Early November headlines in the UK press raved about how ‘medical cannabis is now legally available on the NHS.’
Official guidelines from the NHS detailed how The Government “announced plans to reschedule certain cannabis-based products for medicinal use, and has laid regulations in Parliament to that effect.”
While British patients waiting for relief can take some solace that their Government finally recognised cannabis as having medical benefit, a certain degree of caution and skepticism must be taken.
This is the same Government, after all, which allowed a GW Pharmaceuticals to create a global monopoly in exporting “medical cannabis” to over 30 countries, simultaneously criminalising any patient who dared to use medical cannabis not bought from their private stocks.
It’s easy to forget that Britain’s current Drug’s Minster, Victoria Atkins, recently had to resolve herself from discussing cannabis (the single most common drug in the UK after coffee, alcohol and sugar), because her husband, Paul Kenward is the Managing Director of British Sugar, who grow upward of 80 tonnes of cannabis each year for GW under special government monopoly.
It’s may also be easy to forget that Britain was the largest producer and exporter of “medical cannabis” in the world prior to Canada’s legalisation efforts.
The greatest irony of all the headlines declaring medical cannabis is now legal in Britain, is that there are a disgustingly small number of patients who have been able to get a prescription for this “medical cannabis.”
We are all too familiar with the stories of Billy Caldwell, Alfie Deacon and Murray Gray. Stories of brave mothers and even braver children have managed to raise awareness to the plight which thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, families are facing.
Currently, only a handful of children have been granted special permissions to use safe medication, aside from those lucky few who have test subjects for GW’s trails for Lennox Gastaut Syndrome.
There are many more parents whose children are suffering, facing life threatening situations every day who understandably are disheartened by the NHS’ guidelines for medical cannabis in the UK.
According to the guidelines:
“NHS England expects that cannabis-based products for medicinal use should only be prescribed for indications where there is clear published evidence of benefit or UK Guidelines and in patients where there is a clinical need which cannot be met by a licensed medicine and where established treatment options have been exhausted.
“In addition, a Specialist doctor on the General Medical Council Specialist Register should only make the decision to prescribe within their own area of practice and training (e.g. physicians for adults should not be prescribing for children) and the decision to prescribe should be agreed by the multidisciplinary team.”
What this means, is if you are a child suffering from multiple seizures, you must have exhausted all “established treatment options,” meaning every pharmaceutical option first!
Given the fact that 30% of epilepsy is drug resistant, and that there are many drugs to treat it, at what point can one realistically exhaust all treatment options?
There are many approved and clinically proven epilepsy medications, however when one compares the side effects of these drugs to those of absorbing plant-based cannabinoids, medical cannabis may seem the safer option.
Side effects of Epilim, as stated by Epilepsy Action can include “Nausea, stomach upset, diarrhoea, and weight gain (due to increased appetite), increased levels of ammonia in the blood, and reduced platelets in the blood.”
Benzodiazepines which are prescribed as rescue medications have strong effects also:
confusion, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, breathing difficulties, coma, slurred speech, a lack of coordination, not to mention the withdrawal of these Benzos can have on a human body.
When opponents of legalising medical cannabis claim that cannabis can have a negative impact on a child’s developing brain, they fail to take into account that seizures have a far greater impact, or that a dead child’s brain cannot develop.
Each of these children have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which not only receives external cannabinoids (the chemicals in cannabis), but actually endogenously produces them. They don’t have an “Epilim system” or a “Benzodiazepine system,” yet these drugs with far greater risk and side effects are scheduled as having less danger than the schedule 2 cannabis derived medicines have been earmarked for.
In our humble opinion, all of these children and every other human being in the UK has an unalienable human right to access this plant. Not next week, not next year but now and today.
We are not doctors and do not claim to render medical advice, but how is it possible that our medical system and Government are not allowing a more compassionate stance?
The most severe cases of childhood epilepsy can result in death from Tonic-clonic seizures. The longer these go on throughout a child’s life, the more at risk that child is. Seizures can severely disable a child, having a devastating impact on their developing brain.
When opponents of legalising medical cannabis claim that cannabis can have a negative impact on a child’s developing brain, they fail to take into account 2 facts:
- Daily seizures and some of the side effects from epilepsy medication can also damage the Brian and on the worst of cases be fatal.
- The type of cannabis oil being is not the high THC variety, but high CBD low THC cannabis oil or THCa tinctures. These have very minimal, if not no pyscho active effect.
So, to all the parents who have not gained access through the NHS what are your options to gaining access to medical cannabis?
- You can try and get legal get legal access through the NHS following the above guidelines.
- You can travel abroad to legal territories such as Canada, California, Colorado, Holland (Bedrocan), Germany and Israel and purchase cannabis oil under the supervision of a doctor.
