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Found 41 results

  1. Anyone have any experience with CANCARD? Thinking of applying for one as I'm a medical user with about 5 qualifying criteria. Just wondered if anyone has been through the process and has any feedback? Cheers
  2. Hi there! Yes, yes, they are arrived.... Six new CBD strains ! Have a look and tell us...... Beautiful day !
  3. New CBD Strains

    From the album Paradise Seeds Strains

    Six new CBD Strains
  4. Smocking or no smocking

    From the album blog

    Healthier than smocking
  5. Hi 420 Buddies ! A new year, a new blog;) Smocking or not smocking, that is the question...... https://www.paradise-seeds.com/en/info/the-advantages-of-alternative-methods-to-smoking-cannabis/ Enjoy your green loves......
  6. Paradise Seeds

    From the album fun&co

  7. Evening guys. Been chatting with the missus tonight and we in in the market for some new strains. Primary focus is medicinal. We have grown a lot and smoked a lot over the years. Pain relief & sleep being the main priorities. We love our Indicas too. Recently our grows have consisted of Ugorg Blues, Killer Skunk, Psycho Sister, Ugorg #1, The Kali (Big Buddha), Jack Herer (Sensi). What is a strain that has surprised you? Anything fresh or newly released out there? Maybe a really strong Sativa? Thanks for reading
  8. Im back...... The water garden has had a facelift and is now ready welcome some new girls. I will popping using the traditional method of paper towels. I am using a RUSH system this time......I have upgraded it a little with better returns (ice line), I have two air pumps running 13 coke can air stones. (75l/m) I will have to use up the rest of my Plant Magic on this grow.....but it will be the last.....its f@ckin shite IMO So I will be only using the DWC A+B this time hydro silicon (a must) Canna PK13/14 (it seemed to be the 'cleanest' pk i could find) 1 packet of House and Garden shooting powder for the last week. I will use the root stimulations in veg in the x stream but that shite is going no where near the system as it 'furs' up my chiller. Just waiting for postman and games can begin
  9. Why the scientists think cannabis will harm us? I have researched of myself to looking at to it. But, unfortunately there can be impacts of your mental health. AT LEAST if you keep the limits of THC to be balanced of medication. Normally, some people would using it all the time like 24/7. But, this is why THC got to be limited by your immune and nerves system to handle with this strength. Will this impact my mental health? According the reports number of people using it that they have a mental health. So, they might have using the different drugs of cocaine or crack either heroin.. which it’s highly addictive compare than cannbis. So, cannabis was grown as a plant. Not anything poisonous stuff. (This is my theory, so. Don’t putting in horrible way to me. I’m just trying my best to legalise this law of United Kingdom)
  10. Hi Can nurses allow inpatients to use cannabis compounds? Should patients be allowed to have cannabidiol – also known as CBD – when staying in hospital? This was a question raised at a press event I attended last week. At the event, I heard about the latest research on CBD from Dragonfly – a brand of CBD. The compound is one of several cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. In contrast to some cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have the psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis use. It is legal in the UK and can, therefore, be bought from a number of high-street stores and over the internet – though at a hefty cost. According to Dragonfly, research on CBD is still in its “infancy”, but the company’s strongest evidence on beneficial effects of its use is for pain, anxiety and sleep. On my table at the event was Andy Yates, a pharmacist with a PhD in cannabinoid medicinal chemistry and pharmacy lead for the Centre for Medical Cannabis. I asked Dr Yates what the rise in accessibility of CBD and public awareness of the substance meant for nurses. He said nursing staff would have to consider whether it was appropriate for their patients to use CBD when they stayed in hospital. “Would nurses let patients keep vitamins on them?” he asked me. I wasn’t entirely sure of the correct answer here. When I was a healthcare assistant in a mental health unit, we kept vitamins stored away to enable us to monitor patient use. However, I appreciate different settings will have different protocols. Our conversation highlighted to me the real uncertainty for nurses and other health professionals surrounding CBD use. Dr Yates explained that the compound was classed as a food supplement and not a medicine. “This actually causes quite a lot of problems because the way it’s written, and the amount of data and research out there to show this could have beneficial use, can sometimes confuse this issue,” he explained during his presentation at the event. “But just to be clear... you cannot go out there and tell anyone how these products work or how well they will work for a particular condition. “They are a food supplement and the way I like to think of them is like any other food supplement – if you take these regularly, daily, you get a wellbeing effect. “But we can’t tell you how much to take for treating your anxiety.” He explained that patients will do their own research and that health professionals should support them in that. However, he added that research should always be taken with a “pinch of salt” as it was not guaranteed that a product would actually work. Although health professionals cannot tell people how these products work or how much to take for a condition, I asked Dr Yates whether they would be safe to recommend the use of CBD to their patients – in the same way as they might recommend patients take exercise, for example. Dr Yates said he was unsure but assured me it was a question he wanted to get to the bottom of. Again, a lack of clarity over what nurses can or can’t do. What I have taken away from this event is that nurses need advice and support on their professional responsibilities regarding CBD. Are they allowed to recommend its use? And can they allow patients to use it in hospital? As CBD becomes increasingly prevalent in shops and online, regulators need to clarify where nurses and other health professionals stand so they can maintain patient safety and avoid any disciplinary issues. https://www.nursingtimes.net/opinion/can-nurses-allow-inpatients-to-use-cannabis-compounds-04-10-2019/ Bongme
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/24/medical-cannabis-firms-press-uk-to-loosen-prescription-rules The world’s largest medicinal cannabis company has urged the government to allow GPs to prescribe the drug, calling on the UK to be a “leader not a laggard” in one of the world’s fastest growing major industries. Cam Battley, chief corporate officer of Canada-based Aurora Cannabis, said the UK was failing patients who might benefit from medicinal cannabis, as well as forfeiting economic gain, due to the restrictions of the existing regulatory regime. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, authorised the use of medicinal products derived from cannabis last year following a long-running campaign fronted by the parents of children suffering severe epilepsy, who reported that cannabis oil helped with their condition. But it can only be prescribed by specialist physicians and cannot be imported until a prescription has been issued. These rules, coupled with division among doctors about how effective it is, means fewer than 100 patients are thought to have been prescribed it. “What was the point of creating a medical cannabis system if patients can’t access it?” Battley said, speaking at the annual Cannabis Europa conference in London, attended by leading firms in the nascent but already multibillion dollar industry. Cam Battley is the chief corporate officer of Aurora Cannabis, the world largest medicinal cannabis company. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian “It’s time for the UK to take this system that is not working and make it work,” he said. “Let’s make sure that general practitioners can prescribe. There’s no need for requiring a specialist consultant to write a prescription. I’d like to see the UK be a leader, not a laggard.” David Henn, chief executive of Germany-based Cannamedical, backed Battley, saying the law “does not make great sense for patients” and also forced up costs. He said restrictions on imports caused by the UK’s regulatory regime meant that Cannamedical could profitably sell medicinal cannabis to pharmacies in Germany at €10 a gram but would have to ask for £30 a gram to achieve the same margin in the UK. “We need to be able to hold stock, bring in larger amounts so that as soon as there is a prescription you can distribute to pharmacies,” he said. He added that a no-deal Brexit could make it near-impossible for UK patients to obtain medicinal cannabis, unless the UK aligns itself with EU rules on good manufacturing practice. Campaigners and companies that produce cannabis say patients have reported that it can help with pain, epilepsy and nausea, including sickness caused by chemotherapy. Cannabis for kids: a medicinal miracle or 'gross negligence'? Battley told the Guardian that the company was “making progress” in discussions with the government about loosening regulation, adding that it was only in the last year that politicians had been willing to speak to the company. He pointed to Aurora’s domestic market of Canada, where he said the number of patients had gone from a handful to 400,000 in just a few years, with 20,000 physicians having prescribed cannabis since its medical use was legalised in 2001. Recreational marijuana is also legal in Canada, which has become the de facto centre of the global industry, hosting giants such as Aurora, which produces 160,000kg of dried flower a year and has a stock market value of more than £5.5bn. Canopy Growth, a rival which trades under the stock market ticker WEED and has a partnership with rapper Snoop Dogg, is the largest company by stock market value, at $10.6billion. Battley also warned that the UK was missing out on developing its own cannabis industry due to the restrictive regulatory environment. “It’s not that often that a new industry is invented in real time. The UK should grab hold of that and the jobs that will ensue. “Otherwise there will be questions asked and fingers pointed about who missed the opportunity. I’d like to have a very robust presence here. This country is ideal.” He also predicted that the UK would eventually legalise cannabis for recreational use but said that policymakers would reach this decision “organically”.
