Delay Masked as Progress in UK Medicinal Cannabis
Recently, the British government has been patting itself on the back for authorizing 2 trials of medicinal cannabis almost four years after it was legalized in 2018. One trial is designed to take a year to see if whole cannabis extract is effective against chronic pain. This is the trial we’ve heard about that will include up to 5,000 people. The other is to see whether CBD or THC is more effective.
This narrow set of objectives clearly demonstrates the unwillingness of the UK health/regulatory establishment to acknowledge even the most rudimentary understanding about the medicinal utility of the magnificent cannabis plant. Their words are designed to give UK citizens false hope, and their actions are designed to fail them. (This article provides the most recent update for my thinking on this issue: “Why NHS Trials Won’t Help The Children Relying On Medical Cannabis Now”
FAILURE BY DESIGN - THE REGULATIONS:
General Practitioners are not allowed to prescribe cannabis medicine.
Instead, treatment must be initiated by a specialist consultant and may be continued under sharedcare by a GP or non-medical prescriber.
NHS guidance states that medical cannabis should only be prescribed when there is clear published evidence of its benefit and
After all other treatment options have been exhausted.”
FAILURE BY DESIGN - THE PROBLEMS:
One can clearly see cracks in this Medical-Bros-Scheme so obviously created by folks who traffic in fear as clearly as the drug-dealers they pretend not to enable:
Extremely limited numbers of “cannabis specialist consultants” are available
Everyone knows there is no “clear published evidence” of its benefits (that won't be disputed) because research has been limited by law, and
If a patient has to wait until all other western medicine treatment options have been exhausted, the patient will have suffered needlessly, sometimes for years. Many do not survive childhood due to the trauma of their condition.
In simpler terms, in the opinion of many this cruel structure is DESIGNED TO FAIL CANNABIS PATIENTS:
IN FOUR YEARS the UK has only approved THREE PEOPLE for NHS support for their cannabis medicine,
Thousands of patients are paying out of pocket for cannabis medicines, often imported from the Netherlands, Canada, or elsewhere (or bought on the streets), to the tune of thousands per month
At least one family has sold their home to keep up with the cost of medicine for their child.
THE DEEPER DIVE
Let's look at the second trial which claims to pit CBD against THC. First, there are more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, plus terpenes, flavonoids - - why test just two?
The obvious next question is, why include CBD isolate in this trial? Isolated CBD in massively high doses has already been developed and approved. The product is called Epidiolex and it’s been successful for many, but not all, patients (just like all medicines). So they should check the box for isolated CBD.
It stands to reason that a THC isolate could possibly be helpful to some, but it skips over the most obvious path forward, which is to test WHOLE PLANT MEDICINE because that's the only way to allow the entourage effect to work. Again, even the most rudimentary understanding of contemporary cannabis science includes the endocannabinoid system AND the entourage effect.
But these legislators want us to believe that working counter to nature is going to yield results. Or more likely, they want the trial to fail.
This isolate-only strategy is especially cruel to the children with epilepsy and their families.
First, the patients who are already taking cannabis medicines, like Alfie Dingley, Billy Caldwell, and Murray Gray, would have to stop taking the medicines they have already discovered are effective and have stopped their seizures.
And in submitting to the trial, they would have to take either CBD-only, THC-only, or a placebo.
It is inhumane and patently ridiculous to treat children like lab rats, yet that is what the UK medical establishment is demanding.
THE LOOP BACK
One of the kids I mentioned, Murray Gray, has Doose syndrome, which previously left him suffering hundreds of seizures a day. I'll give his mother, Karen Gray, the last word:
“NHS trials are welcomed, and are three years overdue. They will hopefully be beneficial for some children who have not tried cannabis medicine, but our children rely on the whole plant oils they have been receiving for the past three years. They unfortunately cannot enter into these new trials as they would have to be stripped off their current cannabis oils to perhaps take a placebo. It’s unethical and I would not risk my child’s life like this.”
If NHS doctors will be writing children prescriptions for THC during the trial, “they should now do the right thing and write our children’s prescriptions also.”
IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels, CottonBro