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Why CBD Wellcare’s immune-boosting brews will blast away winter blues

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With winter underway, we’re all in need of a cosy drink to fend off the cold right now. And, amid COVID-19 and the usual flu season, many of us are looking for ways to also boost our immune system. CBD-infused herbal tea may well be the perfect tonic.

The likes of vitamin C, B6 and E are all said to be essential for maintaining a good immune system and there have also been some inconclusive reports that vitamin D can help fight COVID-19.

Whether or not vitamin D does indeed protect against COVID-19, with the nights drawing in, it remains an essential supplement. In fact, according to the NHS, between October and March, the body cannot receive enough vitamin D from sunlight alone and so supplements are becoming evermore popular.

Meanwhile, CBD is also gaining prominence on shopping lists of the health conscious. A recent report, for example, shows that the global cannabis beverages market size is expected to reach USD 2.8 Billion by 2025.

One cannabis-infused beverage that has been growing in popularity in recent years is CBD-tea, with customers across the globe embracing its calming, warming and soothing properties.

In the UK, CBD Wellcare is pioneering two varieties of CBD-infused teas that also pack in the immunity-building properties of key vitamins.

Its lemon-flavoured CBD tea is enriched with vitamin C, with the unique flavour profile of the tea derived from cannabis terpenes. The company’s raspberry-infused tea is also enriched, with both CBD extract and vitamin B, which is proven to be good for the heart.

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Aside from its range of teas, one of CBD Wellcare’s most popular products, particularly at this time of year, is its cocoa tablet. This is a CBD-infused tablet that is placed underneath the tongue, with the flavour of the tablet being meticulously crafted to emanate the taste of the much-loved chocolate bar, the Milky Way.

CBD Wellcare is a family business, based in Bedford, England. Chris Harris, who runs the company with his wife Julie, was inspired to launch his own venture after using CBD to help treat his son’s health condition.

Harris says: “My son was given lots of different tablets from his GP which came with quite unpleasant side effects. So, around four years ago, we went down the route of CBD and he now no longer takes any medication from his doctor; just a few drops of CBD oil a day.”

Harris says the thing that sets his company apart is its scrupulous testing of all its products, with data collected through the entire process from seed to shelf.

“We test our products before they’re planted in the ground, when they come out of the ground and right the way through the production process.

“Although the CBD industry is booming right now, it has never been about the money for me. It’s because I believe in this marvellous product.”

To find out more visit www.cbdwellcare.co.uk.

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Industry

Royal Society of Medicine and Integro Clinics announce pain and cannabis medicines event

The event takes place on October 11 from 8:30 to 17:30. It will explore the potential of cannabis medicines in the field of pain medicine in the UK

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Event: The Royal Society of Medicine logo in green and red on a white background

The Royal Society of Medicine has announced a collaborative event, Pain and cannabis medicines: Everything you want to know (but were too afraid to ask) in association with Integro Medical Clinics.

The event takes place on October 11 from 8:30 to 17:30. It will explore the potential of cannabis medicines in the field of pain medicine in the UK

Since the legalisation of cannabis medicines on prescription in November 2018, patients and clinicians alike have been awaiting more data or information regarding these medicines. 

The event aims to provide those attending with a comprehensive understanding of the uses of cannabis medicines and the practicalities of using them in their own practice. It will consist of presentations on the history, regulatory environment and pharmacology of cannabis medicines including the use of different cannabis-based medical preparations in treating pain and related symptoms in a wide variety of clinical fields in the context of the current UK regulatory framework. 

Event presentations

The day will feature presentations from international leaders in cannabis medicines such as Professor Raphael Mechoulam, the chemist who discovered the endocannabinoid system and THC, Dr Anthony Ordman, Leading UK Consultant in Pain Medicine and previous President of the Pain Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and Dr Arno Hazekamp PhD, who worked as Head of Research and Education at Bedrocan, the first European company to produce EU GMP grade cannabis medicines.  

If you wish to sign up, please click here.

Event speakers
Dr Anthony Ordman, Consultant in Pain Medicine

Event: A black and white headshot of Dr Anthony Ordman Founder of the highly respected Chronic Pain Clinic at London’s Royal Free Hospital, he is one of the UK’s most experienced specialists in the treatment of pain. For his contributions to Pain Medicine, Dr Ordman was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2005, and he is the Immediate Past President of the Pain Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr Ordman is also Senior Medical Consultant and Lead Clinician at Integro Medical Clinics and has a special interest in the potential benefits of cannabis medicines in pain medicine.

