European Activism: The Medical Cannabis Bike Tour

It has been described as “activism with a twist,” “a great adventure” and “a sporting triumph.”  The Medical Cannabis Bike Tour is a non-profit organization riding to change the way marijuana is perceived in Europe.

In November,  it handed over 100,000 Euros to fund a groundbreaking clinical study into the use of cannabinoids (THC and CBD) in the treatment of brain cancer (glioma) patients. Scheduled to begin in mid-2015, these medical trials involving 30-40 patients will be conducted in a handful of Spanish hospitals.

Not bad for a bike ride that began in 2012 with only two participants!

Started by Luc Krol, the owner of Dutch seed bank, Paradise Seeds, and Matej Snail, who runs Slovenian accessory supplier Custom Rolling Papers, the bike ride was a response to the frustration they felt at the lack of medical research into the medicinal properties of cannabis.

Both men had been personally affected by cancer (Luc lost his mother, and Matej had recovered from it) and were interested in the work being carried out by scientists at Madrid’s Complutense University, where doctors Manuel Guzman and Guillermo Velasco have been studying the effects of cannabinoids on cancer cells since the late 1990s.

Their research suggests that, when used in combination with other anti-cancer agents, cannabinoids can reduce tumor size and even kill cancer cells. At present, the only clinical study into this area is being conducted by British based GW Pharma, producer of oral spray Sativex. It was decided that the bike tour money would be used to help the research program of these scientists.

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