Researchers at Oxford University are about to embark on an extensive study into the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Scientists will study the molecular, cellular, and systems mechanisms of cannabinoids, looking for new treatments that might help pain, inflammation, and even cancer.
"Cannabinoid research has started to produce exciting biological discoveries and this research program is a timely opportunity to increase our understanding of the role of cannabinoids in health and disease," Ahmed Ahmed, professor of gynaecological oncology at Oxford University, said in a statement.
The project will receive piles of funding from Kingsley Capital Partners, a private equity firm that will funnel up to $12 million of initial research capital through their new biopharmaceutical firm - aptly named Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.
The clinical experts at Oxford and their counterparts at Kingsley Capital hope to find new uses for cannabinoids and make breakthroughs that have, at least in England, been previously out of reach.
"Through OCT, we hope our strategic partnership with Oxford will support the development of innovative new therapies to help millions of people around the world," managing partner at Kingsley Capital Neil Mahapatra told CNBC.
Smoking weed is still illegal in England and the country is yet to institute a medical marijuana program, but in 2016 lawmakers reclassified CBD as a medicine, and the Oxford study could help change national attitudes on a larger scale.
And if the country’s most prestigious institute of higher education getting on board isn’t enough, the Oxford study has brought another famous Brit out of the woodworks in support of medical cannabis. Asked to offer his opinion on the new study, Sir Patrick Stewart - aka Professor X - voiced his support for the study and admitted to being an everyday cannabis user.
"I believe this program of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others." the knighted actor told reporters.
As for the Stewart-Snoop stoner buddy blockbuster? The script is already in the works - our people will contact your people, Pat.