Patient-Centered Priorities for Medical Cannabis Research in the UK
A study of UK medical cannabis patients reveals priorities for research. Top priorities include effectiveness and safety of treatment, access, and costs.
With a doctor’s prescription in the UK, patients with certain health conditions can now access medical cannabis. As of November 2018, cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs), also known as medical cannabis, have become legal in the United Kingdom. Medical cannabis, however, continues to lack quality evidence supporting its efficacy and safety, despite the change in legislation. Considering cannabis is a Schedule I drug, primary research is severely restricted.
In order to address this issue, patients in the UK receiving active medical cannabis treatment were invited to participate in a focus group study. Based on the findings of the study, a local research agenda was developed. Participants recruited from Sapphire Medical Clinics, the UK’s first regulated medical cannabis clinic, participated in a focus group conducted online.
The study found that cannabis-based products are available at a wider range of prices, availability, and effectiveness of treatment are the top priorities for UK medical cannabis patients. Research into medical cannabis, training and education for healthcare professionals, and patient support were all priorities.
The UK needs more medical cannabis research, according to this study. A variety of cannabis-based products could be tested for effectiveness and safety, cost-effectiveness could be examined, and healthcare professionals could be trained and educated about cannabis for medical purposes. In addition, patients can be involved in the design and conduct of medical cannabis research to ensure that it meets their needs.
Since medical cannabis was legalized in the UK, a number of health conditions have been treated with the plant. It is still unclear whether medical cannabis is effective and safe. By engaging patients in medical cannabis research, we will be better able to understand their priorities and improve the quality of our research. This will provide patients with safe and effective treatment options.
Key Problems to Solve for Conducting the Study
- Funding for researching the medicinal properties of the plant is still limited.
- It is important to involve patients and the public in the design and conduct of research to maximize funding and avoid waste.
- Incorporating patient views can improve the clinical relevance and recruitment and retention in studies.
- There is limited published literature on patients’ priorities for biomedical research.
- Previous studies have attempted to determine these priorities for a small number of chronic conditions.
- Research suggests that patients’ priorities are not consistently met in biomedical research.
- There have not yet been any attempts to determine the priorities of medical cannabis patients in the UK.
Key Points on the Purpose of the Study
- Medical cannabis, also known as marijuana, is used to treat various health conditions
- In the UK, medical cannabis is only available to patients who have been prescribed it by a specialist doctor
- One method of studying the use of medical cannabis is through focus group studies
- In this study, participants were patients undergoing active treatment with medical cannabis in the UK
- The focus group study was conducted remotely
- The focus groups were conducted according to local ethics and information governance practices
- Participants provided written informed consent before taking part in the study
- The focus group study provides valuable insights and experiences from patients using medical cannabis to treat their health conditions
- This research is important for improving the understanding and use of medical cannabis in the UK.
Key Points on Participants of the Medical Cannabis Study
- Participants were recruited from Sapphire Medical Clinics, the first regulated medical cannabis clinic in the UK
- Recruitment was conducted via email invitation and focus groups were filled on a first-come, first-served basis
- To be eligible, participants had to be current medical cannabis patients with at least one prescription documented in their health records within the previous three months
- Participants also had to be at least 18 years old and have sufficient comprehension of conversational English
- By requiring participants to meet these criteria, the study was able to include a diverse and representative group of patients using medical cannabis to treat their health conditions.
Key Points of How the UK Medical Cannabis Study was Conducted
- The focus groups were conducted using Microsoft Teams, a video conferencing platform
- Each focus group lasted for approximately 2 hours and was led by the same author who had prior training and experience in conducting research focus groups
- Before the focus group, participants were provided with a written information sheet that outlined the ground rules for the discussion
- During the focus group, participants were encouraged to keep their cameras on and use the hand-raising function to indicate when they wanted to speak
- The focus groups were conducted in a way that facilitated productive and engaging discussions among the participants
- Participants did not receive any incentives for participating in the focus groups.
