This is something that many chronic pain sufferers including myself will tell you and many countries (or in the case of the USA, many States) also know this and let chronic pain sufferers get access to medical cannabis.
By saying cannabis I am talking about actual cannabis which contains THC and CBD.
CBD alone is not cannabis, it is a cannabinoid and just a smaller part of what makes up cannabis. CBD is the product you can buy legally in the UK without a prescription.
THC plus CBD together is great for chronic pain and this is cannabis which you can get on prescription (just not for pain on the NHS).
THC is the part that often gives people a “stoned” feeling, but for many, without the THC there just isn’t enough (if any) pain relief for severe chronic pain.
Obviously not everyone will get as much relief as others, but millions use it instead of opioids and it works wonders! So many people gave up opioids to use just cannabis for pain relief, meaning no side effects or withdrawal between patches like I have, just the use of a safe plant. There is research showing this yet the UK live in denial.
Medical Studies On Cannabis Instead Of Opioids:
- In this study shows that in the USA, states that had legalised or had medical cannabis available saw a huge reduction in opioid prescriptions!
- Another study showing similar results, that cannabis is good instead of opioids
- Yet another study showing the same that cannabis can help reduce opioid usage
- Another study showing that cannabis can be used instead of opioids
- Here is a study showing that cannabis is also really good in reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Sadly the UK is still archaic on many things and since the government here claimed to have legalised cannabis medically, really they haven’t at all as since it was medically legalised in November 2018 only 18 people have been given NHS prescriptions for cannabis (all via a specialists doctor as they won’t let GP’s prescribe it) and none for pain as NICE (who tell the NHS guidelines and rules) won’t allow it to be prescribed on the NHS for pain due to to a few reasons as below from the NICE/NHS guideline review.
- They say not enough evidence that it works for chronic pain
Millions all over the world have given up opioids in exchange for cannabis showing that it does work for pain!
There is evidence it does work if they bothered to do research and so many countries have medically legalised it for pain as they know it does help patients. How about asking patients all over the world or read the plentiful amount of research into this, or do lots of clinical trials perhaps?
In their review, they state that they don’t know if cannabis would help chronic pain users reduce opioid usage and a research recommendation had been made although they haven’t since done any research. It has been proven in other countries it does reduce opioid usage!
Remember that it is legal for pain here IF you go see a private doctor and pay thousands a month.
- They say it is too expensive.
I am on an expensive painkiller, plus a medication to counter the withdrawal I get on it(!) and I have to speak to my doctor every 3 weeks and have for a few years now. All this will cost more than the cannabis would have and I know it works and I have no issues with it!
Also, the plant itself is MUCH cheaper than what they compare prices with which is Sativex (info below about this UK made product).
If they gave the plant, it would be cheaper and would actually work, unlike Sativex which is a low THC product. The price they quote on the research that they say is too expensive is purely based on a spray, being Sativex which isn’t that great for chronic pain. Whole plant cannabis actually is better for pain too!
There is also Bedrocan which has higher THC and is available on the NHS (not available for pain still) but works better for chronic pain than Sativex due to the higher THC content (the whole plant is still better and would be cheaper).
The UK is also the largest exporter of cannabis in the world! Yes, you read that right, the UK with tight restrictions is exporting the most cannabis in the world. This is from a UN report and is true.
You also may have heard of GW Pharmaceuticals who are a British company who make Sativex, a cannabis-based product. Philip May who is Theresa May’s husband has large shares of this company.
So yes the UK is not only exporting the most cannabis in the world but is also making a medical cannabis product!
You can get cannabis from a private doctor but this costs around £2000 a month!! I only get £300 a month which is hard enough living off when you don’t qualify for most benefits and can’t work.
The fact you can get it on a private prescription but not an NHS one proves that they don’t care about chronic pain patients as otherwise, they would want to help. Saying there is not enough evidence is a lie when you are allowed to get it in this country from a doctor, but only if you pay a fortune due to them being a private doctor.
No wonder so many chronic pain patients turn to illegal cannabis!
In an online poll from YouGov, over 1.4 million people use cannabis for medical reasons illegally in the UK!
This is just the people that partook in the online survey showing how many use it for medical reasons.
Many celebrities in the UK alone also use it for pain, Patrick Stewart being one who also wants it the loosening of the restrictions as he suffers from arthritis pain.
I have tried cannabis personally many times over the decades and legally in countries that have it legal and I know the feeling of minimal pain with no side effects but I can’t get that here from our NHS.
I have severe chronic pain and I have been unable to settle on any treatment for pain after trying numerous things over the years due to the severity of the pain. All did nothing, some caused horrific side effects.
After trying everything available on prescription from the NHS for pain, I was put on Fentanyl which was the only thing to touch helping the pain but I have had never-ending issues since I started due to side effects and the worst being withdrawal between patches which I have had to change the interval of my patches from the prescribed 72 hours to 48 hours and still getting horrific withdrawal! Hot flushes and sweats plus feeling cold at the same time!
I also have chronic fatigue and the opioids make me even more tired so I sleep more than I am awake. I struggle to keep my eyes open!
I should not have to be on an opioid that gives me horrific withdrawal and I cannot get settled on for over a year, when there is a safe plant available which is cannabis that works for me!
Soon it will get worse and there is nothing else for my pain on the NHS. Cannabis WORKS for me and I just am not allowed it!
The anaesthesiologist I went to see last year (who I had to complain about and wrote a blog post about) lied to my face and wrote a letter to my GP saying to take me off the opioids even though there is nothing else that works for my pain that I can get and before I could not move out of bed without a painkiller and would spend all my time crying and in bed in excruciating pain! They just don’t care.
I would love to get cannabis but they won’t allow it and my GP said “you should move to the USA, it is legal there” which is not only upsetting for a doctor to joke about, it is hurtful. I am disabled and can’t work!
I can’t live like this forever and I just hope the that UK changes the rules soon as I am in pain, suffering side effects and withdrawal on the opioids and soon they won’t work so I will be left with nothing!
I should be able to get something that works and is legally available medically when nothing else works for me! I feel so uncared about from the government and the NHS and I have had enough and can’t take much more of this suffering.
Why should someone after having trying everything available for pain (list of everything I have tried on my about me page) have to suffer on an opioid that gives me withdrawal between patches plus makes my chronic fatigue MUCH worse to the point I can barely get out of bed after 11 hours sleep and can easily fall asleep all day, all because I cannot get medical cannabis which works so well for me and is legally available for medical prescriptions?!
And to be told there is nothing else after the Fentanyl from my own GP when there is and he even knows that it works for me!
Sadly we live in a country where the poor can’t get medical cannabis for pain but the rich can legally from a private doctor. This is unfair and unjust.