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Jo Swinson opens about her cannabis experience at University

Jo Swinson opens about her cannabis experience at University

Jo Swinson has come out honestly in the public about her cannabis experience at the University. She seems to have broken the record for politicians lying about their most naughty confessions they’ve ever done. 

Boris Johnson, a British politician recently tried the convince everyone that the naughtiest thing he has ever done is a cycle on the pavement. It’s up to the country whether or not they like to believe Mr.Johnson. However, Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat Leader has played it quite fairly by giving probably the most honest answer to this question. 

When prompted about the naughtiest thing she has done, Ms. Swinson revealed that she did smoke cannabis back at the University. She added that she wasn’t sure if the confession would count as naughty or not but the readers and viewers will be able to decide for themselves. 

Pressed to define how much cannabis she had actually taken, she said that it wasn’t just one and that she did inhale. 

Status of Medical Marijuana in the UK

The stigma around cannabis or marijuana is eventually wearing out as its derivatives are increasingly being used in consumer-based products. One of the most popular cannabis-related compounds is cannabidiol or CBD. It is an anti-inflammatory substance which is used to reduce chronic pain, acute ache, inflammation, swelling, muscle injury, and life-threatening ailments like Cancer

Since CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the hemp plant, a Cannabis Sativa plant, it is allegedly considered as a safe substance to consume. People often use it to reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, seizures in epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and even Tourette. 

NHS England recently approved two cannabis-based medicines used for alleviating the symptoms of two severe diseases – epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. The organization follows the guidelines issued by the drug advisory body NICE. Both medicines would be produced and developed in the United Kingdom. 

Epidyolex will be given to treat children suffering from two rare and severe forms of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome. Epilepsy often results in multiple seizures in a day which hampers both the physical and mental health of the patient. Clinical trials on Epidyolex have revealed that it contains a significant amount of CBD or cannabidiol, that could treat these syndromes up to 40%. 

About 3,000 people suffer from Dravet syndrome whereas 5,000 suffer from Lennox Gastuat syndrome in the UK. Despite Epidyolex being an approved medicine in Europe, NICE did not incline towards the medication much stating it wasn’t valued for money. 

Epidyolex is free from any concentration of THC, the psychoactive component found in cannabis plants that is responsible for causing a “high” when people smoke weed or hemp. Tetrahydro cannabidiol or THC also tends to cause hallucinations and a euphoria-like feeling in users. 

If used for a prolonged period of time in high potency, THC may lead to permanent mental health disorders. 

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Usually, a bottle of Epidyolex costs between £5,000 and £10,000 per patient each year, however, the manufacturers, GW Pharmaceuticals have agreed to reduce the costs for NHS. While the NICE guidance regarding drug availability is generally applicable around the UK only, it should also be implemented in Wales and Northern Ireland as well. 

The second approved drug from the NHS is the Sativex, a mouth spray consisting of a mixture of both THC and CBD. Sativex has been approved for helping patients deal with muscle stiffness and spasms, also known as spasticity, in multiple sclerosis. But doctors will not be allowed to prescribe Sativex for treating pain to patients. 

Sativex is the first cannabis-based medicine to be legalized in the United Kingdom after clinical trials. It has been available at the NHS in Wales since 2014. The cost of Sativex is about £2,000 a year per patient. Although cannabis-based medicines were not an affordable option a  few years back, they are now accessible and cost-effective. 

Though charities and campaigners seem to welcome the updated regulation regarding cannabis-based medicines, some argue that it doesn’t have a long way to go in the future. 

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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