The UK Patient Conference is being held in central London and online, Friday 3 November 2023. It brings together patients, industry, healthcare professionals, charities and members of the public to discuss current issues in the medical cannabis space. Everyone is welcome.
In the lead up to the event, we are shining a spotlight on some of the stories of patients who have had their lives transformed by having access to cannabis-based medicines.
Having been diagnosed with a rare auto-inflammatory disease 10 years prior I had completely lost all hope of the NHS helping me. There was no research, no treatment, no cure. Just endless prescriptions that came with unwanted side effects and my mental health was at an all-time low.
One desperate night in the middle of another flare, searching for answers through the internet, I found hope in cannabis. I started trying to talk to my doctors about it, but they were all dismissive. I was told that there wasn’t enough research to prove it was safe and not available on the NHS. I started to question all the prescriptions I had been given over the years and the damage some of those meds had done to me. Surely they couldn’t be any safer than a plant?
I decided to educate myself, endless hours spent lost in cannabis research and trying to find a source where I could get my hands on some cannabis oil. Eventually, I found a trusted person from the legacy market and, without telling my doctors, started taking full extract cannabis oil daily ,as well as vaping flower. It felt for the first time that I could handle the pain. It wasn’t gone, but I could now tolerate it better. I felt less fogged and I was starting to get more refreshed sleep. It was the spring I needed to start getting my life back on track.
I improved my diet, started physiotherapy and completed a fibromyalgia pain programme. My healing journey was going well, I was building my toolbox and benefiting from it.
My rheumatologist was stunned to see my inflammatory markers significantly drop. I believed it was the cannabis oil working but didn’t feel able to discuss my cannabis use for fear of stigma.
At this point Cancard was launched. I joined immediately in the hope of some legal protection if I was caught using cannabis. I am extremely grateful to Cancard for bringing awareness and opening up a supportive community for people trying to heal. It was Cancard that made me aware of medical cannabis being legal in the UK. It is where I saw the advert for the first Patient Conference on medical cannabis in London last year. That day changed my life. I sat and cried as I heard patients’ experiences, and listened in awe as people discussed all things cannabis-related.
I came straight home and booked an appointment with a medical cannabis clinic.
Since obtaining my prescription, I have been able to openly discuss what is helping me. I have had amazing conversations with my doctors and feel supported by them. I can medicate openly without fear of legal consequences. I am no longer just existing and, most importantly, I have joy back in my life.