Belgian start-up invests 800,000 euros in medical cannabis research
Belgian start-up CBX Medical wants to conduct thorough research into the medical potential of cannabis. The beneficial effects have been proven, says the company, which today markets cannabis products through pharmacists.
"We want to increase the efficacy of cannabinoids", said founder Jonathan Blondiau, who wants to explore cannabinoids such as CBC and CBL in addition to the well-known CBD.
CBX Medical has only been around for a few years, but last year it marketed a quarter of a million euros worth of cannabis products through pharmacists. These include eight products based on cannabinoids, the active particles of cannabis. They are administered to people with muscle pain, epilepsy attacks or anxiety symptoms.
"Doctors are afraid of patients' reactions when they start talking about cannabis. However, there are positive stories"
The Charleroi-based company can top up a 573,000-euro grant from the Walloon government to a sum of 800,000 euros, to be used by the Brussels university ULB for scientific research over the next four years. In about 10 years, this research should result in new cannabinoid-based drugs.
The taboos still surrounding the cannabis plant are unjustified, according to Blondiau, and stand in the way of the potential for widespread use. "Anyone can draw the leaf; it symbolises all the drugs that exist. Doctors are afraid of patients' reactions when they start talking about cannabis. However, there are positive stories. But it's also a new science, that much is true."
According to CBX Medical, interest from the medical community in medicinal cannabis is growing. The company has given training courses on cannabinoids to more than 1,500 Belgian pharmacists and doctors.
© BELGA PHOTO JONAS D'HOLLANDER / © BELGA VIDEO JONAS D'HOLLANDER