23 Jan While The NHS Is Failing People, Small CBD Companies Are Stepping Up.
When Sajid Javid introduced the new regulations on cannabis for medical use last year, it brought hope to hundreds of thousands of people. Now the NHS is routinely letting patients down and refusing to provide the medicinal cannabis they need. The law no longer stands in the way but many people are in despair at the cruel and ignorant response of the medical establishment and NHS bureaucrats.
Not least the parents of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, the high profile cases of children with severe epilepsy, whose stories provoked the media outcry that eventually forced a stubborn government to take a proper look at the evidence.
Remarkably, small CBD businesses are stepping up when the NHS is letting people down and offering to provide CBD free-of-charge to those in desperate need. And these really are small businesses, little more than the internet equivalent of a corner shop. Even the largest of them is tiny compared to the financial turnover of the smallest NHS hospital. The owners of these small CBD businesses are funding these donations out of their own pockets and not asking for any PR or publicity in return.
Billy Caldwell is exiled in Canada again because there is not a doctor in the UK who has the courage or the care to prescribe the cannabis oil he needs containing a small amount of THC. This is mainly due to the inaccurate and, it has to be said, negligent guidelines from the British Paediatric Neurology Association, which has recommended against prescribing even tiny amounts of THC to children. Its guidance is based on a misguided interpretation of evidence on the harms of adolescents smoking large quantities of high THC cannabis as a recreational drug.
Billy is OK because a consultant neurologist in Canada who understands cannabis as medicine has prescribed an oil with THC which is working perfectly for him. It’s just that he’s away from his home and his family. The doctors and NHS bureaucrats at the Belfast NHS Trust don’t care about that. Their primary concern is sticking by manifestly stupid guidelines to protect their own careers within the establishment structure.
Take note that the media, so keen to publish Billy’s story before, has lost interest. He’s still being reported as the poster boy for UK medical cannabis reform but the cruel irony is that the reform has failed him.
Another case in point is Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. There, one consultant neurologist is prepared to follow the evidence, rather than sticking with failed pharmaceutical medicines. He has prescribed medicinal cannabis for at least two children with epilepsy but the hospital management has stepped in and cancelled them, refusing to allow his clinical judgement to prevail over their bureaucratic procedures.
Both children are in severe distress. Alfie Brocklebank has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) which causes him to have many seizures every day, each one of which is life threatening. The medical director at Alder Hey said he did not meet the criteria to be prescribed medical cannabis so his parents started buying CBD at a cost which soon reached £170 per week. Alfie’s mother Ellen is a nurse, so she knew what she was doing. Alfie’s seizures stopped.
But Alder Hey still refused to prescribe Epidiolex, the GW Pharma CBD medicine, and they wouldn’t help with the cost of the over-the-counter Canabidol CBD which was working so well. The family simply couldn’t afford to keep spending £170 per week on the oil.
See Alfie Brocklebank’s story here as reported by ITV News.
It was Billy’s mother, Charlotte Caldwell, who reached out to CLEAR. Canabidol CBD is a CannaPro Certified business, endorsed by CLEAR as an ethical supplier of legal, high quality CBD products. As soon as we spoke to Tom Whettem, CEO of Canabidol, there was no hesitation. He immediately undertook to provide the oil that Alfie needs at no cost – and there was no question of wanting anything in return.
Alfie’s mother, Ellen, takes up the story:
“Alfie is starting play school next week. Before we started the CBD this would not of been possible as he was just to poorly and having lots of seizures. Alfie going to a main stream play school with his sister is a huge milestone.
We are also slowly coming off Alfie’s conventional anti-epilepsy drugs as well. I’m nearly 100% sure we wouldn’t be able to do this if Alfie wasn’t on the whole plant extract CBD. The neurologist actually told me in his opinion Canabidol CBD is most likely to be more effective than the Epidiolex.”
A number of other CBD companies have now stepped forward and offered to supply oil to people in need who have been turned down for an NHS prescription. As a result, CLEAR, through its trade association Cannabis Professionals, is launching the CannaPro CBD Compassionate Access Programme.
CannaPro CBD Compassionate Access Programme
Applications should set out details of the patient’s condition, any experience with CBD so far and an explanation of the refusal to prescribe on the NHS. Please email applications to [email protected]. All applications will be confidential and considered by a small sub committee of the CLEAR Executive Committee. Where we are able to recommend that a patient join the programme we will inform the applicant and introduce them to a donor company. Donor companies will be allocated in strict rotation according to the date they first offered to participate.