An Open Letter To Those Opposed To Legalising CBD Oil In Medicine

To anyone against the legalisation of CBD oil for medicinal purposes,

My name is Natalie and I am 32 years old.  I have suffered from chronic illnesses all my life.  I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the age of fifteen months, so have never known life without it.  I was then diagnosed with iritis aged 7 and my bowel problems started at the age of 8 or 9.  It wasn’t till I was 26 that I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease.  Just 4 years later and 2 days after my 30th birthday, I had emergency surgery to remove diseased parts of my small and large bowel and an ileostomy formed.

My Blog, My Readers, My Friends

About 9 months after my surgery, I started my blog, The Spoonie Mummy.  It had been something I considered for a while and at the beginning of 2017, I took the plunge.  I wanted to show people that even with chronic illnesses, life could still be fun, fulfilling, meaningful and full of happiness.  I wanted to help raise awareness of my often invisible conditions and help and support people with similar illnesses to me.  Since starting my blog I have felt incredibly lucky.  I have met some amazing and inspiring people, been given opportunities to work with great companies and been able to support many people experiencing health problems and having surgery.  Receiving messages thanking me for my informative or supportive blog posts has meant the world to me.  I also got the chance to become a host on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show – a weekly, live YouTube show during which we discuss everything  IBD and ostomy related.  This has broadened my ability to connect with people and offer my support and advice.  I am not medically trained but I have a lot of experience having spent my life in and out of hospital.  I take a keen interest in my illnesses and like to learn about them to give myself a good knowledge base to help inform my care.

Recently In The News

The case of Billy Caldwell has been high profile news in the last couple of weeks.  For those who haven’t heard about Billy, he is a little boy who has epilepsy.  He was suffering upwards of 100 fits a day.  His mum discovered CBD oil lessened his symptoms greatly, helping him achieve a better quality of life.  On returning from Canada with a six month supply of his CBD oil, prescribed by a Canadian doctor, the medication was taken away from them.  Billy’s mum has since had to fight through the courts and has now been granted the right to continue this treatment, albeit having to take him into the hospital for it to be administered.

So What Was The Issue?

Cannabis is currently a controlled drug in the UK.  Cannabis plants are made up of hundreds of cannabinoids which all have different effect on the body.  The most common forms of these are THC and CBD.  THC is the strain that recreational drug users take to get ‘high’.    CBD does not.  CBD is also a type of cannaboid which is not under the controlled drug status.  This is why hemp (which contains CBD) can be industrially grown in the UK (with a license) as it contains little or no THC.  That is why you will see some CBD oil in the shops, Holland and Barrett for example, sell it alongside other supplements.  The CBD oil in question has a higher amount of THC in it which is why the problem has arisen.

Medicinal Benefits

The oil is thought to help in many ways, including as pain relief, relieving inflammation, anti seizure and reducing anxiety.  There has been no conclusive medical studies to prove this. Licences have not been given for CBD oil as a medicine but it can still be bought  as long as there are no claims made that it has medicinal benefits.  Sativex, which has a 50-50 mix of THC and CBD had been approved for use in the UK to treat multiple schlerosis.  However, in 2014 NICE gave it not recommended status as it felt it was not cost effective.  The Home Secretary has now announced a review into the use of cannabis oil as a medicine.

A Personal Perspective

So I didn’t write this letter to provide information.  I am not medically trained but I thought it best to try and explain the background and current laws surrounding the use of cannabis oil.  I wanted to get across the reason so many  people want to at least have the chance to try CBD oil to treat their ailments.  Firstly, that is a point to remember.  This may not work for everyone.  Not everyone will even want to try it.  But we would like to be given the choice to see if our chronic illnesses could be helped by this drug.

Apart from suffering huge problems myself with pain, inflammation and anxiety, I have met so many other people struggling with diseases like Crohns Disease, Arthritis and Epilepsy.  Many struggle every day with simple tasks, like getting out of bed, showering and dressing.  They are on strong and costly medications daily, including low dose chemotherapy and biologics which affect the immune system to the point where they can not leave the house in fear of getting an infection.  Anxiety can make the everyday tasks seem impossible – making a telephone call, looking in the mirror and joining your family to eat.

I find many people who are so vehemently against the legalisation of cannabis oil have no experience of chronic illness.  Having to fight through your every day to just complete the most basic of tasks.  To grit your teeth and bear constant pain every single second of every tingle day.  To slowly lose your friends due to you not being able to meet up or even reply to their messages.  I implore you to think about these people, who live like this every single day.  And to know that there is no cure for what you are facing, it will be your constant for the rest of your life.

