In relation to a recent BBC link on our Facebook page on medicinal cannabis products for pain relief amongst other uses, I have always been aware that people very quietly have been using some form of cannabis for years.
I would assume that where this knowledge existed amongst pain relief groups, MS Groups etc, patients have their own preferred methods of taking the medication – albeit illegally until November 2018 when a doctor’s prescription will make medicinal cannabis products legal.
I am not advising anyone to go out and try to get cannabis. In fact in speaking to a neighbour who has several chronic conditions which give her great pain, she would never go down the medical cannabis route. There may be various reasons for that, and despite my logic and reasoning that even Queen Victoria used have tinctures of the plant in her travel case for bowel problems, my neighbour resolutely refuses to see that cannabis as a medicine or is legitimate as a pain reliever. That resolve may be down to her evangelical Christianity and background which only sees the psychoactive properties.
I felt that it was appropriate after seeing an interview on BBC Breakfast about an MS sufferer who was hailing the legalisation of cannabis as a great relief. His preferred method of using medical cannabis was a vapouriser /vaporizer which gave him instant and long –lasting relief. He no longer will feel that he is doing something illegal. However, his method implied some form of ‘inside and secret knowledge’ which would be talked about probably ‘sotto voce’ amongst those who were trying to source such kit and the oil.
I must reiterate: medicinal Cannabis is now on the Schedule 2 list of drugs that have therapeutic value.
This extract from the British Medical Journal an essay by MP Barnes gives an insight into the historical use of medicinal cannabis.
“Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. The earliest recorded use dates back to 4000 BC in China. It was recognised as a medicine in both ancient Egypt and India and in the Greek and Roman cultures. In the 19th and 20th centuries it was widely used around the world as a treatment for migraine, neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain, and in childbirth.
In the UK, cannabis was made illegal in 1928 but doctors could prescribe it up to the introduction of the Misuse of Drugs Act in 1971. Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug under the UK Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, which means that cannabis is deemed to have no legitimate use or medicinal value. It also remains a Schedule IV drug under the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty of 1961—along with heroin—for substances “particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects” which is “not offset by substantial therapeutic advantages.”
The illegal status of cannabis has impeded modern research. This is changing in many international jurisdictions.”
It was therefore not too difficult to find patients groups in various countries who discus the various methods of administering cannabis as a medical therapy. One of these patient groups is in Maryland, USA, and I chose it because it has good easy explanations and graphics, along with pro’s and cons of using each method.
Please refer to this UK Government review of the legislation proposed for enactment in November.
“The government has announced a review of the scheduling of cannabis. The review will be in 2 parts:
- part 1 will cover the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products
- part 2 will provide an assessment based on the balance of harms and public health needs of whether cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products should be rescheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001
The review will not cover the classification of cannabis as a class B drug, or any of the penalties for the illicit offences involving cannabis. The penalties for the relevant offences relating to cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 remain the same.”
This author and AAD neither approve nor disapprove of the medicinal use of cannabis as a therapy. We do not have enough background knowledge to comment further, so please tell us your thoughts.