The mother of a severely epileptic child, whose life has been ‘saved’ by medical cannabis, has launched her own CBD brand to help families.
Since 2017 Tannine Montgomery, 31, has been fighting for fair access to medical cannabis treatment for her daughter, Indie-Rose, who lives with a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Indie-Rose began having seizures at around four months old and doctors never managed to bring them under control.
After three years of weekly ambulance trips to hospital and eight different antiepileptic drugs – all which failed to be effective – Tannine was desperate to find another treatment to improve her daughter’s quality of life.
She set about learning everything there is to know about medical cannabis and CBD.
“I’d heard it could help but I wanted to make sure what I was giving her was safe, says Tannine.
“I was given some CBD oil to try but for three weeks it sat in the cupboard because I was too scared to use it.
“Then Indie had this awful episode, she’d been up all night having seizures and I saw the CBD in the cupboard and thought ‘right now I’ve got nothing to lose’.”
Although they didn’t notice much change in Indie at first, after 10 days of taking the oil her parents watched her run down the garden for the first time.
Tannine adds: “It was amazing, we just looked at each other and said – wow this stuff is actually helping her.”
After years of battling to get access to full extract cannabis oil – including a ‘traumatic’ three-month stay in Holland – after the law change, Indie-Rose eventually obtained a private prescription for Bedrolite.
Now six, she is still severely disabled but is able to attend school and hasn’t been hospitalised or had to receive rescue medication for three years.
But Tannine and her partner, Indie-Rose’s dad, Ant have to raise hundreds of pounds each month for her medicine, while they continue to campaign for access on the NHS.
Their struggle has inspired Tannine to step into the sector herself, with the launch of Sweet Pink CBD, a range of CBD products created in her home studio in Suffolk.
“We weren’t getting anywhere with the government and the fees just aren’t obtainable for anyone holding down a normal job, but I knew that what I had learned over the last few years was probably valuable,” she says.
She started working with Green Leaf Processing, a company producing hemp oil, similar to Bedrolite but with lower levels of THC, so it is legal in the UK – and more than half the price.
“Bedrolite is a prescription medicine but the bottles that I can sell for £60 rather than £160 still help,” she says.
“Through my learning I noticed that not all children respond to the same thing so it’s always worth trying something. Each person is so individual in what works for them when it comes to cannabis.”
After Indie-Rose responded well to the oil, Tannine realised she could help other families, who don’t have access to a private prescription.
“For me, starting the business was about helping people and also giving people the knowledge to help themselves so just talking to people and pointing them in the right direction of where they can find correct information about cannabis,” she continues.
“I hope people feel they can trust me because I was that one once that mum, who desperately needed something to help my child. I felt lost, and I just want to be that person that they can come to.”
After being approached by a friend with a bad back, Tannine saved up out of her benefits to make bath bombs which she distributed to people living with chronic pain and other ailments.
Sweet Pink evolved and now includes CBD oils, balms, massage oils and bath products, all of which are 100 percent vegan, organic and infused with active ingredients and essential oils, such as turmeric, eucalyptus, wild orange and bergamot, chamomile, lavender and pink pepper. She also offers one to one, confidential consultations to create bespoke products for her customer’s personal wellbeing needs.
The money from Sweet Pink will go towards helping fund Indie-Rose’s prescription, but Tannine also hopes to help other families who are struggling to afford the fees.
“I don’t want to just help Indie – there are so many other children in the same situation – and I want people to have fair access, without having to worry about the money,” she adds.
“The plan is to set up a charity so 10 percent of the profits from the company will go to funding children’s medication. That will be accessible to everyone in the End Our Pain group, and all the families I already know, but also other families out there to hopefully help their children.”
Fibromyalgia and cannabis: What does the latest research say?
Cannabis Health rounds up the latest research into the impact of cannabis on fibromyalgia.
There are thought to be around 1.5-2 million people in the UK currently living with fibromyalgia, a condition which causes chronic pain around the body, muscle stiffness and fatigue.
