Categories
BLOG

patrick stewart cannabis

Patrick Stewart demands medical cannabis be made legal as he admits arthritis treatment

SIR Patrick Stewart says cannabis is the only drug that can relieve him from the agony of arthritis – and wants GPs to be able to prescribe medical marijuana on the NHS.

Bill Turnbull discusses benefits of medicinal cannabis

The award-winning Star Trek actor called on the Government to relax current restrictions around the prescription of cannabis-based medicines, which supporters claim can help a range of problems including pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, symptoms of multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Government regulators say there have not been enough controlled trials to support the use of medicinal cannabis for many of these conditions. Under existing rules introduced last November following a campaign by parents of children with severe epilepsy, ­specialists were allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis to these patients.

Patrick Stewart has called on the government to relax restrictions on cannabis-based medicine (Image: Getty)

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Related articles

However, since then only a handful of prescriptions have been made.

Experts say this is because specialists face almost insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles, including getting a senior medical countersignature on prescriptions and overcoming complex importation rules.

Sir Patrick, 79, whose long acting career has included leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the X-Men film series, has been using medicinal cannabis to treat the arthritis in his hands after he was given a prescription by his doctor while living in California.

He said: “I have arthritis in both my hands and thumb joints and have been prescribed various drugs, including a cream which didn’t do much.

“The moment I started using cannabis-based cream it worked and I could feel an immediate reduction in discomfort.

“It meant I could grip my hands and hook my thumb around the steering wheel of a car again. I also take a chewy (cannabis pill) at bedtime and this has really helped, too.

Related articles

“People think I must be getting high all the time. Nothing is further from the truth.”

Sir Patrick, OBE, who believes he inherited the painful condition from his mother, said: ‘I’ve had access to medical cannabis in the USA for many months and it has been of great benefit. It’s hugely concerning to me that access is still so difficult in the UK, despite its legalisation a year ago.

“It seems perverse that opioid prescriptions are still at such high levels when medical cannabis could be a much safer and more cost-effective alternative.

“I have been given steroid injections for the pain in the UK. Last year I had eight injections into my fingers and knuckles which is about as painful as anything one can imagine.

“I have never experienced anything like it.”

He added: “The current system means that cannabis can only be prescribed in the UK almost exclusively for extreme cases such as life-threatening epilepsy. But when it is not life threatening, like my hands, I see no reason why the legislation is not widened out to allow doctors to prescribe it.”

Cannabis is almost exclusively administered for life-threatening epilepsy via the NHS (Image: Getty)

Sir Patrick’s comments come as a new poll shows that one in three UK doctors believe medical cannabis should be prioritised as an alternative to opioid-based medicines.

The poll was carried out by Sapphire Medical Clinics, the first dedicated medical cannabis clinic in the UK registered by the Care Quality Commission.

Sir Patrick, who has recently completed filming the first season of a new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Picard, was speaking ahead of the release of new guidance by government drug watchdog Nice.

Experts expect the new guidance to loosen regulations regarding treatment for seizures, but to find it is not cost effective as an alternative for pain relief.

Around 30 countries have given the green light to medical cannabis, as well as a handful of others that allow the drug to be used under strict guidelines.

SIR Patrick Stewart says cannabis is the only drug that can relieve him from the agony of arthritis – and wants GPs to be able to prescribe medical marijuana on the NHS.

Patrick Stewart reveals daily medicinal marijuana use to treat arthritis

The actor issues support for UK’s first initiative exploring benefits of cannabis-based medicines

Article bookmarked

Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile

Due to the release of Logan, Sir Patrick Stewart has undertaken an extensive promotional tour, talking about everything from superheroes to circumcision.

The 76-year-old actor has issued a statement supporting the UK’s first initiative exploring the benefits of cannabis-based medicines, led by Oxford University.

Stewart revealed how he has used medical marijuana on a daily basis for two years to help with severe arthritis.

“Two years ago, in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands,” the statement reads.

“This, it would seem, is a genetically-based condition. My mother had badly distorted and painful hands. I purchased an ointment, spray and edibles.

“The ointment, while providing some relief from the discomfort, was too greasy to use during daytime and so I only use it at night. It helps with sleep as the pain was reduced.”

Stewart explained how using a medicinal spray is remarkably easy as can be applied throughout the day, helping alleviate pain.

Independent Culture Newsletter
The best in film, music TV & radio straight to your inbox every week
Independent Culture Newsletter
The best in film, music TV & radio straight to your inbox every week

“The spray very quickly evaporates and leaves my hands quite dry, though with a slight burning or tingling sensation, which is not unpleasant.

“I believe that the ointment and spray have significantly reduced the stiffness and pain in my hands. I can make fists, which was not the case before I began this treatment.”

Films to get excited about in 2017

Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Lupita Nyong’o

Plot: No details yet, but it will continue directly on from Rey coming face-to-face with Luke at the end of The Force Awakens.

Release Date: 15 December 2017″ srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/05/02/16/star-wars-the-last-jedi-official-screen-shot-2-h-2017.jpg?width=320&height=614&fit=bounds&format=pjpg&auto=webp&quality=70&crop=16:9,offset-y0.5 320w, https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/05/02/16/star-wars-the-last-jedi-official-screen-shot-2-h-2017.jpg?width=640&height=614&fit=bounds&format=pjpg&auto=webp&quality=70&crop=16:9,offset-y0.5 640w” width=”640″ layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Mark Ruffalo

Plot: Story details are minimal as of now, but Thor’s third return to screen has already been teased to feature a loose adaptation of the famous ‘Planet Hulk’ storyline.