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Alex Fraser, Patient Access Lead at GrowPharma

Event: A black and white headshot of guest speaker Alex FraserAlex Fraser is a leading medical cannabis patient advocate. He is a patient himself having been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2010 at 19 years old. In 2014 he founded the United Patients Alliance and has since appeared on mainstream media multiple times, including on the BBC and ITV, to highlight the urgent need for access to cannabis medicines for the many patients who may benefit from them. He has taken delegations of patients to parliament to give testimony to politicians at the highest levels and organised educational events, rallies and protests calling for law change on medical cannabis. In February 2019 Alex joined Grow Pharma, one of the leading suppliers of cannabis medicines in the UK, as their patient access lead. He utilises his extensive knowledge of medical cannabis, his understanding of patient needs and his network in the industry to ensure patient voices are heard and represented. His work includes informing top-level policymakers, educating healthcare professionals and conceiving and running projects that increase general awareness and provide practical help for patients.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel

Event: A black and white headshot Most well-known for the total synthesis of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System. Since the inception of his research in the 60s, Professor Mechoulam has been nominated for over 25 academic awards, including the Heinrich Wieland Prize (2004), an Honorary doctorate from Complutense University (2006), the Israel Prize in Exact Sciences – chemistry (2000), the Israel Chemical Society Prize for excellence in research (2009) and EMET Prize in Exact Sciences – Chemistry (2012

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Dr Sally Ghazaleh, Consultant Pain Specialist

Event: A black and white headshot of a guest speakerDr Sally Ghazaleh, is a Pain Management Consultant at the Whittington Hospital, and the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, London. She qualified from the University of Szeged Medical School, Hungary in 2000, and then completed her specialist training in the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Semmelweis University in 2007. She went on a fellowship at University College Hospital, London, to gain her higher degree in Pain Medicine

During her time at the pain management Centre at University College Hospital, she gained extensive experience in dealing with and managing patients with complex multiple pain problems. She is accomplished at a variety of interventional and non-interventional treatments for this specific patient group. Sally specializes in managing patients with lower back pain, neck pain, neuropathic pain, abdominal pain, cancer pain, complex regional pain syndrome, post-stroke pain and Fibromyalgia. She has a particular interest in bladder and abdominal pain in women, and women’s health in general.

Sponsored post about British Cannabis Group

Read more: How Medical cannabis can help relieve the symptoms of migraine

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Advocacy

Emigration: I’m prescribed cannabis for ADHD but can’t travel home to Ireland

In the final part of our series Cannabis Health editor, Caroline Barry shares her own story.

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ADHD: An Irish passport lies on top of a blue European document. Both passports are ontop of a map where a pen is marking the route

In the final part of our series Cannabis Health editor, Caroline Barry shares her own story. As an Irish person using cannabis for ADHD in the UK, Caroline can’t travel home with her medication.

For weeks I have been covering the stories of Irish people who are emigrating or who have emigrated for better access to cannabis. This has covered multiple different experiences from those tired of living with prohibition, patients unable to afford their medication to those unable to travel home with cannabis without breaking the law. It also touched on lost business and taxes for Ireland.

I never thought I would be part of the story but here we are.

ADHD: A woman with neon green hair looks away from the camera. She is wearing a white shirt with a black tie.

My name is Caroline and I’m the editor of Cannabis Health. I’m also a medical cannabis patient currently being treated for ADHD.

I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of ten after it became very apparent I had an excessive amount of energy. Not only that but I was incredibly difficult in school as I would either concentrate intently to the point of forgetting to move or not at all. A common misconception is that ADHD people can’t concentrate when it’s actually that we can’t balance it.

My schoolwork was a mess of inattentive mistakes if I even did it at all. I was too busy getting my energy out by singing, running, chatting or distracting the other children in the class. I also had oppositional defiant disorder so telling me what to do was a sure way to start a fight. ADHD people often have comorbidity with other conditions such as autism or anxiety.

ADHD and growing up in rural Ireland

I grew up in rural Ireland where there was a lot of fields or coastline to go running or walking on, but not a lot of support in terms of healthcare. I got very used to being described as trouble, a handful or the naughty child because my brain worked differently. Experts estimated that ADHD children hear on average 20,000 more pieces criticism before they reach the age of 10.