  12. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/medical-cannabis-access/66811/ GreenLight Pharmaceuticals Ltd is advancing clinical research and education in UK and Ireland; Though government progress on access and prescribing recommendations lags behind much of Europe GreenLight and Medical Cannabis Established in 2014, GreenLight Pharmaceuticals Ltd is an Irish biopharmaceutical company focused on developing safe and effective plant-based medicines. GreenLight specialises in phytocannabinoid research and clinical development. ‘Medical cannabis’ (cannabis-based medical products (CBMP)) refers to a range of products that contain active compounds (primarily Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)), either synthesized chemically, isolated from plant or raw plant preparations. In the past decade Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland have implemented medical cannabis access programmes for particular indications (Figure 1). In 2018 Ireland and UK also permitted medical use, however, the prescribing process is still nascent, restricting access and uptake. This article briefly explores the current clinical evidence, issues in the UK and Irish patient access and medical education programmes, with GreenLight’s plans highlighted. Clinical Evidence for Medical Cannabis Albeit ‘moderate’ in nature, the strongest evidence of CBMPs clinical efficacy stems from systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Multiple sclerosis, pain and epilepsy are conditions consistently cited in government reports from Europe and U.S. as the most appropriate to target with medical cannabis. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Standardised cannabis plant extracts of THC and CBD delivered in equal quantities (nabixomols) were the first CBMP to be licensed in the UK for MS-related muscle spasm and neuropathic pain. MS patients receiving nabiximols as an adjunct treatment report reduced spasm versus standard treatment. In 2014 nabiximols were licensed in Ireland, however, the Health Service Executive do not currently deem it to be cost-effective. Chronic pain Chronic pain, including neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain is a major reason that patients cite for accessing medical cannabis in Canada and the US. A 2018 Cochrane review reports a modest but significant increase in the proportion of patients who achieve a 30% reduction in pain. GreenLight is optimising clinical trial designs to test cannabinoid combinations for pain in arthritis. Epilepsy A 2018 systematic review, of intractable childhood epilepsy RCTs, concludes that adding CBD to conventional anti-epileptic drugs significantly reduces seizure frequency (48.5% of patients reported 50%+ reductions in seizure frequency). GreenLight plan to add to the limited knowledge in this condition by conducting dose-finding trials to minimise interactions with co-medications, in other forms of epilepsy. GreenLight are already screening the efficacy of lesser-studied cannabinoids from their cultivation programme in 3 core disease areas: Neurological conditions – Alzheimer’s, addiction and pain. Inflammatory conditions- rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis-related depression, eye disease and diabetes. Cancer- of the prostate. Access Programmes and Medical Education A range of medical cannabis regulatory frameworks and provision models are currently employed across Europe, with varying degrees of patient accessibility. As UK and Ireland have only recently approved medical cannabis, much progress is needed to operate as effectively as established European programmes (Figure 1). GreenLight Pharma is actively engaging regulators to improve patient access programmes. The current frameworks are briefly contrasted with Germany below. Figure 1: Availability of cannabinoid containing medical products and cannabis preparations in Europe Sources: HPRA, 2017 and EMCDDA, 2018 United Kingdom In November 2018 medical cannabis was moved from schedule 1 (no medicinal value) to schedule 2, allowing specialist doctors to prescribe for any condition, and for clinical research to be conducted. Since the reschedule, 18 private (no NHS) prescriptions for standardised plant preparations have been made. Doctors are wary to prescribe for a multitude of reasons including the modest evidence base, lack of NHS reimbursement and no NICE prescribing guidance (due Oct. 2019). Importantly, GreenLight’s clinical trials will evaluate safety alongside clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of CBMPs. Ireland In 2017 a HPRA report recommended that medical cannabis should be prescribed in a limited number of medical conditions, where prior treatment has failed. Specified conditions include MS spasticity, intractable cancer nausea and refractory epilepsy. The Access Programme for medical cannabis is embryonic and currently limited in uptake. Prescribing doctors need to secure a licence for named patients from the Minister for Health. Irish supplies of medical cannabis have only recently been secured, with a small number of patients permitted to use cannabis products from the Netherlands. Announcement of a formal access programme is expected in mid-2019. Germany Germany has followed a similar legal framework to the Netherlands with the 2017 Cannabis as Medicine act. Patients with treatment-refractory conditions can access nabiximols, dried cannabis plant or standardised extracts prepared in pharmacies. Prescription is not limited to specialist doctors, nor for specific indications. Germany has tendered for domestic production of up to 2 metric tons of cannabis per anum to standardise the quality of supplies. GreenLight are developing cultivation licences in several countries in Europe and have secured supplier agreements to ensure sustainable, high-quality supplies. Prescribing guidance needed Training on CBMPs in the UK is yet to be commissioned by the NHS. In Ireland, the HPRA Medical Cannabis access programme has published detailed guidelines on CBMPs prescribing. Several medical professional organisations have developed clinical advice on CBMPs. Complementing these efforts, GreenLight has compiled an online course on cannabinoid prescribing, which will be launched in autumn 2019. It is clear that frameworks for medical cannabis access remain underdeveloped in the UK and Ireland. However, GreenLight is actively leading improvements in medical training, prescription recommendations, standardised supplies and robust clinical trials to help develop access systems that fit regulatory requirements, while meeting patient and clinician demand for safe and effective medicines.
  13. https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/cannabis-club-makes-official-bid-2945329 Leicester Cannabis Club has announced that it has requested a cannabis license from the Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Founded in 2018 by Carl Deacon and Lee-Anne Lawrie, the club says it's the second of its kind to request a license. Companies who wish to produce, supply, possess or import and export controlled drugs require a license to do so. The couple wish to procure a license so they can supply members with medicinal cannabis they say they need to control their condition. 'People should be able to gain access to medicinal cannabis when it's required' The class B drug can be used when prescribed by a doctor to treat some illnesses such as rare and severe forms of epilepsy. As a recreational drug cannabis is illegal in the UK and has been since 1928. But founders of Leicester Cannabis Club believe that everyone should have the right to self-medicate with medicinal cannabis. Speaking to LeicestershireLive, Ms Lawrie said: "People should be able to gain access to medicinal cannabis when it's required. "There needs to be regulation, when you look at other countries across the world we are falling behind." (Image: Leicester Cannabis Club) "I have friends that are alcoholics, and their lives and their family's lives have been ruined because of alcohol," added Carl. "I don't know anyone's life that has purely been ruined by cannabis." Both Carl and Lee-Anne have used extracts of cannabis to aid with their health problems. "I have used CBD oil for my anxiety and it changed my life drastically," said Lee-Anne. "It just seemed to calm my head, I wasn't even aware that I had anxiety. "When I went to doctors they tried to prescribe me anti-depressants, but I didn't feel depressed. "I started to look for alternative medication, and I found CBD oil and it worked." The pair's experiences led to the creation of the club and they hope to be granted a license to help those in need access the drug. But they are clear that cannabis should be used to treat medical issues and that more regulation will make the use of the drug safer. "People are desperate to have the right access to medicinal cannabis," said Lee-Anne. "People are forced to turn to the black market and that's dangerous and can be extremely harmful, especially for someone who could be going through chemotherapy - you just don't know what chemicals it has been treated with." "Regulation could stop that." "Something needs to change in the NHS" One of those desperate for medicinal cannabis to be regulated and more readily available is seven year-old Maya Fairlie, who suffers from severe epilepsy. LeicestershireLive spoke to her mum, Sam, in December last year as she battled to get her daughter the medication she believed would change her life. This week Ms Fairlie has secured a private prescription of medicinal cannabis for her daughter, but it comes at a cost of £6,000 for just three months worth of dosage. Sam Fairlie wants her seven year-old Maya who suffers from intractable epilepsy. "There is a sense of relief," she said. "But with it comes dread because it's not going to be sustainable in the long term. "In Holland for example the same medication is three times less expensive, and it's exactly the same product." "Something needs to change in the NHS because the other treatments she's gone through come with horrific side effects." Because the medication is not going to be sustainable due to cost Sam said they are "living with uncertainty". What the law says In November 2018 the government announced that cannabis could be prescribed for medicinal purposes when it is agreed that it could benefit the patient. The prescription can only be made by a specialist doctor and not a GP. And Ms Fairlie says that getting a prescription has proved almost impossible. According to the NHS website cannabis is only likely to be prescribed to: Children and adults with rare and severe forms of epilepsy Adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy It can be administered in numerous different ways including a spray that is consumed through the mouth. THC is not present within this variant of the drug, therefore it is not possible to get high as a result. Both Ms Fairlie and the cannabis club say the law needs to change to allow medicinal cannabis to be readily available for those in need.
