Participants need a diagnosis from their GP of a list of eligible conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety disorder, multiple sclerosis and adult epilepsy. This information is passed to an independent clinic which then prescribes the medical cannabis.
Lucy said costs have gone down a little as more private clinics have become available. She is now on Project Twenty21, which subsidises access to medical cannabis for eligible patients, while their treatment is tracked by Drug Science, a UK independent science-led drug charity.
Aged 18, Lucy had a severely dislocated jaw and was taking fentanyl , a powerful opioid which is far stronger than heroin.
On her return home she self-medicated with illegal cannabis, getting hold of it by any means possible.
"I have no idea whether I would still be here if I was on my previous treatment. We were at the end of the line and it was my last hope, so I would say it saved my life."
The 21-year-old student has Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS) which affects her connective tissue, and causes her joints to dislocate.
Over the years she has dislocated her shoulder just by brushing her hair, and her jaw just by yawning.
"I need this medication and so do so many other patients," she said.
But here we are. I’m in my mid-50s and let me tell you, all that stuff old people talk about? It’s real. Ligaments, muscles, joints, hell even bones start to ache for no apparent reason. Just wear.
Did you know that every living creature in the animal kingdom has an endocannabinoid system? Neither did I. That’s because they only just discovered it in 1980.
CBD is for short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a chemical found in hemp plants. CBD is important because of how it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate homeostasis—which, as you know, is pretty important. Anyway, the endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout the body that communicate the condition of cells to other parts of the body. Only, these receptors get clogged up with dirt. Ok, so not dirt, but junk. Sorta like how EarPods get clogged with wax if you don’t keep them clean. Anyway, clogged receptors inhibit efficient communications resulting in bad things. CBD helps clean out endocannabinoid receptors so that they process information more efficiently.
The endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate a wide range of bodily functions, particularly in the central nervous and immune systems.
Someone once described the effect of CBD to me like this—think of your receptors as a highway during rush hour. CBD clears out all that traffic so you can get to where you’re going faster.