Podcast

 

 

 

Join our host Dr Leon Barron, General Practitioner and founder of the PCCN as he is joined by a wide range of guests in conversation, keeping you up to date and at the very forefront of developments in the medical cannabis sector.

Dr Harrison Offiong is an experienced sessional GP, who has worked in a number of clinical settings in the NHS, including A&E, Urgent Care/Walk-in Centres and GP surgeries. He was  one of the first GPs in the UK to prescribe CBMPs under shared care arrangement with specialists.


He holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Birmingham and is a member of the Primary Care Cannabis Network Working Group and The Medicinal Cannabis Clinicians Society.

 

Harrison is deeply committed to ensuring the best quality care and clinical outcomes for his patients and is developing a specialist interest in pain management.

Roger Pertwee’s research focuses on the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of synthetic, endogenous and cannabis-derived cannabinoids. This cannabinoid research began in 1968 at Oxford University and continued when he moved to Aberdeen University in 1974. His achievements include the joint discovery of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin in cannabis, and of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), the discovery of a CB1 receptor allosteric site, and significant contributions to the pharmacological characterization of phytocannabinoids (eg delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, cannabidiolic acid and cannabigerol), and of notable synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. methanandamide, ACEA, ACPA, AM251, AM281, AM630, O-1057 and Org27569). He received the 2002 Mechoulam Award “for his outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research”, the BPS 2011 Wellcome Gold Medal, and the 2013 International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine (IACM) Special Award “for his major contributions to the re-introduction of cannabis as a medicine”. He has served as IACM chairman, and twice as President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society.

 

International Cannabinoid Research Society  http://icrs.co/

Dr. Mark Wilbourn is a General Practitioner based in Jersey.

 

Dr Wilbourn trained at the University of Southampton. He undertook Basic Surgical Training in Rotherham and Sheffield. He subsequently spent four years training in ENT and Maxillofacial Surgery before deciding that only General Practice offered the breadth of practice that he was suited to. He therefore opted to train as a GP in the Wessex region.

 

After his medical degree, he has undertaken the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of England diploma, the Diploma in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health and Epidemiology, the Diploma of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners and has some diplomas in nutrition. He has been awarded the Royal College of General Practitioners Fellowship, their highest award.

 

“I am a doctor practicing as a GP in Jersey with training in cannabis medicine. Here, when the legislation around medical cannabis was created, any doctor was permitted to prescribe, without the UK requirement to be on a specialist register. All the guidelines advise prescribing within a doctor’s scope of practice. This means that GPs, who look after patients with multiple medical problems, are able to prescribe cannabis holistically in Jersey.”

 

Dr Wilbourn first met a patient self-medicating with cannabis as a medical student in the mid 90s, the patient’s rheumatoid arthritis was in remission thanks to the cannabis he was using, but he was concerned that his GP or rheumatologist would find out and take it away from him. This left him with the perception that the medical profession and the law needed to facilitate good medical care with cannabis and, finally, this has now happened and he’s happy to be able to support it. 

 

Dr Wilbourn moved to Jersey in 2010 and has worked in Rosewood House, Sandybrook Nursing Home, Island Medical Centre and the Primary Care Governance Team. He currently works part time 4 days per week for Windsor Medical Practice, alternate Saturday mornings and 2 sessions per week for The Medical Cannabis Clinic. He is also a GP appraiser, former Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor, and a Trustee of The Oxygen Centre and Barochamber operator.

Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, Professor Emeritus of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute for Drug Research, is globally acknowledged as the father of cannabinoid research. His pioneering work has proven to be of central importance in pharmacology, physiology, and medicine.

 

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1930, he survived wartime Europe and immigrated to Israel in 1949. Prof. Mechoulam studied biochemistry, receiving his MSc from the Hebrew University in 1952 and his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1958. After completing postdoctoral research at the Rockefeller Institute (today Rockefeller University) in New York, he established his independent research group at the Weizmann Institute in 1960 and, six years later, moved to the Hebrew University, where he would later serve as Rector from 1979 to 1982.

 

Prof. Mechoulam’s research focuses on the chemistry of natural substances, their biological function, and the development of new potential drugs. He is best known for developing the chemistry, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry of cannabinoid compounds of plant origin. In 1964, while at the Weizmann Institute, he reported the isolation and structure elucidation of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant. Prof. Mechoulam subsequently identified the endogenous cannabinoid substances in the brain, which operate a previously unknown biochemical system—the endocannabinoid system. 

 

These substances, the most well-known of which is called anandamide, are involved in a large number of biochemical processes and their function, or dysfunctions, and have been implicated in a long list of diseases. In collaboration with researchers in Israel and abroad, Prof. Mechoulam was instrumental in elucidating the importance of plant cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in many physiological processes and pathological conditions, including neuroprotection, sleep, pain management, trauma, vasodilation, cancer, inflammation, bone formation, learning, and memory. These studies have resulted in the expanding use of medicinal cannabis, as well as the development and study of various medical derivatives for a variety of conditions.

 

Prof. Mechoulam’s research achievements have earned him numerous accolades, including the Israel Prize in Exact Sciences, the Rothschild Prize in Chemical Sciences and Physical Sciences, the international Heinrich Wieland Prize, the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Lifetime Achievement Award, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Lifetime Achievement Award, and the EMET prize in Exact Sciences. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and holds honorary doctorates from various universities in Europe, the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Israel. He has authored some 440 papers, which have been cited some 51,000 times.

 

https://www.weizmann.ac.il/conferences/InternationalBoard2019/prof-raphael-mechoulam

Dr Mark Smith is an experienced UK-trained GP with interests in chronic disease management, sports injuries and diving, and aviation medicals.  In 2015 looking for a career change and a new challenge, he moved with his wife who is also a GP to Perth in Australia.

 

Mark was one of the first GPs in Austra lia to prescribe medical cannabis to his patients and began prescribing shortly after legislation change in 2019.

 

Here he talks about his journey and personal experiences of prescribing and how this has changed his practice and approach to his wider clinical care. He is also uniquely placed to be able to compare and contrast the different approaches taken by Australia and the UK towards access to medical cannabis and the wider role of GPs in prescribing.

Professor David Meiri, PhD, is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Biology at the Technion and a member of the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC). Professor Meiri holds a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology from Tel Aviv University. He conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute where he focused on tumour invasion and metastasis.


During his post-doctoral studies, he expanded his knowledge in human biology and cancer pathogenesis and gained worldwide recognition as an expert in the fields of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), small GTPases and cytoskeleton. Upon completion of his post-doctoral fellowship, Professor Meiri took a position at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, where he heads the “Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research”.


Presently, his lab investigates the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids, with focus on the antitumor effects of cannabinoids.


In addition to the laboratory cannabis research performed on-site, Professor Meiri collaborates with cannabis growers, clinicians, major manufacturers and distributors of medical cannabis for the purpose of revolutionising cannabis treatments.