  14. https://news.weedmaps.com/2019/05/british-home-medical-marijuana-cultivators-must-walk-a-legal-tightrope/ When Carly Barton became the first adult patient in the United Kingdom to receive a medical cannabis prescription to manage her chronic fibromyalgia pain, she declared that her need for opioid-based painkillers was about to be over. However, when Barton learned that her prescription would cost her 1,400 pounds, or about US$1,814, per month and would not be covered by England's traditionally generous National Health Service (NHS), she decided she had no other choice but to grow her own, despite warnings from the police that she was “openly breaking the law,” and that they “would not look the other way.” “The whole country is in the same situation,” Barton said in a phone conversation. “If you can afford a couple of thousand pounds a month, then you're classified as a patient. If not, you're regarded as a criminal. It's beyond ridiculous.” Cultivation of marijuana in England can carry up to a 14-year prison sentence. That has not stopped the 32-year-old, who taught sculpture at Brighton University for three years until the pain became too much. At 24, while in the third year of writing her dissertation, Barton suffered a stroke, after which she was diagnosed with significant nerve damage, post-stroke neuropathy, and fibromyalgia. She was taking up to two dozen pharmaceutical painkillers, including liquid morphine and a fentanyl patch, which did little to control her pain, she said, while the side effects kept her in bed and unable to work for nearly six years. “The first time I tried medical cannabis, I was completely pain-free for the first time in years,” Barton said. “I was able to get around town, not in a wheelchair, and to medicate freely without looking over my shoulder. I am not going back to any of that, especially not to the wheelchair.” Barton would have to break the law. “On April 9, I planted my first seed then I went into the Sussex police station to tell them,” Barton said. “I wrote and signed a paper and gave it to them stating that I'm growing four plants — the exact strain that I was prescribed for my condition. And basically, I said 'come and arrest me if you want.' ” The police officer on duty that day looked stunned. “She said 'This has never happened before. You're putting us in a very difficult position.' I told her that I, too, am in a very difficult position. I don't want to break the law or start trouble. I'm trying to come up with a solution.” Sussex Police Media Officer Andy Freeman said in an email that cannabis possession cases can be dealt with by “conditional caution or community resolution … .” And that “each case is dealt with on its individual merits taking into account our overall policy.” To date, the Sussex police have not moved against Barton. Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne told Barton that her hands were tied unless there was a change of policy from the top — the British Home Office, which oversees visas, immigration, and law enforcement. So that's where Barton went next. On May 4, 2019, Barton sent an open letter to British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who oversaw the UK's legalization of medical cannabis in 2018 following the high-profile cases of Billy Caldwell, 13, and Alfie Dingley, 7, whose mothers' struggle to legally treat their epileptic sons with medical marijuana stayed in the headlines in England for months. “As law-abiding citizens, I and the undersigned have no option for safe access to our medicine, other than to grow cannabis in our own homes,” Barton wrote to the Home Secretary. Britain's unclear guidelines on medical marijuana have made it difficult for people like Barton to get their prescriptions filled and paid for by the NHS, regardless of physicians' recommendation to treat any of four qualifying conditions: chronic pain, nausea caused by chemotherapy, spasticity connected to multiple sclerosis (MS), and epilepsy. What's the problem? Axel Klein, a social anthropologist and senior research associate of the Global Drug Policy Observatory of the U.K.'s Swansea University in Wales, said cannabis reform has been inherited and perpetuated by successive British governments that have lacked the will to do anything about it. “In a way, cannabis is regulated … it's just that the regulation has been handed over to criminals in something that I call 'mal-regulation,' where it achieves the maximum harm,” said Klein. In a way, cannabis is regulated … it's just that the regulation has been handed over to criminals in something that I call 'mal-regulation,' where it achieves the maximum harm. -- researcher Axel Klein Click To Tweet Klein explained that the NHS will cover the cost of cannabis only if a local panel approves a prescription, but that often those who sit on the panels do not fully understand patient needs. “Also, the NHS is cash-strapped and people who need cannabis don't just need it for a little while,” Klein told Weedmaps News. “For example, if you have M.S., you don't just use it several times. You may need it for the rest of your life.” Klein pointed out that the U.K. is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of cannabis products, which makes the problem for British patients all the more frustrating. “Those in need are being forced to turn their homes into a crime scene and risk being raided by the police,” Klein said. “If you can afford to pay for a prescription, you're fine. Medical cannabis is not for the poor.” The expense and difficulty of finding medical marijuana in her home means U.K. resident Carly Barton cultivates her own small crop. (Photo courtesy of Carly Barton) Klein said that his native Germany has an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 medical marijuana patients whose prescriptions are covered by the country's Government Health Insurance System, though laws restrict home cultivation. Yet the UK lags behind. Professor David Nutt at Imperial College London noted in a recent essay in the British medical journal BMJ, that “still only a tiny number of children with severe juvenile epilepsies are being treated.” Klein estimated that fewer than 10 people, mostly youngsters, are receiving medical cannabis through the NHS. What's to be done? Notwithstanding her showdown with the police and publicly demanding the attention of the Home Secretary, Barton has a plan and it's already in effect. Barton set up a patient registry known as Carly's Amnesty on April 24, 2019, for patients with medical conditions listed under the UK's medical marijuana guidelines, who also are unable to afford their prescription and are considering whether to grow their own. “It's a network for safe access where patients can sign up, grow their own medicine, and receive amnesty from prosecution,” Barton said. Barton explained that authorities will be made aware of individual dosage requirements and given access to the data collected by the registry in the event they want to arrange a visit to ensure that a patient is compliant. Patients can grow up to a maximum of nine plants. Barton is working with lawyers, academics, medical professionals, think tanks, and government departments to work through the details of the amnesty scheme. “This is happening ... with some common sense and the promise that if the police come to inspect a patient's home, they're not all tactically geared up for a raid but rather they knock on the door, come in, have a cup of tea, count the number of plants then leave.” As of May 10, 2019, Carly's Amnesty already had some 300 people signed up. “We also have a similar number of patients expressing interest who say they're willing to sign on once we have all agreed on the amnesty,” Barton said. “There are understandably some nerves to get over.” Featured Image: Carly Barton, of Sussex, is in legal limbo for cultivating medical cannabis, even though she is the first adult patient in the United Kingdom to receive a medical cannabis prescription to manage her chronic fibromyalgia. (Photo courtesy of Carly Barton)
  15. https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/come-and-get-us-uk-cannabis-growers-tell-police-in-protest In a small town in a remote protected wilderness area in the far north of England, eight or nine miles from the nearest police station, Leon sleeps with a hammer next to his pillow, his front door barricaded with wooden beams he’s drilled into place. “I’m in a no-man’s land,” Leon told Leafly in a recent telephone interview. “I’m sick of living like this.” These scant security measures are the first and last lines of defense between outside threats and the eight cannabis plants he’s cultivating in a spare room. His main worry these days isn’t a visit from local rip-off artists but the faraway police, though both know exactly what he’s doing. In the case of the cops, it’s because Leon told them. Leon, whose last name and exact location Leafly is withholding at his request, is one of several hundred cannabis patients in the UK—one in every police district in the country—who have identified themselves to local law enforcement as illegally cultivating cannabis. Though doing so puts these activists at risk, the act of self-incriminating is an effort to shame police and public health officials into changing UK cannabis policy and easing access for patients who have one or more qualifying conditions and say they cannot afford a private prescription. Even after last year’s great advance for medical cannabis—a set of reforms triggered after officials from seized cannabis oil from an epileptic boy’s family at Heathrow Airport, prompting an international outcry and a reexamination of one of western Europe’s most punitive cannabis policies—and after several years of steadily declines in