Irish firm works to unlock potential treatments from cannabis extracts

Investigations will look at treating cancer, epilepsy and arthritis

Irish firm works to unlock potential treatments from cannabis extracts

File photo of plants in a cannabis farm | Image: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/Press Association Images

An Irish company has started research with a number of Irish universities to advance medicines using cannabis extracts.

GreenLight is working with University College Dublin (UCD), the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ulster University and others to research the effectiveness of cannabinoids for treating illnesses such as cancer, MS and glaucoma.

UCD will be investigating cancer, and a joint study between UCD and Imperial College London will investigate addiction.

A study by the Royal College of Surgeons will focus on epilepsy, while Ulster University will investigate arthritis.

GreenLight CEO, Dr James Linden, says: "There's mounting evidence that cannabinoids are an effective form of treatment for many illnesses, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), glaucoma, arthritis, epilepsy and cancer.

"GreenLight's focus is on conducting research that will be the catalyst in bringing these life-changing medicines to fruition, that have the potential to help thousands of people manage their conditions.

"We've spent the last 24 months developing research programmes with many Universities in Ireland...and we're thrilled that the first tranche of research projects is now live."

The team is made up of internationally-recognised researchers and scientists.

This includes former chairman of the UK's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), Professor David Nutt.

Queen's University Belfast, University College Cork and NUI Galway will commence research in early 2017, and Imperial College London will begin investigating the treatment of Alzheimer's in March 2017.

Dr Linden says using cannabis extracts has several advantages to other medications.