Cannabis could help dementia – ‘Beginning of a new area for clinical medicine' says doctor

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Cannabis could help dementia – ‘Beginning of a new area for clinical medicine' says doctor

When people hear the word “cannabis”, what do they think? Some think of the taste, some think of the smell, some think of recreational use. But mor

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When people hear the word “cannabis”, what do they think? Some think of the taste, some think of the smell, some think of recreational use. But more and more, the public are thinking of something else, medicine. Express.co.uk spoke to Dr Leon Barron, one of many in the UK, who think it is time to change our tune on medicinal cannabis.

Mr Barron is one of many people wanting expansion of the availability of medicinal cannabis.

A YouGov poll in 2019 found that 77 percent of respondents supported the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.

When people talk about medicinal cannabis, they are most often talking about CBD; a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, one of 140 that make up the cannabis plant.

Using cannabis for medicinal purposes is not something new; earlier forms of cannabis were used in multiple countries before the wide politicisation of the drug in the 20th Century.

Fast-forward to the 21st and the world is rediscovering the health benefits of cannabis, most notably CBD, that Dr Barron says “acts as an immune modulator to fine tune the immune system”.

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Dr Leon Barron is a GP based in London, founder of The Primary Care Cannabis Network and an expert on the uses of medicinal cannabis.

He explained: “Cannabidiol is a compound with lots of interesting medical properties and can affect a wide range of internal body systems including sleep, appetite, pain relief, anxiety, inflammation. It acts on a wide range of receptors and can help with a lot of overlapping symptoms.”

Whilst CBD is categorised as a novel food rather than a medicine, it has become widely available in shop around the country to treat anxiety and improve sleep.

Some scientists even say cannabidiol could be used to treat the disease of the moment, COVID-19.

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For example, while it is available on the NHS, it is exceedingly difficult to get a prescription.

Dr Barron said: “It’s meant that private clinics have appeared throughout the UK which employ specialists and essentially if you have the funds of funds to afford treatment you can access medical cannabis on prescription, but for most these products are unaffordable.”

Campaigners, such as Labour MP Jeff Smith, are trying to increase the availability to medicinal cannabis so that people without the funds to do so, can get the treatment they need.

Medicinal cannabis is exciting, “like the beginning of a new area for clinical medicine,” said Dr Barron, and not just for the potential economic benefit, but because of the lives it could improve and the people it could save.



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