Key Points on the Data Collection for the United Kingdom
- An online survey tool was used to capture basic demographic information on each participant
- The focus groups aimed to facilitate discussions about research priorities with an open-ended question
- Through a semi-structured approach, participants were also asked to consider the biochemistry, medical applications, research design, pharmacology, and socioeconomic impact of medical cannabis
- The focus group discussions provided valuable insights and perspectives on medical cannabis research in the UK
- This data will be used to inform future research and improve the understanding of medical cannabis and its uses.
Key Points of the Medical Cannabis Exploration
- The focus group study aimed to gather insights on medical cannabis research in the UK
- Participants were asked to share their thoughts on the most important research priorities and the facilitator used a semi-structured approach to guide the discussion
- To assess the participants’ research priorities, they were asked to complete a financial allocation task
- This task involved assigning ten counters, each equivalent to £1 million GBP, to different research priorities
- Participants were provided with a list of potential research priorities, but could also add their own topics
- The financial allocation task helped identify the research priorities that were most important to the participants
- After sharing their responses and reasoning, participants were given the opportunity to adjust their financial allocations for final recording
- This ensured that the data accurately reflected their research priorities.
Key Points of the Results
- Audio and video recordings were made with participants’ informed consent
- The transcriptions were cross-matched with the recordings and edited verbatim to ensure accuracy
- The transcriptions were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach
- Each transcript was read and coded independently according to themes derived from the participants’ responses
- The themes were compared and discussed among the study authors, and a final coding framework was developed
- The focus group discussions were conducted until thematic saturation was reached through a consensus approach
- This allowed for a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the data and helped identify the most important research priorities for medical cannabis in the UK.
Erridge, Simon, Fabian Olsson, and Mikael H. Sodergren. “Patient priorities for research: A focus group study of UK medical cannabis patients.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 50 (2023): 101693.
Understanding the Effects of Different Cannabis Strains
As the legalization of cannabis continues to spread across the United States, more and more people are becoming interested in exploring the world of marijuana. One of the most exciting aspects of this newfound curiosity is the discovery of the different strains of cannabis and their unique effects.
At its core, cannabis is a plant that contains a variety of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, producing a range of effects that can vary depending on the specific strain of cannabis consumed.
In this article, we’ll explore the effects of different cannabis strains, including their cannabinoid profiles, terpene content, and potential medicinal benefits.
Indica vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference?
Before diving into the specific effects of different cannabis strains, it’s important to understand the difference between indica and sativa plants.
Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects, making them ideal for use in the evening or before bed. These strains typically produce a “body high” that can help alleviate pain, anxiety, and insomnia.
Sativa strains, on the other hand, are more energizing and uplifting, making them better suited for daytime use. These strains typically produce a “head high” that can help improve mood, increase focus, and stimulate creativity.
While many cannabis strains are hybrids that combine both indica and sativa genetics, understanding the basic differences between these two types of plants can help guide your strain selection.
Cannabinoids: THC, CBD, and More
The most well-known cannabinoid found in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, including feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.
However, THC is just one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Another major cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which is non-psychoactive but has been shown to have a range of potential medicinal benefits, including reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and improving sleep.
Other cannabinoids found in cannabis include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), among others. Each of these compounds has unique effects on the body and can contribute to the overall effects of a particular cannabis strain.
Terpenes: Aroma and Flavor
In addition to cannabinoids, cannabis also contains a variety of aromatic compounds known as terpenes. These compounds are responsible for the distinctive aroma and flavor of different cannabis strains, and they can also contribute to the effects of the plant.
Some common terpenes found in cannabis include myrcene, limonene, and pinene. Myrcene is known for its sedative effects and can contribute to the “couch-lock” sensation often associated with indica strains. Limonene has a citrusy aroma and is often found in sativa strains, where it can contribute to feelings of uplift and energy. Pinene has a piney aroma and is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.
Putting It All Together: Understanding the Effects of Different Cannabis Strains
Now that we’ve covered the basics of cannabis chemistry, let’s take a look at some of the most popular cannabis strains and their effects.