marijuana-related arrests, anxiety is still a way of life for anyone growing the plant in the United Kingdom. And obtaining access through other means remains either illegal or nearly impossible, not to mention dangerous or costly. Though medical cannabis became legal with a doctor’s prescription in November, doctors with the country’s National Health Service, which covers health care for 97%of Britons, still refuse to write prescriptions. That leaves private health care, and even after paying a private physician upwards of £1,000 for a prescription, accessing cannabis or cannabis-based medicines remains both difficult and exorbitantly expensive. So far only 450 people across the country have managed to get a prescription, according to NHS data. Which means that for many, the illegal market remains the only viable path to cannabis. And while police appear less than zealous to crack down on legitimate patients, raids can and do happen. The campaign to self-incriminate started with Carly Barton, a 32-year-old art lecturer who last year became the UK’s first licensed medical cannabis patient. Frustrated by the unworkable situation around access, Barton, who has fibromyalgia-related chronic pain following a stroke, became the first to rat herself out to the police. Barton did so in a letter sent to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the Cabinet minister in charge of setting law enforcement policy and the official who triggered last year’s thaw. Barton’s self-outing sparked a media blitz—and inspired Leon and many others to follow. As of Sunday, no patients had received a response from police authorities after identifying themselves, according to Barton. On the other hand, no one who’d signed on to the amnesty petition had received a visit from the authorities, either. What comes now is a test of the effectiveness of mass protest, law-enforcement officials’ resolve—and the responsiveness of British officials already occupied with the ongoing Brexit drama. “From what I understand, police are behind the amnesty,” Leon said. “They won’t [raid] if they don’t have to. For genuinely sick people in need of medicinal cannabis, they’re on our side.” That uneasy peace evaporates if a neighbor phones the cops—police are then obliged to respond—but even in that case, officials will already be fully aware that what they’re responding to is a cannabis garden grown by a sick person for medicinal purposes rather than profit. Much like in the United States, police attitudes in the UK towards cannabis vary wildly depending on geography. The inconsistency makes it difficult to know whether local law enforcement will crack down or look the other way. In Durham, for example, Chief Constable Mike Barton runs what the Economist called one of Britain’s top-rated police forces. Barton has also effectively decriminalized cannabis by telling his 1,100 constables not to pursue arrests against personal-use possession and cultivation. “I want to cultivate it. I want to know what I’m smoking.” Ann Alston, UK medical home grower But Ann Alston does not live in Durham. The 54 year old lost her career five years ago due to debilitating pain, also from fibromyalgia, which left her reliant on a cornucopia of opioids. Alston resides in South Wales, where police have a zero-tolerance attitude towards cannabis. Many of her neighbors, she said, are retired police officers with similar attitudes. “Just yesterday there was a bust not two and a half miles from me, in a tiny little village,” she told Leafly on Thursday. “If anyone thought for one minute that I had a joint in this house, they’d come through the door heavy-handed.” Alston’s routine, whenever she tires of the fentanyl patches or liquid morphine she’s prescribed, is to phone a friend, who then arranges for her to pick up a miniscule amount of cannabis: a joint or two. She’ll then smoke in a secluded area before returning home. She does not dare keep any cannabis in the house. All she wants, she says, is a modest garden. “I want to cultivate it. I want to know what I’m smoking,” she said. “Just enough for me to be able to get out of bed and be able to face the day.” The risks UK patients run come from authorities other than the police. In the case of Giancarlo, who lives in London and uses cannabis to help manage Crohn’s disease, an appointment his wife had with her therapist nearly resulted in disaster. Giancarlo, whose last name Leafly is withholding at his request, started growing cannabis out of economic necessity—bought on the street, a month’s supply was running him up to £1,000. Initially, he was most worried about his landlord discovering the grow tents and evicting him. But a week after his wife mentioned in a therapy appointment that she was using cannabis to help treat her depression, a social worker showed up at their two-bedroom flat, asking after the welfare of the couple’s 12-year-old daughter. One of those two bedrooms had three cannabis plants—one of which was flowering. “It was terrifying,” said Giancarlo, who handled the situation with guarded honesty. He acknowledged using cannabis for medical reasons and said he does so away from his daughter. He did not mention cultivation, however; it didn’t come up. That satisfied the social worker, but every knock at his flat door still sends Giancarlo into a panic. Last week, he said, a helicopter hovered above his building for 45 minutes. Was it searching for heat signatures from grow rooms? He can’t know, but the experiences underscore the necessity for more advances. They were also enough to compel Giancarlo to follow Barton and Leon’s lead and confess to the police that he, too, is growing cannabis—not only because he must in order to live, but also to avoid putting money in a drug-trafficker’s pocket. “We need to take this risk because otherwise we will wait many, many years until someone, a politician or someone in government, changes something,” Giancarlo said. “This is our chance to do something. I need to take this risk. I need to step in front to show the authorities that I am not a criminal. That’s why I’m not hiding. I’m not doing something bad. I’m doing something for my health.” Back in the far north, Leon, who grows to help manage chronic pain after a 2001 stroke, is on a classic underground grower’s schedule. He’s up all night with the plants and turns in for a few hours of fitful sleep around dawn. All he wants, he told Leafly, is to cultivate in peace, maybe for a few other patients—something that sounds very similar to the caregiver model common in early US medical marijuana states. “We’re so close to a change right now,” he said. “But until then, I’m just living day to day.”
  16. https://www.carlysamnesty.org/ I've been looking at this and I'm really disappointed by the way this is set up. It looks harder to get into than getting a prescription off the NHS. It doesn't cover a load of medical conditions. She has fallen for the BS about cannabis causing psychosis and being bad for heart conditions. It looks like a massive suck-up to government and police. I wish her well for her personal grow and hope she sets a precedent, but self appointed schemes like this are just playing into the hands of the establishment rules and bollocks.
  17. https://news.sky.com/story/carly-barton-medicinal-cannabis-user-to-openly-break-the-law-to-combat-pain-11687277 A woman who uses medicinal cannabis to combat chronic pain says she is going to "openly break the law" after running out of money for private prescriptions. Carly Barton, who feels "frustrated" and "trapped in a very odd situation", says she has resorted to growing and buying the drug illegally instead. She cannot get it on the NHS because it is classed as an untested medicine, she says. The 32-year-old uses medicinal cannabis because she suffers from fibromyalgia - a condition that causes pain all over the body - following a stroke in her early twenties. The former university lecturer, who taught fine art, is believed to have become the first person to be prescribed cannabis in the UK in December after it was made legal for medicinal use in November. But private prescriptions have been costing her about £1,300 a month, and her savings have been wiped out. Woman becomes first UK patient to get cannabis prescription She has previously been prescribed strong opioids including morphine and fentanyl, but they left her feeling "zombied" and still "crying in pain". "I am going to openly break the law until I can access my medicine or they give me some kind of exemption," she said. "I do not see myself as a criminal. There are two doctors who have prescribed it to me and now there is a vague law which does not seem to see it as a potential medicine. "It looks like you can't legally get cannabis on the NHS because the evidence does not exist as yet (to say it is safe) because it has been illegal for so long." In an open letter to the Sussex Police Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, Ms Barton says she has "no other choice" than to grow the drug to control her pain. Ms Barton added: "I do not want to be a zombie or back in a wheelchair. I want to live my life and cannabis enables me to do that. "I am feeling trapped in a very odd situation. I am frustrated." The Department of Health and Social Care said the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence had been asked to "develop additional clinical guidelines" and was "working with Health Education England to provide additional training". A spokesman said: "The government has delivered on its promise and specialist doctors can now prescribe cannabis-based medical products where there is clinical evidence of benefit. "We are also promoting more research through the National Institute for Health Research to further improve the evidence base."
