In 2018 we took my stand-up show to Portland, Oregon, for two weeks. In Portland cannabis is legal, and for the time I was there I was able to buy and use cannabis gummies that had a massive impact on my pain levels, tics, sleep and wellbeing. I wrote about how frustrating it was, after finding something that helped me so much, not to be able to access it back home.
Last year I wrote about Project 2021, an observational study taking place here in the UK that lets people with eligible conditions access medical cannabis, and while you have to pay for it, the cost is capped. Ultimately the aim is to build a body of evidence that makes this medicine available on the NHS.
Initially I was put off Project 2021 because some of the costs felt uncertain. But I revisited it recently when a friend, who has had has a positive experience with them, talked me through the process.
Feeling more confident about it, I had an online consultation with a doctor a couple of weeks ago and they agreed that medical cannabis would be useful for me, so they prescribed cannabis oil. My prescription was dispatched to a specialist pharmacy, and they delivered the medicine.
One week in and I’ve slept better than I have for years, I’ve been getting to sleep much more quickly and sleeping through in a way that was previously unheard of for me. Because this is medical cannabis, I know exactly what I’m taking and how much I need.
I take the oil under my tongue, and it only takes a small amount to make a big difference. I’m already feeling a very positive impact, including needing to use opioid-based medications much less.
My initial consultation was £70, and the prescription was £150. If I take it at the same dose I’m currently using, this should last me 4-5 months. While the costs are manageable for me, they won’t be for many disabled people, so let’s hope this medication is made available for everyone who needs it on the NHS very soon.