- Granddaddy Purple: This indica-dominant strain is known for its relaxing effects and is often used to treat pain, stress, and insomnia. Its high THC content can produce feelings of euphoria and sedation.
- Sour Diesel: This sativa-dominant strain is popular for its energizing effects and can help improve mood, focus, and creativity. Its high limonene content gives it a citrusy aroma and flavor.
- Blue Dream: This hybrid strain is a popular choice for those seeking a balanced experience. It is known for its uplifting effects and can help alleviate pain, depression, and anxiety. Its high myrcene content gives it a slightly sweet and fruity aroma.
- ACDC: This CBD-dominant strain is non-psychoactive and is often used for medicinal purposes. It can help alleviate pain, inflammation, and anxiety without producing the “high” associated with THC.
- OG Kush: This indica-dominant strain is known for its relaxing effects and can help alleviate stress, pain, and insomnia. Its high THC content can produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
- Jack Herer: This sativa-dominant strain is popular for its energizing effects and can help improve mood, focus, and creativity. Its high pinene content gives it a piney aroma and flavor.
When selecting a cannabis strain, it’s important to consider both its indica/sativa classification and its cannabinoid and terpene content. This can help ensure that you choose a strain that meets your specific needs and preferences.
Potential Medicinal Benefits
In addition to its recreational use, cannabis is also gaining popularity as a potential treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Research has shown that cannabis may be effective in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, and depression, among other conditions.
CBD, in particular, has been the subject of numerous studies for its potential medicinal benefits. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving effects, making it a promising treatment for conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.
THC, on the other hand, has been shown to have potential for treating conditions such as nausea, glaucoma, and muscle spasms.
However, it’s important to note that cannabis is not a cure-all and should be used in conjunction with other treatments as recommended by a healthcare professional.
The world of cannabis can be complex and overwhelming, but understanding the effects of different strains can help you navigate this exciting new frontier. By considering a strain’s indica/sativa classification, cannabinoid and terpene content, and potential medicinal benefits, you can make an informed decision about which strain is right for you.
As always, it’s important to consume cannabis responsibly and in accordance with local laws and regulations. If you are new to cannabis or have any questions or concerns, be sure to consult with a knowledgeable healthcare professional.
The Importance of Lab-Testing Cannabis Products for Safety
Cannabis has become increasingly popular in recent years for both medicinal and recreational use. However, with the growing demand for cannabis products comes the need for regulation and safety measures to ensure that consumers are using safe and effective products. One such measure is lab-testing of cannabis products, which can provide valuable information about the safety and quality of the products. In this article, we will discuss the importance of lab-testing cannabis products for safety.
What is Lab-Testing of Cannabis Products?
Lab-testing of cannabis products involves analyzing the chemical composition of the products to determine their potency, purity, and safety. This process is carried out by certified laboratories that use advanced analytical methods to test for a variety of contaminants, including pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial organisms.
The Importance of Lab-Testing Cannabis Products
- Ensures Product Safety: Lab-testing can help identify any harmful substances that may be present in the cannabis products, including pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial organisms. This helps ensure that consumers are using safe and healthy products.
- Determines Potency: Lab-testing can determine the potency of cannabis products, which is crucial for medicinal use. Knowing the exact levels of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, can help patients and doctors determine the appropriate dosage and treatment plan.
- Ensures Label Accuracy: Lab-testing can ensure that the product label accurately reflects the contents of the product. This helps prevent consumers from unknowingly consuming products with incorrect or misleading information.
- Compliance with Regulations: Lab-testing is a regulatory requirement in many states and countries, and compliance with these regulations can help ensure that companies are producing safe and high-quality products.
- Builds Consumer Trust: By lab-testing their products, cannabis companies can build consumer trust and establish themselves as reputable and responsible businesses.
How Lab-Testing Works
Lab-testing of cannabis products involves a series of tests that analyze the chemical composition of the product. The tests typically include:
- Potency Testing: Potency testing measures the levels of cannabinoids in the product, including THC and CBD.
- Pesticide Testing: Pesticide testing identifies any harmful pesticides that may be present in the product.