- You can make you own cannabis oil with identical CBD to THC ratios or obtain on the black market.
We at MMJ UK understand that many mothers, due to the threat of social services and the desire to have their child surveyed by a trained doctor who can prescribe a safe cannabis product, must seek out options 1 and 2.
However, given the fact that many of these parents are still being denied access to potentially lifesaving medicines, many simply cannot afford to up route and travel out of the UK and the simple truth that are no recorded fatalities from cannabis ever recorded in the history of the world, option 3 is the only viable option.
So, what is even the difference between “medical cannabis” and cannabis anyway?
Not a great deal. The cannabis Sativa L plant has many varieties, with many possible cannabinoid and terpene profiles all of which can interact with your Endocannabinoid System for therapeutic benefit.
All of these varieties and all of the cannabinoids can be extracted using fat to make whole plant full spectrum cannabis oil. Even “skunk” or high THC varieties can be extracted to make non-psychoactive THCa tinctures (THCa only becomes psychoactive when heated above 50C).
There are controversial advocacy groups and lobbyists who will try to convince you differently. They will talk of the risks and differentiation between cannabis seeds final cannabinoid ratios and the dangers of pesticides and molds in untested preparations.
These risks can easily be eliminated by: A) testing your products for cannabinoid ratios, molds and pesticides (this can be done by research facilities, such as Canna); and B) Growing your own with specific strains and no pesticides.
It could also be argued that’s it is in the interest of pharmaceutical companies such as GW, Tilray and Bedrocan to promote the medical cannabis vs recreational cannabis argument, as this leaves them with a monopoly and people believing that their medicine works and recreational is either different or not medical and definitely not possible to make at home.
We are happy with the introductions of so many cannabis medicines and subsequent access to cannabis and also understand that regulations, full testing, and culpability is necessary for medicines to be approved. But we also believe that the Cannabis Sativa L plant has been used as a medicine for 1000’s of years and its therapeutical properties are certainly not exclusive to the companies have been growing it for less than a decade. For millennia civilisations have been extracting all the available cannabinoids from plants all around the world.
Pharmaceutical Companies such as Tilray and GW will sometimes use isolated CBD and THC, not because it is more effective, but because it is easier to patent a specific formula whereas anyone can make a 20:1 extract using any of the above-listed strains.
There are only 4 basic variables when it comes to ‘medical cannabis’:
1) Type of strain(s) used:
This provides the cannabinoid ratio of THC and CBD. Traditionally, recreational cannabis in the UK is high THC and low CBD, for childhood epilepsy this is not suitable due to the psychoactive nature of THC. However, there are many strains of the opposite nature with low THC and high CBD.
We at MMJ helped create such a strain, Candida CD1 that is always under 1% THC and up to 20% CBD offering a 20:1 ratio every time. There are many other strains such as Cannatonic, CBD crew’s Therapy and Dinafem’s Dinamed that offer similar ratios.
Extract, flowers, tinctures, capsules, suppositories and topical applications.
These forms of cannabis define the method of ingestion: smoking/vaping, oral, sublingual, rectal and cellar absorption.
This is the MGs of cannabinoids ingested per patient. Even without testing, it is very easy to work out MGs of cannabinoids per cannabis preparation.
For example, if a strain has 20% CBD and 1% THC and one extracts using any type of lipid fat (instructions at end of article) one divides by ten, so typically an olive oil extraction will have 2% CBD and 0.1% THC. This translates as 20 mgs or CBD per ML and 1 mg of THC per ML.
4) The producer:
There are many pharmaceutical companies mentioned above that are making cannabis extracts and good medicines, but there are also many parents and patients doing exactly the same using these variables as a guide. They are using the same strains, providing the same identical and suitable 20:1 and multiple ratios, making THCa tinctures for the simple reason of alleviating tenor child’s suffering.
We have sent seeds to legal foundations that have had, and are continuing to have, great success simply by growing the cannabis plant and extracting using lipid fats such as glycerin, olive oil, MCT oil, and coconut fat.
One of these is the Abrace Foundation, who have provided access to over 1000 children using fat extracted cannabis oil. They have done this an a manner which generations of people have had access to for centuries. By growing a plant an cooking the dried herbs in fat.
What are the inherent risks of this plant when compared to what must be “exhausted” first?
If you are a parent or a caregiver would you consider growing and using cannabis medically?
Any parents of epileptic that children have been denied access to medical cannabis in the UK or anywhere across the world if you wish to be provided compassionately with high CBD cannabis seeds for the purpose of making non-psychoactive cannabis oil for your children (within jurisdiction) please contact and us in strict confidence email@example.com.
A full recipe for safely making your own medical cannabis tincture at home can be found on our website here: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Medical Cannabis Tincutre.