  18. https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/news/medical-cannabis-industry-should-be-told-to-provide-evidence-if-it-wants-products-prescribed-mps-hear/20206346.article?firstPass=false Keith Ridge told the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee hearing on medical cannabis policy that he saw the primary purpose of rescheduling medical cannabis as supporting development of good evidence. Evidence for the prescribing of medical cannabis is lacking, Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for England, has told MPs. Speaking at the second of two House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee hearings on medical cannabis policy on 26 March 2019, Ridge said that he saw the primary purpose of rescheduling medical cannabis as to support “development of good evidence of both benefit and risk”. told MPs that it was important to “consider the needs of seriously ill patients” and to ensure that “when a patient needs a medicine urgently, there are systems in place” to allow that to happen. But he emphasised that commissioning systems are “based on evidence … at the moment we find ourselves in a situation where evidence is lacking”. Robust, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are “top of the list”, he added. Baroness Blackwood, under secretary of state for health and social care, told the committee that “pressure should be put on the industry” to fund RCTs, echoing sentiments previously expressed by Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England. “These are multibillion dollar companies; [medical cannabis] is a billion pound market, and there is no reason that I can see that they should not be funding clinical trials like any other drug company,” she said. Committee chair Sarah Wollaston asked Blackwood what could be done if manufacturers refused to supply a medical cannabis product for trials. She said the British Paediatric Neurology Association had told the committee that they “haven’t been able to secure an agreement from [medical cannabis producer] Tilray to provide the product for a trial that they are proposing to conduct”. Blackwood replied that such a response was “completely unacceptable” from a cannabis company. “We obviously need to develop the clinical evidence. I can’t understand for the life of me why a cannabis company wouldn’t want to develop the evidence base in order for their drug to be more prescribed and for there to be more confidence in it,” she said. “I will take that away and I will talk to the Department and see what action could be taken”. Chris Whitty, chief scientific advisor at the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “If this committee can make clear to the industry that in the UK we take evidence very seriously, and if you will not provide the evidence you’ve very unlikely to have your drug prescribed — that would actually be a very powerful signal.”
  19. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6870733/Meet-cannabis-farmer-fiercely-anti-drugs.html Meet the cannabis farmer who is fiercely anti-drugs: After losing her husband to cancer this glamorous mum, 52, is embarking on an extraordinary new path Tina Bolding, 52, from Guernsey lost her husband to cancer three years ago While her husband Brian was sick, she travelled to Holland to find pain relief She was granted permission to grow her cannabis to produce CBD oils last year The mother-of-two opened the first shop on her island selling CBD oil in August We are sitting in a disused two-acre greenhouse, formerly part of Guernsey's once-flourishing tomato growing trade. A sprinkler system of black hosepipes is piled up on the greenhouse floor, waiting to be erected along the roof of the building, and small tents are in boxes, about to be set up to provide the optimum conditions for the fledgling plants. Stud partitioning is to be installed, too, to ensure the right kind of light. Everything has been designed to the meticulous level of pharmaceutic conditions. Because, all being well, in 200 days, this giant greenhouse will produce 40g of cannabis leaves per square foot, which will provide 1,742,400 grams per acre. +6 Tina Bolding, 52, from Guernsey lost her husband to cancer three years ago. Pictured: the mother-of-two now, in her cannabis farm in Guernsey Times that by two, and factor in one-and-a-half crops per annum, and you quickly get to the calculation that this site will easily be producing 5 million grams of cannabis per year. Guernsey is not a place automatically associated with 8ft-high security fencing to protect drugs. It is a quiet, relatively crime-free Channel Island where people can still leave their front doors open. Even more surprising is that the person spearheading the island's first foray into cannabis production is Tina Bolding, a glamorous 52-year-old mum with no background in farming. Until now, she has never so much as grown a cucumber. Today, Britain's first female cannabis farmer is in skintight jeans, high-heeled boots and a Barbour puffa coat. Her hair is highlighted and styled, so she looks more yummy mummy than weed farmer. However, in February, Tina was granted permission by Guernsey's progressive government to grow her own cannabis to produce a variety of different CBD oils. Guernsey Gold, as she is naming the strongest, is not medical strength — she has to stick rigidly to the CBD advertising guidelines that it is a food supplement that 'assists' with making life better, rather than 'curing' conditions. +6 While her husband Brian, 13 years her senior, was sick, she travelled to Holland to find pain relief for him. Pictured: Tina holding a cannabis plant But its life-enhancing aspects are what first set her on such an unusual career path. 'I've never taken drugs in my life. I've never smoked a joint. I've always been so anti-drugs. This is totally alien to anything else I've ever done in my life,' admits Tina, who trained to be a graphic designer before meeting husband Brian. Although 13 years her senior, and with children of his own from a previous marriage, Brian swept Tina, then 22, off her feet. Nicknamed Mr Extreme for his passion for life and flying, he would say to her: 'This life isn't a dress rehearsal, Tina. Let's get whatever we want. Let's do whatever we want.' So together, they lived life to the full. They had two children (a boy and a girl), married and worked hard on their London-based car mechanic franchise: 'We were together all the time. That was it. That was us. Togetherness,' says Tina. Even when their children were tiny, they would fly around the world in Brian's plane, going on holidays and skiing. 'We had a really interesting marriage. There was never a dull moment. He would do the most beautiful things for me. We were just very lucky.' +6 In February, Tina was granted permission by Guernsey's progressive government to grow her own cannabis to produce a variety of different CBD oils. Pictured in her shop on the island Then, in 2013, aged 59, Brian said he wanted to retire to Guernsey so they could spend more quality time together. 'We visited with the children on a Scout trip and Brian fell in love with it,' recalls Tina. 'He joked it had to be far enough from the business so I wouldn't keep going back there. The plan was to slow down and travel more.' But today, Tina lives alone on Guernsey. Brian died in 2016 of lung cancer, which spread to his bones. Within ten months of being diagnosed in December 2015 — he'd had a pain that they thought was a frozen shoulder — Tina was facing life as a widow. She was 50, with a 17-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son doing his A-levels. They had lived on the island for three-and-a-half years before Brian died, the last of which had been spent in and out of hospital. Tina knew virtually nobody. Plans for their new life were in shreds. 'When you're told nothing can be done to save the person you love, yet you have this person in front of you, you just shout: "No! I don't believe you!"' says Tina. 'All the while they are living and breathing, you think: "There must be something to be done to save them."Brian was in pieces. He was absolutely in pieces. He couldn't stop crying and, while I was comforting him, I just kept thinking: "I have to find an answer. It's all going to be OK." +6 When her husband died, she was 50, with a 17-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son doing his A-levels. They had lived on the island for three-and-a-half years. Pictured now with the oil 'I took him to Holland and Germany, trying various things. But also you think about buying things on the internet, and it's just so scary because you don't want to make things worse or mess up the treatment.' Brian died on October 20, 2016, after a six-week period of hospitalisation in which he suffered terrible pain. 'I never left his side,' says Tina. 'I spent the whole six weeks sleeping in a chair. He needed me with him 24/7.' When he died, Tina's world collapsed. Two-and-a-half years on, her grief is tangible. Tears stream down her face as she recalls her astonishment at the speed with which her husband's illness marched on and the pain it inflicted on his body. 'I always thought it would be better to be warned about losing the person you loved, because you'd have time to say goodbye and all those things you want to say to them — but the reality of it doesn't work like that. 'You are telling your loved one everything is going to be OK. You are supporting them and giving hope, so, actually, you don't say those things, because it would be like giving up.' +6 Tine admits that she had the predicted visits from people looking for a quick way to find an illegal high, but, once they understood CBD oil was nowhere near that bracket It was during the swift period of Brian's decline that Tina took to the internet to find everything — anything — that might make him feel better. During this trawling, she discovered that, in other countries, cannabis oil in high medicinal doses could be used to alleviate extreme pain. It had also been linked with stopping seizures in children. This was shown to be the case with 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, whose mother Charlotte was stopped at Heathrow in 2018 bringing in medicinal cannabis oil that made her son better. Following Billy's case, since November 1, 2018, it is legal for UK doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis under certain very restricted conditions — although not a single NHS patient has yet had a prescription approved. For Tina's husband, this new ruling came too late. But, in the bleak months after his death, at a loss as to what to do with herself, she found it impossible to let go of the idea that, had she been able legally to use medicinal cannabis — or any responsibly produced, albeit weaker, CBD oil — Brian's pain might have been so much less. This conviction started her on a new course in life. Last August, on what would have been Brian's 65th birthday, she opened the first shop on her island selling CBD oil, called The Original Alternative. She admits that she had the predicted visits from people looking for a quick way to find an illegal high, but, once they understood CBD oil was nowhere near that bracket, the 'silly interest' died away, and she and her staff — including a full-time highly qualified herbalist — began helping people from all over. Word began to spread. Now, she says, the stories of improvement in quality of life among so many of her customers are astounding. Problems experienced by her clients range from sleeplessness to depression, and she also helps cancer patients just like Brian. She shows me a text message from the daughter of one cancer patient that reads: 'You have changed my father's life.' Tina adds: 'When Brian was dying, he said to me: "You have to get me an injection, a tablet, anything to put me out of this pain." He was on morphine, but he was screaming. Everything I read back then about cannabis oil showed real evidence of how it could help.' +6 At present, Tina is the only non-pharmaceutical operation in the UK. There is only one other big cannabis farm, in Norfolk, and this is pharmaceutical It was a fortuitous meeting with ex-palliative carer, now cannabis consultant, Ben Birrell, that led her to think about starting a cannabis-based business. There was, of course, shock from her family. A mother becoming a cannabis farmer? Whatever next? 