- Heavy Metal Testing: Heavy metal testing identifies any heavy metals that may be present in the product, including lead, mercury, and cadmium.
- Microbial Testing: Microbial testing identifies any microbial organisms that may be present in the product, including bacteria and fungi.
Lab-testing of cannabis products is an important safety measure that can help ensure that consumers are using safe and effective products. It can help identify harmful substances, determine potency, ensure label accuracy, and promote compliance with regulations. By lab-testing their products, cannabis companies can build consumer trust and establish themselves as responsible businesses.
- What are the benefits of lab-testing cannabis products? Lab-testing can ensure product safety, determine potency, ensure label accuracy, promote compliance with regulations, and build consumer trust.
- What tests are typically included in lab-testing of cannabis products? Lab-testing typically includes potency testing, pesticide testing, heavy metal testing, and microbial testing.
- Is lab-testing required for cannabis products? Lab-testing is a regulatory requirement in many states and countries.
- Can lab-testing identify harmful substances in cannabis products? Yes, lab-testing can identify harmful substances, including pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial organisms.
- Why is lab-testing important for medicinal use of cannabis? Lab-testing can determine the potency of cannabis products, which is crucial for determining the appropriate dosage and treatment plan.
10 Positive Psychology Ideas to Improve Your Mental Well-Being
Do you ever feel like you could use a boost in your mental well-being? Do you want to lead a happier and more fulfilling life?
Positive psychology provides a wealth of ideas and strategies for improving your mental health and overall well-being. Let’s look at 10 of these ideas, complete with actionable steps and practical advice to help you implement them in your life.
The Power of Acknowledging What You’re Thankful For: Did you know that practicing gratitude has been scientifically proven to increase happiness and life satisfaction?
Practicing gratitude means acknowledging the things that you’re thankful for in your life. This can be anything from a beautiful sunset to a supportive friend. You can write down the things you’re grateful for in a journal or simply take a moment each day to reflect on them in your mind. It’s important to focus on the positive aspects of your life, even if they seem small. Regular gratitude practice has been shown to improve mood, increase resilience, and promote overall well-being.
- Create a gratitude journal and write down three things you are thankful for each day
- Write a thank-you letter to someone who has made a positive impact in your life
- Take time to practice mindfulness during everyday activities, such as eating or taking a walk
- Take time to appreciate the small things in life, such as a beautiful sunset or a warm cup of tea
- Volunteer your time and resources to help others, which can increase feelings of gratitude and fulfillment.
Acts of Kindness:
Making a Difference in Your Own Life and Others: Have you ever noticed how helping others can make you feel good too?
Engaging in acts of kindness can profoundly affect both the giver and the receiver. It can be anything from volunteering, sending a thoughtful message, or simply holding the door open for someone. Kindness has been linked to improved mood, stronger relationships, and a sense of purpose. Performing kind acts for others has increased empathy and compassion, making the world a better place for everyone.
- Volunteering at a local shelter or food bank can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
- Donating to a charity or fundraising for a cause you care about can give you a sense of satisfaction and contribute to a positive mood.
- Paying for someone’s meal or coffee anonymously can bring a feeling of warmth and generosity.
- Offering to help a friend, family member, or stranger in need can boost your confidence and create a sense of community.
- Writing a kind note or sending a thoughtful gift to someone who needs encouragement can give you a sense of empathy and compassion, leading to an improvement in the way you feel and how the receiver feels.
The Benefits of Being Present in the Moment: Have you ever found yourself so caught up in thoughts about the future or past that you miss out on the present moment?
The practice of mindfulness involves being fully present in the present moment. Observing feelings, thoughts, and sensations without judgment is part of it. Regular mindfulness practice has been linked to reduced stress and anxiety, improved focus, and increased self-awareness. Mindfulness can be incorporated in many ways into your life, such as meditation, yoga, or simply breathing deeply for a few moments a day. The key is to find what works best for you and make it a consistent part of your routine.
