BBC News has just reported the case of a UK woman who said she is prepared to break the law to save her son. Sophie, (not her real name) who lives in Wales cares for her son, 22, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy, which means he could die each time he has a seizure.
After seeing severe epilepsy stop his breathing and leave him unresponsive on numerous occasions Sophie said any parent would “take the risk” and turn to cannabis oil.
She is one of a “silent majority” buying the drug online and said it had stopped his breathing for up to four seizures a day. A consultant who prescribes it in Wales called demand a “phenomenon” but warned many were ignoring the serious risks.
“There is the risk of actually being caught purchasing the product because it's illegal,” said Sophie, who declined to provide her name due to fear of prosecution
Many of the sellers she has dealt with are families similarly affected by epilepsy, who had taken to growing cannabis at home. Paediatric neurologist Dr Gareth Thomas, one of three consultants in Wales who can legally prescribe cannabis oil to young epilepsy patients in special cases, sayhttp://k/cbd-for-epilepsy/s demand has become a medical “phenomenon” the likes of which he had not seen in 25 years.
“Over the last six to eight months we've had to deal with the fact that patients are sourcing CBD oil from overseas, from elsewhere in the UK and from non-NHS sources,” he said.
“It's come to the point now that it's discussed in the majority of epilepsy consultations that I see.”
“In many cases, while they might have heard of the potential therapeutic benefits, they haven't considered the other things that we think about – like the effect it could have on other medications.”
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Unlicensed cannabis-based products should only be used for medicinal purposes under the close supervision of specialist doctors”.
“The use of some cannabis-based products without medical supervision may be associated with significant risks to health without offering any medical benefit.”
“This is why arrangements are in place for the prescribing of cannabis by specialist doctors.”
Even after last year’s great advance for medical cannabis— a subsequent set of reforms triggered after officials seized cannabis oil from an epileptic boy’s family at Heathrow Airport, which prompted an international outcry and a revamp of one of western Europe’s most punitive cannabis policies—and still after several years of steady declines in marijuana-related arrests…anxiety is still a way of life for anyone growing the plant in the United Kingdom.
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