and my anxiety has improved.”

Number of New & Follow up appointments by month

Patient Case Study Videos

What is it like to be a T21 patient with Chronic Pain? Watch our new video with Matt to find out how medical cannabis has transformed his life. On our YouTube channel, you can also find patient videos about Anxiety, PTSD, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Ehlers Danlos syndrome. Please also watch and share this powerful video published last month by Jim Finch, a Project Twenty21 patient with Tourette’s Syndrome. Being able to see the extreme difference in this way before and after vaping medical cannabis demonstrates why we need to make this medicine available on the NHS. We want to encourage more medical cannabis patients to share their own ‘before and after’ videos and tagging Project Twenty21, so we can help get the word out there that this medicine really does work.

Update to NICE Guidelines for Childhood Epilepsy

We were greatly encouraged by the news that NICE updated their guidelines around medical cannabis for children with severe epilepsy – meaning that Matt and Ali Hughes were able to drop their court case over the prescribing guidelines for their son Charlie. Where doctors, particularly members of the BPNA, have previously hidden behind the NICE guidance, this amendment to the legislation opens the way for doctors to begin prescribing this life-changing medicine to more patients who desperately need it. Drug Science, led by Prof David Nutt, provided much of the evidence that was used in the court case, which is available to read in detail here. We already cover Adult Epilepsy on Project Twenty21, and in the coming months we aim to expand that to include Childhood Epilepsy. This is dependent on there being enough paediatric neurologists willing to prescribe medical cannabis. Read our recent article about whether a ‘double standard’ in paediatric medicine might provide a framework for a restructure of our repressive medical cannabis policies.

New Patient Access Resources

Our friends at PLEA, the patient advocacy group, have launched a new website ‘How to Access Medical Cannabis’, to guide patients through every stage of how to get hold of a UK medical cannabis prescription. It’s an incredible new resource full of videos, printable brochures and how-to guides aimed at anyone looking for independent, trustworthy medical cannabis information.

Events & Webinars

Medical Cannabis Explained (for medical professionals): 15th April Feedback has been excellent from these sessions, which we’re excited to announce are now CPD certified. Our next one is this week, and a perfect opportunity for doctors to ask questions face-to-face with our Clinical Director, Prof Mike Barnes. To find our more and register, click here.

MS Awareness Week: 19th-25th April A small but growing number of people with Multiple Sclerosis have been able to assess medical cannabis in the UK. Please help us spread the word that MS is one of the conditions covered in Project Twenty21 by liking and sharing our social media posts throughout MS Awareness Week.

entOURage – the women’s cannabis network: 27th April Our Head of Research, Dr Anne Schlag, will be taking part in an event this month about medical cannabis patients and current research. entOURage is a women’s empowerment platform to engage and explore the legal cannabis market in Europe. Events are held online monthly, with topics ranging from investment, policy, branding to patient access. Find out more here.

CBD Live: 29th April (Day 2) Prof. David Nutt, will be at this online virtual expo on medical cannabis and CBD, speaking about the latest updates from Drug Science. Register for free here.

Prohibition Partners LIVE global cannabis conference: 18th-20th May Following previous successful online events, Drug Science will once again be on the bill for this 3-day online conference talking about the work we’re doing in the medical cannabis space. Streaming tickets are free – get yours here.

GCI Virtual Summit 2021: 8th-10th June Drug Science CEO, David Badcock, will be taking part in a panel discussion: “Advocacy in the UK: Leveraging the Relationship Between Business, Medicine and Policy”. Find out more here.

How can you help?

As we receive more and more stories from patients, the importance of Project Twenty21 has never been clearer. If you’d like to support Project Twenty21, to help us gather evidence for medical cannabis to be covered by the NHS, please consider a donation to Drug Science

Every little bit helps us continue the essential work that we do.

Keep up with developments in drug science

Reading, engaging with, and sharing our publications, papers and commentary gives evidence-based science and policy the audience it needs and deserves.

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