- Stay present in the moment and practice mindfulness
- Exercise regularly to improve physical and mental resilience
- Seek out new challenges and experiences to increase resilience
- Surround yourself with a supportive social network
- Focus on your values and priorities to maintain a sense of purpose and direction.
- Focus on positive self-talk and limit negative self-criticism
The Art of Seeing the Glass as Half Full: Do you often focus on a situation’s negative aspects?
By framing situations positively, we can put a positive spin on them. If you choose not to dwell on the negative aspects of a problem, you can choose to focus on the opportunities and potential outcomes. This can help to reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall mood. To practice positive reframing, try to identify the positive aspects of a situation and focus on them. You can also find the silver lining in difficult situations. With time and practice, positive reframing can become a habit that can improve your mental well-being.
- Focus on the process, not the outcome
- View failure as a learning opportunity
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
- Engage in challenging activities outside of your comfort zone
- Celebrate small victories and progress.
Setting and Achieving Goals:
The Benefits of Having a Clear Direction in Life: Do you often feel like you need a clear purpose or direction?
Setting and achieving goals is an essential aspect of positive psychology. Having a clear direction in life can help you to feel more motivated, focused, and fulfilled. When setting goals, it’s important to ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Start by setting small, achievable goals, and gradually work your way up to larger goals. It is important to celebrate your victories along the way to build motivation and confidence. Achieving your goals can bring a sense of accomplishment and give you a clear understanding of direction and purpose in life.
- Define the goal using the SMART method
- Specific: the goal should be well-defined and clearly stated
- Measurable: the goal should have a quantifiable outcome
- Achievable: the goal should be realistic and attainable
- Relevant: the goal should align with your values and overall life purpose
- Time-bound: the goal should have a specific deadline or time frame.
- Break the goal down into smaller, achievable tasks. This will boost confidence when you complete a task. Resulting in a better feeling you!
- Create a timeline or action plan. Organize your chaos.
- Consistently take action towards the goal. Keep going
- Regularly review progress and adjust the plan as needed.
Engaging in Your Passions and Interests:
Finding Fulfillment by Pursuing What You Love: Looking for a way to add a more positive meaning and purpose to your life?
Engaging in your passions and interests is an important aspect of positive psychology. Whether it’s a hobby, sport, or creative pursuit, finding something you’re passionate about can bring fulfillment and satisfaction to your life. By doing something you love, you can tap into a sense of flow and experience the joy that comes from being fully absorbed in an activity. Finding time to engage in your passions and interests can help to reduce stress, increase overall happiness, and bring a sense of purpose to your life.
- Find activities that you are passionate about and immerse yourself in them
- Take up a new hobby or skill, such as painting or learning a new language
- Challenge yourself with activities that are just outside of your comfort zone
- Find ways to make mundane tasks more enjoyable, such as listening to music while cleaning
- Seek out new and exciting experiences, such as traveling to new places or trying new foods.
Building Strong Positive Relationships:
The Importance of Connecting with Others: Do you find yourself feeling isolated or lonely at times?
Building solid relationships is an important aspect of positive psychology. Having a supportive network of friends and family can bring a sense of connection and belonging, and help to improve overall well-being. Whether it’s through spending time with loved ones, joining a club or group, or volunteering, there are many ways to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. Building strong relationships can also help reduce stress, increase resilience, and provide support when you need it the most.
- Spend time with those who are important to you, such as friends and family
- Practice active listening and empathy when communicating with others
- Volunteer in your community or join a social group to meet new people
- Offer support and encouragement to others, which can also increase your own feelings of happiness and fulfillment
- Practice forgiveness and letting go of grudges to improve relationships and reduce stress.
Positive Mindfulness and Meditation:
Finding Inner Peace and Clarity Through Awareness: Do you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed out by the demands of everyday life? Stuggling to see the positive?
Mindfulness and meditation are key practices in positive psychology that can help you to find inner peace and clarity. By focusing on the present moment, you can let go of stress and worries and cultivate a sense of calm and well-being. The practice of mindfulness and meditation can be done in several ways, including breathing exercises, yoga, and guided meditations. With regular practice, you can develop greater awareness, improve your ability to handle stress, and find greater peace and happiness.