With no cure for the illness and symptoms severely affecting day-to-day life, research is focusing on therapeutic treatments – including medical cannabis.
In 2019, research published by Sagy, Schleider, Abu-Shackra and Novak showed that cannabis can help reduce fibromyalgia pain. The study of 367 patients found that pain intensity decreased when treated with medical marijuana, leading the team to state that “cannabis therapy should be considered to ease the symptom burden among those fibromyalgia patients who are not responding to standard care”.
Chaves, Bittencourt and Pelegrini further supported these findings in October 2020, concluding that phytocannabinoids can serve as an affordable yet well-tolerated therapy for fibromyalgia symptom relief and quality of life improvements.
After the randomised controlled trial, the researchers went as far as to suggest that the cannabinoid therapy “could become an herbal or holistic choice of medicine for treating fibromyalgia as part of Brazil’s public healthcare system”.
A study in Italy, published in February 2020, also demonstrated that medical cannabis improves the efficacy of standard analgesic fibromyalgia treatments.
Researchers concluded: “This observational study shows that medical cannabis treatment offers a possible clinical advantage in fibromyalgia patients, especially in those with sleep dysfunctions.”
Published in the Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology journal, the study followed 102 fibromyalgia patients who had not responded well to conventional treatments. These participants were given two forms of medical cannabis oil extracts and researchers then collected data over a six-month period from patients, who self-reported fibromyalgia symptoms, how well they slept, and feelings of fatigue, as well as depression and anxiety levels.
While only a third of fibromyalgia patients reported reduced symptoms of the disease overall, cannabis did improve overall quality of life for some. Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety were found in around half of patients, too.
Despite fibromyalgia being more common amongst women – up to 90 per cent of sufferers are female – one study has found that cannabis may provide better pain relief for men.
The preclinical studies, conducted in 2016, compared the analgesic, subjective and physiological effects of active cannabis and inactive cannabis in male and female cannabis smokers under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions, and measured pain response through the Cold-Pressor Test.
Among men, active cannabis significantly decreased pain sensitivity relative to inactive cannabis. However, in women, active cannabis failed to decrease pain sensitivity relative to inactive, indicating that in cannabis smokers, men exhibit greater analgesia compared to women.
Researchers concluded: “Sex-dependent differences in cannabis’ analgesic effects are an important consideration that warrants further investigation when considering the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for pain relief.”
While further research is necessary, it is clear to see that medical cannabis can make a huge difference to treatment and relief of pain caused by fibromyalgia.
The best ways to take CBD for pain relief
CBD is becoming a popular tool for pain management, but with so many options out there, how do you know where to start?
With research constantly emerging to support the health benefits of CBD, more and more people are turning to the remedy – especially when it comes to alleviating pain and discomfort.
But how does it actually work? There are several ways to take CBD, each offering various pros and cons – we’ve rounded up some of the best methods.
In terms of pain relief, one of the most common methods is on the skin. Topical products like lotions and balms can be applied to skin over painful joints or bones and are particularly effective when used to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
However, research is still ongoing to determine whether these products deliver CBD below the skin. It is also difficult to pinpoint the exact effect CBD delivers – with many including common over-the-counter ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin and camphor, it’s uncertain whether the positive relief is solely due to CBD, or if these other ingredients play a significant role.
Several studies have hailed CBD oil as one of the most helpful methods when it comes to relieving pain symptoms, especially when combined with other forms such as topicals.
Medical nutritionist and health author Dr Sarah Brewer said: “Cannabidiol oil has direct effects on the endocannabinoid system in the brain. This enhances the effects of other brain chemicals, such as serotonin and anandamide, to reduce pain perception. It is also a powerful antioxidant which suppresses inflammation.”
Something to digest
Another well-known method for using CBD is by mouth. Whether in capsules, food or liquid, CBD that is swallowed is absorbed through the digestive tract.