'I've always been so anti-drugs, so I think my children thought: 'What on earth is Mum doing?' 'My husband always went for the difficult things in life and, after I lost him, I thought: "What have I got to lose? Nobody knows me on Guernsey anyway." At present, Tina is the only non-pharmaceutical operation in the UK. There is only one other big cannabis farm, in Norfolk, and this is pharmaceutical. 'I said to the Guernsey government: "Globally, the mindset towards cannabis oil is changing. Not only will you help people, but you will put Guernsey on the map if you allow this product."' I said to the Guernsey government: "Globally, the mindset towards cannabis oil is changing. Not only will you help people, but you will put Guernsey on the map if you allow this product It is a business decision, too. Her project, called Celebrated, is entirely self-financed. But it is a good risk. The profit projection is unknown, Tina says. However she is confident that, based on the same kind of model in other countries, she — and, by proxy, Guernsey through the 20 per cent tax — will reap great benefits. The potential value of the crop means security is high. As well as fencing to deter thieves, CCTV cameras will be everywhere. But Tina insists emotion, rather than profit, is propelling her on. Until now, Tina has made her Guernsey Gold product off-site, using cannabis from Holland and a lab in Spain. But her growers' licence has changed that: 'Now we can produce it from beginning to end.' She and Ben are putting together a team that includes Guernsey's traditional 'growers', once in the business of producing good old-fashioned tomatoes. People have offered derelict greenhouses, too. Tina adds: 'My dream is that, one day, we'll have a co-operative where people can grow it for themselves for oils, complying to regulations.' Other Guernsey people will be trained to work in the laboratory — named after Brian — about to be built at the front of the greenhouse, which will produce the varying types of permissible CBD oil. 'It's a bit like cooking. We call one of the chief guys 'chef' because he comes up with all the formulas.' Tina admits she continues to struggle with bereavement. But she takes pride in her appearance, goes to the gym and, like so many widows, is trying hard to build a life without her husband. She has made friends on the island and admits she would like to find somebody else one day 'because I don't want to be alone'. Her daughter, who'll be 20 this month, is at university, while her 21-year-old son lives with her. Tina also practises what she preaches. She takes her 'blue' CBD oil in the morning, to pick up her mood, and a 'purple' oil two hours before bed if she is struggling to sleep. Her grief is still raw, but she has come a long way since the night when death neared and she sobbed in Brian's arms: 'I want to come with you.' 'But,' she remembers sadly, 'he said to me: 'Tina, you have been a wonderful wife. You have to stay strong for the children,' and they are so proud of me now. 'This new project is absolutely wonderful. I deal with things that I don't like by distracting myself. I have to find a way of involving myself in something so that it obscures the unhappy things. 'This gives me a reason and a purpose to my life. I feel like I am making a difference. I miss Brian terribly, but at least I have a reason to keep going because before this, I didn't really.'
  20. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-safe-is-cannabis-for-medical-uses “I think that we’ve opened a Pandora's box,” Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, told a parliamentary committee on medical cannabis earlier this month. Stressing how little is known about the health benefits of marijuana, Davies warned of its potential dangers. And she isn’t alone in her concerns. Since legislation was introduced by home secretary Sajid Javid in November 2018, only a token few NHS doctors have prescribed cannabis to patients, despite the high demand from advocacy groups. In this cannabis vacuum, private clinics could be the country’s first major legal dealers. Costing £200 for an appointment and between £600 and £700 a month for a prescription, these clinics, the first of which opened in Greater Manchester earlier this month, look set to supply the budding patients left wanting by the NHS. So is the NHS withholding valuable medicine, or are the private clinics distributing dangerous drugs? “There is a belief that cannabis works for many conditions,” says Davies. “Meanwhile, what is the impact of taking it for a prolonged period of time? We know [THC, a cannabis chemical] has an impact on the brain and causes depression, schizophrenia, brain development problems in young and adolescence. If a pregnant mother was taking it, I'd be very worried.” THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. When consumed, it binds to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, associated with memory, coordination, and time perception, causing a high. The feeling is enticing enough to make cannabis the most commonly used illicit substance around the world. But research shows that prolonged consumption can have some less-than dope effects. One recent study linked high-THC cannabis varieties with psychosis and even estimated that half of first-time psychotic disorders cases in Amsterdam could be avoided if the potent drug wasn’t available. But studies such as these are often based on recreational, ‘street’ varieties, which have been pushed to high-THC potencies by prohibition and consumer demand. Medical cannabis is instead high in CBD, the ‘miracle molecule’ that’s been hailed by many users as a cure for everything from chronic pain to cancer. Despite being a legal medicine in multiple countries, the claims associated with CBD can lead many to question its true benefits. “There is considerable evidence of usefulness in chronic pain, epilepsy, sickness during chemotherapy, as well for anxiety, PTSD, and sleep,” says Mike Barnes, a neurologist. He is also the clinical director of the new specialist cannabis clinics and gave evidence at the recent parliamentary debate, urging the panel to take heed of CBD’s existing evidence base. “Cannabis can be a good remedy for many conditions like fibromyalgia, appetite stimulation, Crohn's disease, and cancer,” he says. “Sure, we need more evidence of exactly what type of cannabis, in what dose and what format serves each condition best, but there is enough evidence for their doctor to seriously consider a prescription. If that doctor will not prescribe, then they should seek a cannabis expert to assist.” While more evidence is needed to properly convince the NHS, there is still a large stack of studies to back up Barnes’ claims. Among many revelations, research has shown how cannabis can help reducemethamphetamine addiction, remedy anxiety, suppress inflammation, treat autism spectrum disorder, and even increase sperm counts. It also seems to help with epileptic conditions. After all, it was the plights of two boys with severe epilepsy that kick-started the UK’s cannabis conversation last summer. And after being temporarily granted the medication, the children’s seizures reportedly went down from 150 a month to zero. Certain CBD studies have also been shown to trigger unwanted side effects, such as decreased appetite and diarrhoea. But when bombarded with examples where it does help, it’s almost no wonder that medical cannabis advocates can get frustrated with the reticence of the NHS. “Davis said that we have to wait three or four years before that kind of high-quality data is with us. How do you explain it to a parent?” says Peter Carroll, founder of the End Our Pain, a campaign to broaden medical cannabis access to children with epilepsy. Speaking alongside Professor Barnes, Carroll confronted the parliamentary panel with a story of a mother who illegally purchased cannabis products to treat her child. “The child has improved dramatically,” he stated. “So that's her random controlled trial. And her own local doctors in the NHS have said, ‘we see the improvement’, and then they say, ‘but we're not going to prescribe it’.” “I think that we have to take a broader view of the evidence here because there is a point where multiple anecdotal stories do actually build on to a pattern of evidence,” he continued. “And it seems absurd to me that we have to wait three, four or five years on these trials to be produced when there are actually real-life cases now.” The randomised controlled trials Carroll mentions are the gold-standard for clinical drug testing. In such trials, two groups are studied, one supplied the drug, the other a placebo, with no one knowing which they’ve been given. But any resulting drug can take years to become available. “You’ve got consider what's happening in the context of the NHS, the culture of the NHS, the revered nature of the NHS,” says Steve Moore, who helps run the Centre for Medical Cannabis, a think tank with the aim of escalating cannabis clinical trials. “People are asking for things quickly at the moment, but I think what they need to realise is that it will work at the pace of the NHS.” Last summer, Moore directed the campaign to grant Billy Caldwell, one of the boys living with epilepsy, his cannabis oil. While these trails get underway, those with means may opt out of the state structure and sign up to the private clinics, two more of which are planned to open in Birmingham and London later this year. Others will undoubtedly continue to source cannabis from the black market. “I really hope we can do the trials,” said Davies as she concluded her parliament testimony. “Because without those, how can we help the patients? And that's what we’re all here for.”
