Why is everybody so buzzed up about the potential medical properties of cannabis? Could the plant be verifiably effective in treating a wide range of conditions? Is it useful in countering even more illnesses than those against which its value is already proven? A Spanish company by the name of Oils4Cure have inspired us with their determination to explore these questions. As a result we’ve thrown our products and technical support behind their officially licensed project to cultivate and to produce extracts for medical trials.
Greater acceptance of the medical applications for cannabis in Spain means there is an important difference in perspective here. For example, in the UK and elsewhere we’d say Oils4Cure ‘are exploring the usefulness of cannabis’. In Spain that usefulness is medically established – the scope for applications is simply widening.
However you want to frame it, Oils4Cure are dedicated to providing accessible, cannabis-based medicines. Licensed by the Spanish Government, the company are permitted to grow two varieties of cannabis sativa (CBD 16%/ THC 0.5% and CBD 7.5%/ THC 7.5%). Once the project achieves the Spanish Drug Administration’s requisite quality and production levels clinical trials can commence. The intention is to use extracts produced by Oils4Cure to treat pathologies such as refractory epilepsy, neuropathic pain and/or spasticity.
Equipped with 52 of our Auto8s, Oils4Cure have begun work on production of the plants. Each Auto8 holds eight 15L / 3.9 gal pots making for a total of 416 plants, all of which have been supplied by Canamos Farmland SLU – the project’s principal outsource company. Oils4Cure’s current licence allows a maximum of 800 plants in a 350m2 growing area – a limit they are sure to fully embrace as they expand over time. Once on-stream their production target is 100kg per growing cycle, from which they are permitted to produce a maximum of 600g of extract.
The Auto8s offer the desired productivity combined with minimal maintenance and zero water or nutrient wastage. They don’t require electricity, pumps, computers, or plumbing for run-off or recirculation – thus keeping set-up very simple. In Auto8 the pots are gravity-fed in a single tray and lid assembly by a single AQUAvalve. Footprint is reduced which means Oils4Cure are getting the greatest possible return on their available space.
Efficiency and productivity are key if medicines are to be produced affordably. To these ends Metrop’s highly concentrated, biodegradable fertilisers are being employed at all stages of growth under expert consultation, courtesy of fellow project supporters Urban Agronomy. Further precision assistance comes in the form of CultivoHighLEDs which are providing highly productive, highly adjustable, cultivation-spectrometry-optimised LED lighting for the mother plants.
In the production areas the close arrangement of plants made possible by Auto8 means that relatively few lights are needed, reducing overheads further. Such close arrangements are a viable option thanks to reduced requirement for maintenance access on each module’s single AQUAvalve. Should Oils4Cure need to house plants at different stages of growth Auto8 also accommodates 8.5L pots with no adjustment to the tray required. A diverse range of strains is possible.
Worldwide, so many complex medical requirements are currently at hand. New ones that medicine has not yet fully grasped and old ones we are yet to get to grips with – some of which are life-threatening. Understandably, the urgency with which incurable illnesses are being addressed has pushed many illnesses that ‘merely’ inhibit life down the pecking order. And sadly, for those unable to simply live life as they would wish, this phenomenon is nothing new.
Present circumstances have rearranged priorities where development of medicines is concerned. But the demotion of efforts to cure or alleviate certain conditions is longstanding. The whims of economics, politics, and perception have often seen cures for ‘less appealing illnesses’ fall by the wayside. Even where cures have been produced they can be prohibitively expensive. People looking for help with conditions that impede their everyday lives need accessible, affordable solutions.
All things considered the promise of developing recognised, accessible medicines that offer a better life just seems too good to pass up. That’s why we wish Oils4Cure and organisations like them every success in their endeavours. Follow their progress with us on Insta and Facebook.