- Practice deep breathing and mindfulness during everyday activities
- Try guided meditations or mindfulness apps to help focus your attention
- Engage in yoga or other physical activities that promote mindfulness
- Find quiet moments throughout the day to focus on the present moment
- Regularly practice mindfulness and meditation as part of your daily routine.
The Power of a Positive Attitude: Do you find yourself dwelling on the negative and struggling to see the bright side of things?
Embracing optimism is an essential aspect of positive psychology. By focusing on the positive, you can change your outlook on life and find greater happiness and well-being. Several methods can be used to cultivate an optimistic perspective, including positive self-talk, focusing on gratitude, and surrounding yourself with positive people. By embracing optimism, you can improve your mood, increase your resilience, and find greater satisfaction with life.
- Focus on positive self-talk and limit negative self-criticism
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
- Keep your focus on the positive aspects of your life and practice gratitude
- Do activities that make you happy and that you enjoy
- Seek out new experiences and try new things to increase positive emotions and foster a sense of optimism.
Taking Care of Your Physical Health:
The Connection Between Body and Mind: Looking for positive ways to enhance your well-being, both physically and mentally?
Taking care of your physical health is an important aspect of positive psychology. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep can all contribute to improved physical health and in turn, improved mental well-being. Taking care of your body can reduce stress, increase energy levels, and improve your mood. Regular physical activity can also help to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and improve overall longevity. By committing to your physical health, you can improve both your mind and body and find greater happiness and well-being.
- Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading or taking a bath
- Engage in regular physical activity to improve overall health and well-being
- Get adequate sleep and prioritize rest and relaxation
- Practice mindfulness and self-compassion to reduce stress and improve mental health
- Seek out professional support or therapy if needed, to address any mental health concerns.
How can I incorporate these ideas into my daily life?
Start small by incorporating one or two activities into your daily routine and gradually increase as you become more comfortable. Find ways to make the activities enjoyable and relevant to your life, and make them a priority
Are there any negative consequences of practicing positive psychology?
No, there are no known negative consequences of practicing positive psychology. However, like anything, it’s important to approach positive psychology with balance and moderation. If you have any concerns, it’s always best to consult a mental health professional.
How long does it take to see the benefits of positive psychology?
The benefits of positive psychology vary from person to person, but many people feel more positive and fulfilled within a few weeks of incorporating these practices into their daily routine. Consistency is key, as is making positive psychology a priority.
Be calm, Be happy, Be Better
Positive psychology offers a range of ideas and practices for improving mental well-being and promoting happiness. By incorporating these ideas into your daily routine, you can increase positive emotions, strengthen resilience, and cultivate a more fulfilling and meaningful life. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to positive psychology or have been practicing for a while, remember to approach positive psychology with balance and moderation, and seek professional support if needed. For more interesting articles, check out the rest of Stoner.Boston!
The Rise of Organic Cannabis Farming
Cannabis cultivation has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years, with the increasing demand for organic cannabis farming....
10 Positive Psychology Ideas to Improve Your Mental Well-Being
Do you ever feel like you could use a boost in your mental well-being? Do you want to lead a...
What is the Cannabis Terpene Bisabolol? Why is it Awesome?
Bisabolol and its Benefits for Human Health Bisabolol is a terpene component of many essential oils, such as chamomile and...
Health5 months ago
Alcohol Vs Cannabis: The Ultimate Showdown
Lifestyle11 months ago
Cannabis is Amazing Medicine Helping for Over 5,000 Years
Cannabis Industry10 months ago
Cannabis Brands In Massachusetts, Here’s an Unbiased Review
Featured10 months ago
What Are Biotechnology Companies Finding Out About Cannabis?
Science11 months ago
Myrcene, What Is This Cannabis Terpene And What Does It Do?
Animals12 months ago
Top 5 Animals That Get Baked
Featured12 months ago
High THC Content Does Not Mean What You Think It Does
Science11 months ago
What Is Cannabigerol, And What Is Cannabigerol Good For?