For a few years now, research on cannabis has been advancing in the United States, England and even Israel. France is now entering the race with a slight delay and has set itself the goal of developing an extract of medical cannabis that can be used by pharmaceutical companies and intended to be used as a medicine for patients with serious pathologies such as cancer.
Who will be responsible for conducting the research and how did such a project come about in France?
Toulouse, the future capital of medical cannabis in France?
3 years is the time allocated to the research project on medical cannabis in France.
This work will be carried out by a French team made up of 4 chemists and biologists, at the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, in collaboration with the company La Fleur.
As Franck Milone, founder of La Fleur explains, the project consists of finding the best possible extraction process (powders, oils, etc.) so that the active ingredients of cannabis remain intact and correspond to pharmaceutical standards. The idea is therefore to develop drugs from cannabis flowers to cure serious diseases such as cancer.
Several studies have also demonstrated the anti-tumor nature of cannabis. By killing cancer cells and preventing them from growing, a cannabis extract drug could help many patients fight relatively severe forms of cancer.
This work is also environmentally responsible.
Marion Alignan, in charge of the project, wishes to underline the ecological approach in which these three years of research are part and even speaks of “sustainable chemistry”. Indeed, the laboratory has planned to take special care of the environment with a minimum impact during cannabis processing operations.
The project hampered by the regulation of cannabis in France
The production and use of cannabis in France is highly regulated, even when it comes to scientific studies. No difference is made, whatever its use, cannabis remains illegal.
According to Franck Milone, this project was slowed down for almost 2 years. This is the time it took to convince, to request authorizations from the National Medicines Agency but also from customs since the cannabis flowers needed for the project had to be imported from another country in the European Union. . According to him, “it is very complex to conduct this type of research”, everything had to be authorized, declared, etc.
This is probably why France is lagging behind on medical cannabis.
Some countries have adapted and quickly changed legislation in the name of innovation and scientific research. They now have a good lead over France. For example, in Israel, a cannabis medicine for skin cancer has already been developed. And in the United States, the FDA approves cannabis for the treatment of brain cancer.
While many American states are considering decriminalizing cannabis, the Israeli government has planned to invest $ 2 million in scientific research on medical cannabis, and this since 2017. A specialization in the medical cannabis professions has even been incorporated into a university training course. Since then, the US has followed suit and universities are increasing the number of courses and research on cannabis.
We are not there yet in France, but do not lose hope, even with a little delay, Europe is moving towards the legalization of medical cannabis.