We don’t want your sympathy, we adapt and learn to manage in our own ways.  There are many online support groups and bloggers like myself out there who try our best to make sure people do not feel alone and get every tip and trick that may be of use to them.   We ask that this be legalised, for medicinal use.  That we can get a prescription from a doctor and a safe form of the product.  That we can try something that may help give us more relief than anything else we have tried.

The medications I currently take have some terrible side effects including destroying my immune system, nausea, sickness, insomnia and an increased risk of certain cancers to name but a few.  They make me feel semi-normal so I have to weigh up the pros and cons and take a risk.  I have had to have a hip replacement and cataract surgery due to the effects of my medications I have had over the years.  I would like the chance to try this in a safe and legal way.  If it worked it could get me off some of the strong medications I am currently on and help save the NHS a small fortune.

My Plea

I know this post may receive both positive and negative feedback.  I am very willing to listen to all views as long as they are thought out after reading what I have written and not abusive.  I ask you to put yourself in my shoes, and thousands others who are much worse off than me.  Our chance at a medication that could be vitally helpful is being held up due to the fact it is misused by so many.  As with any medication, it is all about a choice.  Some people may not want to try it.  But give us who do, the chance and let’s see if it really does work like it is for little Billy.

I am tired of this constant pain, the nausea, vomiting, hospital stays and struggling to move.  Please give me the chance to try CBD oil and see if it can make a difference.

Thankyou for reading,

nat

 

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Fay Farm Warmiing Muscle Rub

Good morning, it is hump day and we are half way through the week already!  Today I have a review to share of a product I was lucky enough to be sent all the way from America.

The Fay Farm

The Fay Farm is a family run farm in Washington, USA.  They use the milk from the goats they care for and the herbs they grow to create natural  body care products.  None of their products contain parabens, alcohol, mineral oils or phthalates.  A few years ago, Fay Farm started researching the benefits of Hemp Oil Extracts, finding it was useful for pain relief and as a mood lifter and anti anxiety.  They then began developing some of their most popular products in new formulations with the Hemp Oil contained.  This line launched in 2014 and is legal in all 50 states in the USA and 28 countries outside of America.

Warming Muscle Rub

 

I was kindly asked what product I would like to try from their range and whether I wanted the hemp oil version, or the version without.  I opted for the Warming Muscle Rub as I thought it would be perfect for the aches and pains caused by my arthritis.  I also opted for the version with the hemp oil extract as I have seen many studies suggesting positive results when used to treat pain.  I did have to check first that the UK was one of the countries that this could be legally used in!

The Fay Farm’s HOE Warming Muscle Rub is one of their best selling products.  It claims to soothe the muscles and other aches and pains.  You rub the product into the affected area and a little goes a long way.  It also says that it can help relieve the pain of migraines, cluster and tension headaches but I haven’t tried this out as (luckily) I haven’t had one while testing the product.

What I Liked

The part about not needing much is definitely true.  This is like a balm and just a small amount covers large areas of the body.  It was really useful on my painful joints too, particularly when I used it on my elbows and feet.  It did not seem as effective when I used it on my knees but as the problems I am having with them is more to do with my bones I think maybe that is why.  I was having a particularly bad flare up last week which was affecting my elbows very badly.  They were extremely sore and swollen.  The rub helped ease the pain and increase my range of movement when used in the morning and evening, I was really impressed.  The smell is not strong or unpleasant and it doesn’t leave a residue on your skin so I could put it on in the morning even when I was going out that day.  Even though the product came from America, it arrived quickly and was well packaged, although at first I struggled to get the tin open as my grip isn’t so good.  Ste to the rescue!

What I Didn’t Like

I didn’t feel any warming effect from the rub, even though it is has warming in the name.  On reading some more information in the product description online, it does say that the rub contains both warming and cooling ingredients so I assume it has whichever effect is needed on your skin.  I also did not find it as effective on my knees as other places.  I will definitely give it a go the next time I have a migraine as they get pretty awful and I would try anything to help.

Is It Worth It?

Definitely!  I will get this again as I found it really helped, especially on my elbows.  Not much can give me a great deal of relief when they are playing up.  I would maybe give the smaller one a try if you want to see if it works for you, but I will now purchase the bigger one to save having to reorder multiple times and spend more on postage.  A little does go a long way and I do think it offers great value for money

How To Order

For the HOE version click here
For the normal version (no hemp) click here

 

I hope you enjoyed my review of the product.  Let me know what else you use and if you would consider purchasing this or would like to ask me any more questions.  I think when I next have to order the rub I might buy another product to try and I will be sure to let you know how that works too!

nat

I received this item to review as part of the Chronic Illness Blogger Network.  All opinions are my own