Release Date: 27 October 2017″ width=”135″ height=”75″ layout=”responsive” i-amphtml-layout=”responsive”> Director: Lynne Ramsay

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Alessandro Nivola

Plot: A war veteran’s attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring goes horribly wrong.

Release Date: Unknown” width=”135″ height=”75″ layout=”responsive” i-amphtml-layout=”responsive”> Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Oscar Isaac

Plot: A biologist’s husband disappears. She thus puts her name forward for an expedition into an environmental disaster zone, but does not quite find what she’s expecting. The expedition team is made up of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor.

Release Date: Unknown” width=”135″ height=”75″ layout=”responsive” i-amphtml-layout=”responsive”>

1 /13 Films to get excited about in 2017

Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Lupita Nyong’o

Plot: No details yet, but it will continue directly on from Rey coming face-to-face with Luke at the end of The Force Awakens.

Release Date: 15 December 2017″ srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/05/02/16/star-wars-the-last-jedi-official-screen-shot-2-h-2017.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Lupita Nyong’o

Plot: No details yet, but it will continue directly on from Rey coming face-to-face with Luke at the end of The Force Awakens.

Release Date: 15 December 2017

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Mark Ruffalo

Plot: Story details are minimal as of now, but Thor’s third return to screen has already been teased to feature a loose adaptation of the famous ‘Planet Hulk’ storyline.

Release Date: 27 October 2017″ srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/04/10/16/thor-ragnarok18.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Mark Ruffalo

Plot: Story details are minimal as of now, but Thor’s third return to screen has already been teased to feature a loose adaptation of the famous ‘Planet Hulk’ storyline.

Release Date: 27 October 2017

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Alessandro Nivola

Plot: A war veteran’s attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring goes horribly wrong.

Release Date: Unknown” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/07/27/15/you-were-never-really-here.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

You Were Never Really Here

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Alessandro Nivola

Plot: A war veteran’s attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring goes horribly wrong.

Release Date: Unknown

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Oscar Isaac

Plot: A biologist’s husband disappears. She thus puts her name forward for an expedition into an environmental disaster zone, but does not quite find what she’s expecting. The expedition team is made up of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor.

Release Date: Unknown” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/05/02/16/maxresdefault.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Annihilation

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Oscar Isaac

Plot: A biologist’s husband disappears. She thus puts her name forward for an expedition into an environmental disaster zone, but does not quite find what she’s expecting. The expedition team is made up of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor.

Release Date: Unknown

Director: Todd Haynes

Cast: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, and Amy Hargreaves

Plot: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.

Release Date: Unknown” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/wonderstruck.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Wonderstruck

Director: Todd Haynes

Cast: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, and Amy Hargreaves

Plot: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.

Release Date: Unknown

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Harris

Plot: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Release Date: Unknown ” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/mother.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Mother

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Harris

Plot: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Release Date: Unknown

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Alicia Silverstone

Plot: A surgeon forms a familial bond with a sinister teenage boy, with disastrous results.

Release Date: Unknown ” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/killing-of-a-sacred-deer.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Alicia Silverstone

Plot: A surgeon forms a familial bond with a sinister teenage boy, with disastrous results.

Release Date: Unknown

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, and Jared Leto

Plot: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Release Date: 6 October 2017″ srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/blade-runner-2049.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Blade Runner 2049

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, and Jared Leto

Plot: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Release Date: 6 October 2017

Director: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Lucas Hedges

Plot: The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.

Release Date: Unknown” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/lady-bird.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Lady Bird

Director: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Lucas Hedges

Plot: The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.

Release Date: Unknown

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Mark Rylance, Oscar Isaac

Plot: The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara recounts the story of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.

Release Date: Unknown ” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/kidnapping-edgardo-mortara.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Mark Rylance, Oscar Isaac

Plot: The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara recounts the story of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.

Release Date: Unknown

Cast: Elle Fanning, Ruth Wilson, and Nicole Kidman

Plot: An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

Release Date: Unknown” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/how-to-talk-to-girls-at-parties.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Cast: Elle Fanning, Ruth Wilson, and Nicole Kidman

Plot: An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

Release Date: Unknown

Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor

Plot: Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.

Release Date: 28 July 2017″ srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/12/20/15/dark-tower.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

The Dark Tower

Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor

Plot: Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.

Release Date: 28 July 2017

Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac

Plot: A crime mystery set in the quiet family town of Suburbicon during the 1950s, where the best and worst of humanity is hilariously reflected through the deeds of seemingly ordinary people. When a home invasion turns deadly, a picture-perfect family turns to blackmail, revenge and betrayal.

Release Date: 24 November ” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2017/07/27/13/suburbicon.jpg?width=1368 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Films to get excited about in 2017

Suburbicon

Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac

Plot: A crime mystery set in the quiet family town of Suburbicon during the 1950s, where the best and worst of humanity is hilariously reflected through the deeds of seemingly ordinary people. When a home invasion turns deadly, a picture-perfect family turns to blackmail, revenge and betrayal.

The actor issues support for UK’s first initiative exploring benefits of cannabis-based medicines