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Nottingham Road Clinic to offer new medical cannabis treatments

A multidisciplinary team at the clinic will treat patients with a number of different conditions.

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Cannabis Health visited Nottingham Road Clinic based in Mansfield as it prepares to launch new medical cannabis treatments.

Nottingham Road Clinic is a private medical facility offering a range of different services.  It currently offers healthcare, wellness and cosmetic procedures, but this is the first time the clinic is offering medical cannabis among its existing treatments.

The clinic has a multidisciplinary team on hand to work with patients. The medical cannabis team includes Dr Younus Saleem, a consultant psychiatrist, Mr Srini Vindla, a consultant gynaecologist and Mr Muhammed Laklouk, a consultant in anaesthesia and pain management.

Doctors will be welcoming patients with a wide variety of conditions including chronic pain, endometriosis, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Bipolar Disorder. Patients will be able to self-register through the Nottingham Road Clinic to make an appointment.

Although this is a great boost for the city of Nottingham, the development of telemedicine throughout the pandemic means the clinic is accessible to the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland.

Cannabis Health visited the clinic in Mansfield, where we met with the consultants and director of the Nottingham Road Clinic, Dr Clive Gie.Dr Gie is also a consultant gynaecologist.

Nottingham Road Clinic: Dr. Saleem and Mr. Vindla

Medical cannabis and endometriosis

Mr Srini Vindla became interested in medical cannabis as a treatment for endometriosis.

Speaking with Cannabis Health, he said: “I see a lot of women with endometriosis in debilitating pain. There are several different treatments including simple analgesics, paracetamol, hormone treatment or surgery. Surgery, which is the best option for managing pain, has quite big risks in that some organs may get damaged.”

“I started researching cannabis as an alternative. It’s great in terms of pain control and there is evidence in rat studies that it may shrink the tissue growth too. I knew cannabis wasn’t available on the NHS which is why I contacted Clive to see if he would be interested in offering it.”

Dr Younus Saleem will be working with patients who experience PTSD or have conditions such as ADHD or autism. Interestingly, patients may also avail of traditional prescriptions for ADHD such as stimulant-based medications if the doctor feels it may benefit them better than medical cannabis. This will be on an individual basis.

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It could not have come at a better time for Nottingham as specially created autism and ADHD services are struggling to cope with the demand and number of patients in the city.

He said: “The services within the NHS, in particular for ADHD is very scarce. We have patients coming from as far away as Aberdeen or Northern Ireland. The story is always the same in that they have been referred but the NHS has a waiting list of anything from one to three years. The services are struggling with the demand.”

Dr Saleem added: “We are on the verge of something happening in the UK and worldwide where the role of medical cannabis for conditions like ADHD will become more prominent. As medical professionals, we like more evidence-based medicine to back our practice but that is possibly in the pipeline. This is a big area that will grow.

“We are very excited to be getting involved in this. Hopefully, with our launch, we will be setting an example.”

Nottingham Road Clinic and GROW

The clinic is also working with cannabis experts, GROW Pharma. GROW is one of the leading medical cannabis importers in the UK and Ireland, which also has its own cannabis production facility.

As well as the pharma side of the company, it recently launched an educational platform that provides training for doctors around medical cannabis.

The educational aspect is one of the reasons why the clinic is delighted to be supported by GROW.

“What I like about GROW is that it is not just a distributor, they also provide education. They are an umbrella organisation with different facets including Pharma and the education side,” Clive said.

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“It can be a daunting prospect to get into this industry but they provide seminars and really good educational programmes.”

It hasn’t been the easiest to set up the clinic for medical cannabis prescribing, while following regulatory processes, but those involved have been determined to make it as safe as possible for patients. Covid-19 has also meant a few delays or difficulties but Mr Vindla believes that the pandemic has helped to advance their telemedicine options.

“The fact that we’ve done all of this virtually has been harder but it will work for us in the long run. We have a physical space for those patients who need it. People aren’t afraid of online consultations anymore. The pandemic has shown it works from our end as clinicians but also it’s convenient for patients who can be at home.”