  21. https://www.dw.com/en/will-germany-become-the-worlds-largest-market-for-medicinal-cannabis/a-48112905 Will Germany become the world's largest market for medicinal cannabis? The use of medicinal cannabis has been allowed in Germany for two years now. But because domestic cultivation hasn't gotten off the ground yet, the plant has been imported, mainly from Canada. That might change soon. As Europe's biggest cannabis investor conference kicks off in Berlin on Sunday, the most important topic will be the future cultivation of the plant in Germany, according to German Hemp Association (DHV) Chief Executive Georg Wurth. He finds it rather pathetic that there still is no cannabis cultivation in Europe's biggest economy. For two years, Germany has allowed cannabis cultivation for medical purposes. But picking suitable growers hasn't been all plain sailing. A competitive tendering process had to be started from scratch following initial procedural errors. According to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfarM), there will be clarity in a couple of months as to which enterprises will get a license to produce cannabis at the behest of the state. Frankfurt-based entrepreneur Niklas Kouperanis believes that is an unrealistic deadline. "I don't see any real progress in this matter over the next two years," he said. With a couple of investors on board, Kouperanis founded a startup called Farmako, which he said would focus on cannabis research, with financing for the project to come from the import and sale of cannabis flowers. "We want to make Europe less dependent when it comes to cultivating cannabis." Medicinal cannabis from North Macedonia Farmako aims to produce medicinal cannabis in North Macedonia on a large scale and import it to Germany and other nations via Poland. When cannabis became accessible in Germany on prescription, Canadian companies were quick to conquer the market. A number of financially strong Canadian firms have since acquired many German startups active in this field. While Canadians were at the forefront of exporting the plant, "they have failed to deliver to all regions in Europe, and Germany for that matter," said Kouperanis. Bottlenecks have also been reported by Georg Wurth. "At the moment, there's next to nothing coming in from Canada as companies there are preoccupied with their home market," he said. This is because since the middle of last year, Canadians have been allowed to consume cannabis for recreational purposes as well as medicinal, pushing up demand considerably. Betting on the future Talking about Europe, Kouperanis says there's a lot of potential. "We're only just starting." According to industry-affiliated research institute Prohibition Partners, the market for medicinal cannabis in Germany could swell to roughly €7.7 billion ($8.6 billion) by 2028, and for the whole of Europe to €58 billion. Statutory health insurance providers in Germany reported revenues to the tune of some €70 million last year for products containing cannabis. By comparison, companies selling conventional pain killers in Germany logged revenues of €600 million in 2017. But if the cannabis market in Germany grows as fast as in other nations, there's potential for something much bigger. In Canada, the plant's use for medical purposes was legalized in 2001 while in Israel it was as early as 1995, with cannabis for medical purposes in those countries used by roughly 1 percent of the population. That would be about 800,000 people in Germany. Patient numbers are not centrally registered in Germany, but 2018 estimates suggest there are currently between 30,000-70,000 cannabis-consuming patients in the country. When will prices tumble? Farmako's Niklas Kouperanis plans to get 50 tons of cannabis to the German market in the next four years. In 2018, pharmacies across Germany only received 3.13 tons in official cannabis flower supplies. The BfarM tender foresees around 10 tons in cannabis to be cultivated domestically over four years. For patients whose health insurances do not cover the cost of any cannabis therapy, Farmako's activities could have a nice side effect. Right now, a gram of cannabis costs up to €26 at a pharmacy. "We could sell it for as low as €16 per gram," Kouperanis said. Made in Europe The success of Farmako's import plans will hinge on when state-controlled cultivation of cannabis begins in Germany. Georg Wurth is confident that a first group of cannabis farmers can get going in a few months. "Had the process been quicker, Germany could have become a crucial location for the cannabis business," he said, adding the delays had only helped nations such as Portugal, Greece and North Macedonia push their domestic cultivation. Kouperanis believes that Germany would not be a suitable cannabis grower anyway because of the country's high labor costs. That's why he didn't even apply for the tendering procedure, "because it wouldn't have made economic sense to me." However, imports will still be needed in large quantities even after cultivation starts in Germany.
  22. https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/fleetwood-mp-s-support-for-medical-cannabis-push-1-9677183 Cat Smith signs her support for the push for more accessible medical cannabisFleetwood MP Cat Smith has given her support to a campaign for medical cannabis. Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK last year, but patients still struggle to get a specialist prescription for the drug, which NHS guidelines say can be used to treat children with severe epilepsy, as well as sickness and chronic pain associated with chemotherapy. Campaigners at End Our Pain are now calling for all doctors, not just specialists, to be allowed to prescribe cannabis to their patients where appropriate, and for patients to be able to go with their prescription to a pharmacy and collect it as they would any other drug. Ms Smith said she has joined others in writing to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urging him to help patients whose conditions may be eased by the use of medical cannabis. Ms Smith said: “I’m alarmed that campaigners have been unable to find a single new NHS prescription for a wholeplant medical cannabis product being written for any patient in the UK. “The reality is families are watching children suffer when there are medicines out there that could help them, or they’re taking expensive and stressful trips abroad for medical cannabis.”Read more at: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/fleetwood-mp-s-support-for-medical-cannabis-push-1-9677183
  23. Hi guys, I've been talking to a friend who uses cbd for joint pains, but is paying quite a bit for it - so I thought why not just grow some and give her a stack for free I plan to grow a plant, maybe chop the whole lot up and infuse into coconut oil before placing the oil into capsules for easy dosing. So I have two questions: 1st, primarily which strains do I have to select from? Ideally something indica so it won't take over my whole tent. Needs to be for someone who doesn't get high, so must comply with the legal amount of thc allowed - is this <.5%? 2nd is my thought of doing a coconut oil infusion going to be the best / easiest way to get what I want? Open to any suggestions here, so long as it doesn't involve any additional process - iso is out of the question as I don't have facilities to do a purge. I was going to pop this in a pm to @Dinafem-Mark, but I doubt I'll be the only one to ask this, so having it here for record may prove useful to others in the future. Cheers
  24. https://www.thelocal.de/20190308/two-years-since-legalization-germans-still-face-hurdles-accessing-medical-marijuana Two years since legalization, patients in Germany still face hurdles accessing medical marijuana A man in Würzburg holding cannabis. Photo: DPA DPA/The Local news@thelocal.de @thelocalgermany 8 March 2019 14:25 CET+01:00 This Sunday, medical marijuana will have been legal for two years in Germany. But patients are still facing supply shortages, high prices and societal taboos. Is this changing? The decision two years ago was a sensation in the German healthcare system: Since March 10th, 2017, patients have been able to access medical cannabis - as long as it’s prescribed by a doctor - on a regular basis. Since then, the drug has experienced a boom. Foreign companies have come to Germany in the hope of big business, more and more patients are seeking cannabis therapies - and doctors, pharmacies and health insurance companies are experiencing an unabated rush. SEE ALSO: Seven things to know about weed in Germany Until liberalisation, medical cannabis was a niche in Germany, with only around 1,000 patients using it through a special permit. Since then, demand has risen rapidly, according to figures from the pharmacists' association ABDA and the German Cannabis Association (DHV). Around 142,000 prescriptions were issued in 2018. The DHV estimates that there are currently 50-60,000 private and statutory health insurance patients - or three times as many as since the first 10 months of legalization in 2017. The figures suggest significantly more patients are being supplied with medical cannabis, said Andreas Kiefer, CEO of the German Drug Testing Institute. Yet “we don't know whether all patients who could benefit from medical cannabis have access to it," he said. According to the DHS, doctors are still often reluctant to prescribe medicines containing cannabis because of the hurdles they face in its approval by health insurance companies, or because there remains a taboo about the use of cannabis, even for medical purposes. Doctors lack continuing education about the drug, added DHV, and are thus often skeptical about its medical effects or that they could fuel a drug habit. SEE ALSO: How patients in Germany are still struggling to get cannibus, despite a loosening of the law In 2018, a total of 19,600 applications for reimbursement of the often expensive cannabis therapies were received by the major health insurers alone - AOK-Bundesverband, Barmer, Techniker and DAK-Gesundheit. Approximately two-thirds of the applications were approved by the health insurance funds, whereas in the remaining cases they were rejected or the companies asked for further information. A boom for exporters from abroad Germany has not yet granted licenses for the domestic cultivation of cannabis - which has led to a boom in exporters from abroad looking to sell in the German market. Critics say it has also resulted in high prices - or three times that of what customers pay for the same products in the Netherlands, according to DHV - and a supply bottleneck at pharmacies. The Canadian company Tilray recently announced that it would make cannabis flowers available to all local pharmacies in Germany - with immediate effect. Now Israel - in which medical hemp has a long tradition - has given the go-ahead for the export of medical cannabis to Germany. The Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam discovered back in 1964 that THC and CBD can relieve pain and relieve cramps. The country’s low humidity and the favourable climate make cultivation in the country efficient. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, more than 18 tons of medical cannabis are produced each year. But does Israel have enough resources for export? Dadi Segal, head of the pharmaceutical company Panaxia, is optimistic. "We produce 50,000 products a month, there are three tons of cannabis in the safe, and we are ready for more,” he told DPA. Should demand from abroad increase, Panaxia, one of Israel's largest producers, could work three shifts a day. The German market is very interesting, says Segal. "We are talking to several companies that would be interested in medical cannabis from Israel.” An ongoing debate over medical uses How cannabis works has long been known. It can relieve spasticity in multiple sclerosis or chronic pain, for example. In some cases, however, the medical effects are poorly documented, for example in nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy or in Tourette's syndrome, as the German Medical Association emphasizes. This is attracting critics. Although the medical use of cannabis has been known for more than 4,700 years, according to a specialist article by Barmer Krankenversicherung (Insurance), "in many respects it has also remained at a pre-scientific level.”