Despite its popularity, this method does have its downfalls. Absorption is slow and dosing can be tricky due to the delayed onset of effect (it can take one to two hours to fully have an impact), plus many believe there isn’t enough research into how recent meals and other factors affect consumption.
But it has been widely reported that after a safe and effective dose has been established, capsules can work for daily use.
While it may not taste particularly pleasant, CBD can also be effectively absorbed directly into the bloodstream by holding liquid from a spray or dropper under the tongue. Research shows effects can the be felt in as little as a few minutes.
Give the vapors
CBD can also be inhaled via a vaporising, ‘vape’ pen. However, it’s possible that inhalation can carry unknown risks, particularly in those with respiratory issues and ailments such as inflammatory arthritis, and so isn’t widely recommended as a method for use.
With all methods, the common downfall is wavering dosage guidelines. Measures can change depending on a number of factors including age, weight and reason for use, however resounding guidance from experts is to ‘go low and slow’. Start with just a few milligrams twice a day, and if relief is inadequate after one week, increase the dose by the same amount, in small increments over several weeks if needed.
It’s clear that more research is needed to determine exact details into these methods, but this is only set to increase as the number of people turning to CBD for pain relief continues to grow.
CBD distillates, isolates & full spectrum – what’s the difference?
With so many CBD products on the market, do you know your distillates from your isolates? The experts at US manufacturer Fresh Bros break it down.
Las Vegas manufacturer Fresh Bros have nearly a decade of experience in the hemp industry.
But with so many products on the market Fresh Bros want to help consumers find the best products for their needs.
Here they explain the differences between CBD distillate, CBD isolate, and full-spectrum CBD products, as well as highlighting the key differences between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most researched compounds of all the known phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
CBD isolates are, unsurprisingly, isolated forms of CBD. During the extraction process, cannabidiols are removed or filtered out of the hemp plant except for CBD, resulting in a pure product.
CBD isolate is great for anyone who struggles with the original earthy flavors of other conventional oils or edibles, so if you’d prefer a high-potency CBD product that is tasty, doesn’t contain THC and or any “extra” cannabinoids that are found in a distillate or full-spectrum product — CBD isolate may be the way to go.
Unlike CBD isolate, CBD distillate (aka broad-spectrum CBD) typically contains an array of cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and fatty acids that are very beneficial to the body. CBD distillate contains only negligible amounts of THC after going through special processing.
CBD isolate is an incredible healing source, of course, but there are hundreds of other beneficial cannabinoids found in the hemp plant besides CBD – cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) to name a couple.
Therefore, if you want to reap all of the potential benefits of CBD without the high, and you don’t mind the stronger taste, CBD distillate may be the best option for you.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials – including the naturally occurring small amount of THC in hemp.
Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC
The cannabis plant has more than 120 cannabinoids, but only a fraction of these have really been studied and marketed. Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and has received a lot of attention over the last few years.
However, consumers are slowly noticing the lesser-known Delta 8 THC (a less available double-bond isomer of the more common Delta 9 THC, also derived from hemp) due to its unique properties. The main differences between these two types of THC are found in the molecular structures of both, and it’s worth noting that Delta 8 THC is capable of producing a milder, more manageable, and more enjoyable high compared to Delta 9.
Delta 8 also has added therapeutic benefits and less severe and functionality-impairing side effects.
News7 months ago
NHS lines up cannabis medicine manufacturing
News3 months ago
Community extends support to cannabis icon Rick Simpson
Case Studies11 months ago
CBD oil and fibromyalgia – a case study
Feature8 months ago
Medical cannabis could help long-term effects of COVID-19, says David Nutt
Insight5 months ago
I’ve gone from a wheelchair to walking thanks to cannabis
News5 months ago
“I’m not a bad person” – chronically ill woman convicted of growing medical cannabis
News5 months ago
Cancer survivor claims cannabis oil helped her beat brain tumour
News5 months ago
Mum of three-year-old with ‘one in a million’ condition fights for medical cannabis funding