At the age of 19, Amy Black, the former Morgan Academy student’s, life was thrown into disarray when she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. The condition affects one in every 10,000 people in the United Kingdom. It causes small patches of swollen and red tissue, called granulomas, to develop in the organs of the body. It usually affects the skin and the lungs. There is no cure for the disorder. Amy, now 23, is currently taking gabapentin, co-codamol, and amitriptyline but said the drugs have terrible side effects. She is currently taking cannabis oil in her efforts to live a “normal life.” Now she has spoken out in support of cannabis oil and called for the drug to be made available free on the NHS.

Amy said, “I feel this is the first step to getting my life back to the way it was before diagnosis and I was told I’d never feel that way ever again by doctors. My family has seen an incredible transformation in me and I believe there is a strong case for this to be medically regulated. From being a fit and healthy teenager I became too unwell to get out of bed was a major shock. Since I’ve started taking these capsules, I feel my life is no longer dictated by sarcoidosis.” Those supporting the oil believe the ingredient CBD offers considerable health benefits. Cannabis oil is very low in the psychoactive substance THC, which means that the use of the oil does not create a “high.” Therefore, it does not fall within the drug classification categories for illegal substances.

Amy has been using the oil capsules since December and said she has seen a reduction in her sickness, migraines, and tremors. When she first became ill, she thought she had experienced an allergic reaction to a tattoo when a rash appeared on her skin. Amy was shocked when doctors diagnosed her with sarcoidosis. The condition causes painful symptoms, including: temporary blindness, crippling migraines, and tremors. Amy stated, “I’ve had days where I can’t get out of bed from the pain. I lose sight in my left eye, I get crippling migraines, wake up in the night with horrible nerve pain, have regular tremors, difficulty breathing, and get raised rashes on my skin. I’ve been in and out of hospital for the past four years and been close to heart attacks and seizures, with my body attacking itself. I’m taking tablets daily but they have horrible side effects.”

The beauty therapy student was researching alternative medicines to treat her illness and was recommended cannabis oil. She said the capsules make her feel “normal again.” She continued, “I discussed the option of herbal alternatives with the doctors who were against me using it. But having spoken with others I was recommended CBD capsules. I was told people facing long-term diseases were able to stop using other medicines. I’ve been taking the capsules since December and I’ve had no pains, no migraines, no tremors, no sickness, nothing.”

CBD oil is the concentrated, distilled form of the plant most commonly known as marijuana. Brands marketed for medical use typically contain CBD, which proponents claim can help people experiencing a wide range of conditions, including: PTSD, arthritis, alcoholism, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and schizophrenia. CBD does not make people feel “stoned.” It is now possible to buy CBD oils and ready-to-use vaporizer pens from a growing number of websites in the UK. Any product containing CBD alone is not illegal. THC, another cannabinoid, has a psychoactive effect and is the mind-altering substance found in cannabis. If sellers offer products which contain THC they could find themselves in trouble.

Researchers first looked at the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids back in the 1970s, and hundreds of scientific studies have been published since then. Some research supports the claim that cannabinoids can reduce chemotherapy-related pain, nausea, and vomiting in patients. Other studies have shown cannabinoids can uniquely target and kill cancer cells. However, investigation into the health benefits of cannabinoids is still in the early stages. Hundreds of researchers around the world are investigating their potential in treating cancer and other diseases brought together under the blanket organisation, The International Cannabinoid Research Society. A Scottish Government spokesman said, “While the treatment and prevention of drug problems are devolved to the Scottish Government, policy on the use of controlled drugs is currently reserved to the UK Government. All medicinal products must be fully tested and researched before they can be licensed for use in the UK, and the licensing, safety and efficacy of medicines is also currently reserved to the UK Government.”


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