  25. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/how-britain-became-the-worlds-largest-expert-in-medical-marijuana/?fbclid=IwAR1DJ0qo5gigghySpxJqSpvCVjkZzxJ7NsmUj-sba_etC-S6ezsBQFtqaIo If you were looking for an international drugs empire, Downham Market would not be the first place you’d think of. With a population of around 10,000, this sleepy Fenland town is probably about as typical as they come — typical, that is, apart from the smell. It was around two years ago that residents first noticed it: a distinctive pungent scent which seemed to hang on the wind before eventually engulfing the town for several days. Now locals say the gusts come and go. But when the odour first appeared, it was so strong that at least one resident phoned the police to complain about feeling nauseous. It turned out that the smell was coming from an 18-hectare cannabis plantation housed in some nearby industrial greenhouses. But this was no black market operation: the premises were owned by British Sugar and the cannabis was being grown under licence from the Home Office. Nor was it a small gig: experts say that the Downham Market operation (which continues to this day) probably produces more than 90 tonnes of legal cannabis each year. Of course, cannabis remains a strictly prohibited substance in Britain, having been upgraded to a class B drug (with possession punishable by five years in prison) by the last Labour government. How, then, is a FTSE 100 company involved in harvesting gargantuan amounts of cannabis in the middle of East Anglia? The truth is that Britain has a thriving ‘legal’ cannabis industry, which exists alongside the black market. It uses Home Office permissions, as well as some legal loopholes, to generate hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue each year — with full support from the British government, which takes a cut from the proceeds. Last year, a UN report revealed that the success of this venture had made Britain the biggest producer and exporter of legal cannabis in the world. So when did it all begin? In 1998 a British biotech company called GW Pharmaceuticals was approved by the Home Office to conduct clinical trials on using weed to reduce seizures in patients living with the most serious types of epilepsy. For the first time, the British press began to talk about so-called ‘medical marijuana’. In the 20 years since then, GW Pharmaceuticals has developed two of the world’s most successful cannabis-based drugs, including Epidiolex — the first of its kind to win FDA-approval in the US (sending GW’s shares into orbit in the process). Its current valuation is more than £3 billion. Good news for its largest shareholder, Capital Group, a US-based investment house which also employs Philip May, the Prime Minister’s husband, at its plush London offices. In 2016, following exponential growth of the medical marijuana industry in the United States, the Home Office approved a deal to allow GW Pharmaceuticals to expand its cannabis empire using British Sugar’s greenhouse facilities. So the government was encouraging medical cannabis, but still banning it. This embarrassing situation was highlighted in an unexpected way a year ago when the government appointed a new drugs minister, Victoria Atkins, who, as eagle-eyed bloggers pointed out, is married to the managing director of British Sugar. Red-faced, the minister formally excused herself from answering any questions on marijuana policy. For supporters of medical marijuana, this was galling given the Home Office’s historic track record in blocking UK patients with chronic conditions from accessing cannabis–based medicines, usually on the basis that marijuana had no medical value whatsoever. Now here was a drugs minister whose husband was involved in the production of medical marijuana. These contradictions are growing harder for the government to ignore. Six months ago the mother of Billy Caldwell, a severely epileptic boy from Northern Ireland, returned from America bringing cannabis oils for his treatment. The police set out to arrest her at the airport, and had to be stopped by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, who could imagine the headlines. Although the oil is legal in 30 countries, Home Office officials wanted to impound the supply. At one point, a customs official was sent to the hospital to guard the oil against theft. It was a farce that demonstrated the law needed to change. Marijuana usage is now allowed in rare cases where authorities are satisfied there is an ‘unmet special clinical need’. Despite this, there are no plans to make medicines like Epidiolex, the patented drug which makes millions for GW Pharmaceuticals, available in Britain. GW Pharmaceuticals and its shareholders aren’t the only ones making money from inconsistencies in the UK’s cannabis laws. In the investment houses of Mayfair, bullish analysts speak of the ‘green rush’ and of ‘Big Marijuana’. One industry research group, Prohibition Partners, has estimated that a British medical marijuana market would be worth £8 billion a year. Blue-chip investors, having already cashed in on developments in America, are understandably excited. It’s not just medical marijuana which is on the rise in Britain: a range of new lifestyle products, freely available in high street shops and supermarkets, are quickly building a new consumer industry for so-called ‘legal cannabis’. These products claim to use non–intoxicating CBD oils, with only small traces of THC (the part of the plant that gets you high), to help ease various physical and mental ailments. It’s still illegal for any kind of medicinal claims to be made for CBD in Britain, but its devotees say it can play a big role in reducing pain, lowering blood pressure and relieving symptoms of depression and insomnia. Typically, it is distilled into tonic drinks, supplement pills or edible oils which can be marketed to fashionable millennials and the health-conscious middle-aged. In the US, where the industry has evolved alongside recreational marijuana, sales of these products are expected to be worth some $2 billion within four years. It’s even possible to buy CBD supplements for elderly and arthritic dogs. As by-products of the cannabis plant, though, such supplements are still illegal to manufacture in Britain: it’s only EU laws which mean that imported CBD products can be sold here without any kind of licence. It’s not the only instance of people taking advantage of confusion in EU laws about cannabis. In July last year, it was discovered that online retailers based in Switzerland had produced a low-strength cannabis which they were claiming could be sold legally under European law. It’s not true (their weed is just a bit weaker than normal black market stuff), but their produce can still be bought online and shipped to the UK. Added together, medical marijuana and CBD represent a rapidly changing industry, already worth some hundreds of millions of pounds each year. More importantly, they show a growing acceptance of cannabis among Britain’s political and business establishments — and this is making investors very excited. After all, since Britain has emerged as a world leader (an accidental one at that) in this field, could manufacturing medical marijuana be our next boom industry — both at home and abroad? A useful first step would be a change in the law about the use of such medicines here, which would allow a lucrative home market for UK-patented drugs such as Epidiolex to open up. Allowing biotech start-ups to develop the next generation of marijuana meds would break the effective monopoly enjoyed by GW Pharmaceuticals. And what about the ultimate hippy pipe-dream: the legalisation of recreational cannabis in Britain? Thanks no doubt to developments in the US and Canada, the issue has enjoyed some momentum in recent years. Politicians ranging from Nigel Farage to Sir John Major have suggested it’s time to revisit Britain’s harsh drug laws, with many stressing the tax benefits and the opportunity to take soft drugs out of the sphere of violent gangs. The Canadian system, which allows state-regulated recreational weed for over-18s, is seen as a potential model for this. Walking back across town, it seems I’ve arrived on the wrong day to catch a whiff of the famous Downham Market fog. Never mind that, though: there’s no denying that what’s happening here could have huge repercussions for Britain’s future.