I’m sure you’ve seen in the news across the UK that Billy Caldwell was finally issued a license to use medicinal Marijuana. If you haven’t, here are the details…
Billy Caldwell is a severely epileptic boy, who was left fighting for life after his cannabis oil medication was confiscated, and later returned, by the Home Office. After being seizure free for 250 days, a magnificent feat thanks to being given a high concentrate cannabis oil, his life was put into significant danger after the confiscation of the illegal substance.
Image credit: City of Belfast
The treatment that helped Billy, and continues to do so for many other epilepsy sufferers, was a high concentrate cannabis oil which is illegal in Britain, as it contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive element in marijuana. Billy Caldwell’s mother, Charlotte Caldwell, travelled to Canada to purchase the oil after the Home Office initially banned Billy’s GP from prescribing it to him. Charlotte had said that she would return to the UK with a six month’s supply of cannabis oil, but customs officers confiscated the oral drops upon her return to Heathrow Airport. The oil was later returned to her after the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, intervened. Billy was discharged from the hospital, shortly after the treatment was administered.
We’ve been talking a lot about this case in the office this week, and it’s been the subject of many debates amongst many for years. Personally, I think it’s about time that things started to change. The poor lad, just like many others in similar situations, was suffering from numerous, potentially life threatening seizures every day, and whilst being treated with marijuana oil, Billy remained seizure free for 250 days until his medication was taken off him. Being an Epilepsy sufferer myself, I know how much seizures can really drain you of all energy, and lead to headaches, muscle strains, and much more. Charlotte Caldwell fought tirelessly to get Billy the license to prevent his life-threatening seizures, and if you think she’s a bad parent, you obviously don’t have children of your own. If you did, and were in the same situation, I know you’d do the exact same!
Now here’s the science-y bit…
The bud of the Marijuana plant has two main Cannabinoids; known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which gives you the high feeling, and Cannabidiol (CBD) which has many medicinal benefits such as pain relief, potential reduction of anxiety and depression, counteracting the side effects of chemotherapy such as lack of appetite, and has shown to attack cancerous tumours.
I know you’re thinking “where’s your evidence?”. I’m not mad, in fact, I’m glad you asked..
Image credit: The truth about cancer
- Decreasing the symptoms of a severe seizure disorders.
- Stopping cancer from spreading, at least in cell cultures.
- Easing the pain of multiple sclerosis.
- Relieving arthritis discomfort.
- Soothing tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Eliminating nightmares.
- Reducing some of the pain and nausea from chemotherapy.
- Stimulating appetite.
- May decrease anxiety in low doses.
- May slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Seems to lessen side effects from treating hepatitis C and increase treatment effectiveness.
- May help with inflammatory bowel diseases.
- May help veterans suffering from PTSD.
I personally think that what people don’t realise is that Marijuana effects everyone differently, and the people who have a bad experience are so quick to label it as “dangerous” or the “devils lettuce”. I get it, to an extent, but if only they were to realise the potential it has to offer on a medicinal level, and how much it would save the NHS (not to mention making people with mentally and physically draining illnesses smile and laugh).
I sometimes wonder, do people disagree with the use of medical marijuana because people don’t want Britain to be connected, or associated with the taboo attached to ‘weed’? Let me know!
One night, I got sucked into YouTube for a good few hours (don’t judge – I’m sure you’ve done it before ;)) and I found this video, I’m not going to tell you what it is, because I want you to watch it with whatever mentality you have in your mind RIGHT NOW on the subject of medical marijuana – let me know what your honest reaction is in the comments section below. This is just one of the MANY videos like this, and I’m curious to find out how they make you feel.
For more information on the studies on the effects of Epilepsy and Marijuana, please head over to the Epilepsy Society website. (We’re proud to say that we’ll be doing a lot for them this year).