This was my reason for not seeking healthcare. While I took a cocktail of medications as a child, I stopped as a teenager because they didn’t appear to do anything. I shut down by not telling anyone I had the condition for fear of being treated differently. I struggled through my degree, my masters then through half of my PhD studies before I left as I wasn’t able to handle it.

I compensated by filling my days with events or fun activities. If there was a night out, cinema trip or dinner out to be had then I was there. ADHD people have lower levels of dopamine than neurotypical people do so we spend a lot of time looking for short bursts of it. Anything we find fun or new can help us to top that up.

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I eventually emigrated from Ireland in 2012 for economical reasons. The country was on its knees after a recession, a housing crash and series of financial scandals. Jobs were scarce, the money was dismal and it became increasingly apparent that there wasn’t going to be a job at the end of my MA degree. So I left along with 54,000 other Irish people that year. The worst year of emigration on record for Ireland.

ADHD: A woman with blue shoulder length hair faces the camera wearing a black t-shirt with lettering on it. She is sitting in a corn field

Neurodiversity and COVID times

There are studies to be done yet on how the pandemic affected those of us who are neurodiverse. In my case, it heightened my hyper-focus causing me to break down with stress and exhaustion at Christmas. My hyper-focus overrides my ability to switch off at the end of the day. While someone may recognise 5 pm as clocking-off time, I can’t and will often work until midnight if I can.

I needed medication to help ease this.

I also needed help getting to sleep. In non-covid times, I would head to the gym to burn off the excess energy I had stored up from sitting down at a desk all day. When everything closed, I had nowhere to go so I just stayed at home. This led to a lack of sleep where I would go days without proper rest.

I was exhausted and burned out.

NHS help

I eventually tried to access more pharmaceutical methods of treating my ADHD in desperation. My GP referred me to the ADHD support services in Nottingham and I had my first assessment call with them.

It’s extremely nerve-racking going to a new doctor when you have a condition that isn’t immediately visible. I worry that I’m not going to be taken seriously and you are at the mercy of someone’s interpretation of your condition. I cried down the phone asking for help because I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I have lost jobs, partners, friends and my life has been shaped by having ADHD. So when the doctor said he didn’t feel my ADHD was bad enough for medication, I felt mortified and was close to giving up. I’ve gone years managing it myself so why bother to look now?

I appealed but it’s now over six months later and I am still waiting to hear anything back from them about treatment.

Cannabis was a huge part of my life already. I had been writing about it for so many years that I was amazed I hadn’t thought about it before now. In researching a story, I noticed that clinics offered medical cannabis for ADHD.

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The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Cannabis helps to quieten the racing thoughts and excessive energy that fuels my hyper-focus and keeps me awake at night. There hasn’t been a lot of studies of cannabis on ADHD and those that exist tend to be recent.

A study from 2020 on CBN showed potentially promising results. It took adults with ADHD and a medical cannabis prescription. They were asked to record their symptoms, sleep and anxiety pattern using questionnaires. One group of the 59 participants were given a higher dose and recorded less medication use. Those on the lower doses reported less anxiety.

Life-changing medication

The assessment from a private medical cannabis clinic was life-changing. Not only did the doctor listen to everything I had to say but there was no judgement. I felt able to talk about some of the darker parts of my ADHD that I hadn’t felt comfortable speaking to the NHS doctor about.

To get to this stage, I had to get every last bit of information from various GPs that had treated me over the years. This may sound easy but I had moved country three times living in Ireland, Italy and the UK. Not only that but the psychiatrist who diagnosed me had passed away in 2020, as well as my childhood doctor retiring.

The relief of being told I could have medical cannabis was immense. I had been sourcing it where I could prior to that which meant I had no idea what I had or when I would have it. I rationed the small amounts I could get and never knew what was working or not working.

ADHD: A white woman with short pastel pink hair wears blue headphones around her neck with a leopard print scarf

Medication

My cannabis arrived at my front door in a small white tub from Rokshaw. For someone who had never held a prescription for it before, it felt surreal to hold a white tub with a pharmaceutical label on it that was filled with cannabis.

I’m still learning to use it properly by getting the perfect vape and a routine that works. I have only had it for a few weeks so there is time to learn all of this yet. Also, ADHD people can be forgetful about their medication so I have to be mindful that I have something in the house that can help me to relax and sleep.

I no longer worry about rationing and can have as much as I actually need. I also know what is in my medicine, instead of trusting strangers to be upfront about it.

I started to write the series on emigration after realising that I knew a lot of Irish people who had left or were in the process of leaving to get access. A lot of them were in pain and really needed better access to their medication which Ireland wasn’t providing for them.

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Writing about emigration as an emigrated person, made me realise that I have another issue now. I always wanted to move home after a while but to do so means I lose out in two ways.

Firstly, my job as a cannabis writer does not exist in Ireland. I’ve spent ages accumulating this information, researching and understanding how this industry works. The media industry in Ireland is incredibly difficult to get into as not only a woman but a queer female who is not from Dublin but from West Cork. There are no cannabis publications in existence over there or regular reporting on the industry in the broadsheets.

Secondly, my cannabis prescription is not valid in Ireland. I would need a prescription from an Irish GP which is going to be impossible to get. If someone with chronic pain from cancer cannot get an affordable prescription or a person with fibromyalgia can’t get one at all, then I don’t fancy my chances. This is why people are leaving.

I cannot travel home to my country without risking arrest or having my medication taken off me. One choice is to leave my medication at home which I can do, but my symptoms will come back. Another is to take the risk and see what happens. The final choice is access once I land which means going back to the flourishing black market in Ireland and taking my chances.

I’ve reached out to Frank Feighan and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. I’ve sent them my articles on emigration to no response. I outlined my problem on returning home. Mr Feighan is the Minister of State for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy. He responded with a cut and paste response that I could have found on the internet with a quick Google that basically said nothing in relation to my case. Since that response, I’ve had nothing back. Stephen Donnelly has never replied.

I won’t risk it. My family are too important for me to never visit Ireland again and it’s my home. There is a deep sadness in knowing you won’t be able to move home until this is fixed but an even bigger one in knowing, it’s not likely to be any time soon.

I would like to say thank you to Aoife, Adrienne, Alicia and Joe who all spoke to me as part of the series. 

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Health

One in five autism caregivers give their child CBD products

A new report by reveals that the majority of parents started using oils during the pandemic for older children.

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Autism: A collection of clear glass and brown tincture bottles together on a wooden surface next to a balm that has a cannabis leaf on it.

A study by Autism Parenting Magazine revealed that almost 20 percent of people caring for an autistic child give them CBD products.

The autism parenting survey was sent to 160,000 subscribers around the world revealing the extent of CBD use by parents caring for an autistic child. 18.6 percent of respondents confirmed they use CBD for a child on the spectrum to relieve a variety of their symptoms. This was further broken down to 22.16 percent of US parents compared to 14.29 percent of UK families.

It is estimated that there are 700,000 people in the UK with a diagnosis of autism. This is equal to one in 100 children in the UK.

The new survey also revealed that 31.3 percent of those using CBD products started during the Covid-19 pandemic. A further 16.6 percent revealed they have increased the amount since the pandemic began. The reason for this was thought to be down to increased anxiety and panic.

The data showed 76.3 percent CBD only use while the remaining 10 percent used other forms such as hemp, CD/THC and Epidiolex or CBD with terpenes.

The majority of those who responded were parents at 72.4 percent but there were also grandparents, careers, teachers, therapists, doctors or individuals on the spectrum.

Autism symptom relief

The survey revealed that the primary use for CBD was anxiety relief at 42.9 percent or challenging behaviour at 36.9 percent. The rest stated pain relief, inflammation, sleep or relaxation. A small number of parents, 4.3 percent, said seizures. Other reasons were given as speech or supporting potty training.

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The survey also asked how much support the parents felt their child needed with 42.9 percent stating ‘requires substantial support.’ A small number at 17.9 percent said very substantial support. CBD use tended to be daily in the form of oils.

Oils were a favourite amongst parents with 60.8 percent opting to use this method. Other popular methods included 21.5 percent using gummies, 7.5 percent consuming capsules or tablets. A few used lotions or balms while 1.9 percent used vapes.

A large number of participants used CBD for their teenagers with 21.39 percent confirming their child was aged 13 to 18.

Autism therapies

Only a small number of parents were combining the CBD with therapies at 7.4 percent. The therapy was listed as Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapy (ABA Therapy). ABA therapy considers a person’s understanding of how behaviour works in real situations. The aim of therapy is to increase helpful and decrease unhelpful behaviours that could be harmful or affect learning. ABA is being used increasingly in the UK.

Read more: We are asking for quality of life for our children – new report reveals issues with medical cannabis system

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Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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