Nottingham Road Clinic is now accepting patients for medical cannabis treatments.

Telemedicine and in-person appointments

This is not the first medical cannabis clinic in Nottingham. The previous clinic no longer offers it as an option following doctors retirement. This has meant lengthy trips to London for Midlands patients and telemedicine is not always an option.

The central Midlands location will allow access for those in Derby, Leeds or Birmingham.

Mr Vindla added: “It takes less than an hour to get here from Leeds and it’s 40 minutes from Birmingham. We’ve got the whole of Lincolnshire nearby too. It’s very conveniently based in the centre of England to attract people. The message is really that cannabis can work which is what the evidence is showing us so let’s get that out there.”

Applying for a medical cannabis consultation could not be easier. Patients can self-refer for an initial consultation before being asked to provide health history notes from their GP. Once they have their consolation, the multi-disciplinary team will discuss if medical cannabis treatment is the best option before writing a prescription. There are further follow up appointments with doctors to check how the prescription is affecting the patient.

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The plan is to hire more doctors to join the team however the stigma and lack of information about the plant can make this difficult.

“At the moment, we have three doctors working in pain, pelvic pain and a psychiatrist. We have a few other clinicians interested too and are gradually in the process of hiring more people. Some are slightly hesitant so this is where we are providing them with seminars from GROW and helping them to get their pin numbers and pink prescription pads. There is hesitancy passed on the stigma from both the clinical and patient side which we will work to get over,” Clive said.

“Hiring more people will mean more availability. We want to make sure the patient is never sidelined. The whole thing is aimed at continuity, helping patients to get where they want to. Once they are on a standard proposal then we can change the THC or CBD content depending on what they need, if it’s day or night time for example. Once they are settled then they can carry on with that but they have access to the clinic whenever they need to.”

Pierre van Weperen, CEO of GROW Pharma strongly agrees, “We are delighted to be supporting the specialist doctors at Nottingham Road Clinic. Our mission is to enable access to medical cannabis for patients who could benefit from this treatment option to manage their symptoms, but we do need many more prescribing doctors on board to increase people’s awareness of the benefits of medical cannabis and for the patient’s to be able to access these high-quality medicines in a safe and monitored environment.”

For more information, visit The Nottingham Road Clinic

 

Pain

How CBD helps me combat arthritis pain

A patient shares how they combine CBD with lifestyles changes to manage their chronic pain.

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Arthritis pain: A woman holding her hands

Caomihe Ni Drisceoil shares how she uses CBD, alongside other natural remedies, to help combat the pain from arthritis and migraines.

Caoimhe Ni Drisceoil was diagnosed with arthritis when she was in her 50s. The pain began in her knees before moving to her hands and other joints. She also suffered from painful migraines.

“It was a gradual development over the years, to a point where it was becoming uncomfortable to do the things I loved such as gardening or walking,” she said.

Arthritis: A banner advert for the Medical Cannabis Clinics

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. It can affect people of all ages but particularly, older people. Symptoms can include joint pain, tenderness and stiffness, inflammation and restricted movement. It is thought that over 900,000 people in Ireland live with arthritis pain.

Patients will often have to make lifestyle adjustments to help ease the pain they experience. Caoimhe learned to avoid causing extra pressure on her joints if the pain was particularly bad, but she also struggled to fall asleep.

“If I was having a bad day then I wouldn’t stress the area that was inflamed. I would break up what I was doing during the day to relieve the pressure on that area and go back to it again if the pain eased off or I would take medication in the evening,” she said.

“Sometimes it would stop me from sleeping which is difficult for your physical and mental health, as well as not being able to do things you love. It’s also stopped me from learning a musical instrument which was on my bucket list. I haven’t been able to do this because of the joints in my hands being too painful.”

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Natural arthritis pain relief

Caoimhe has always been a big believer in natural remedies or homoeopathic alternatives. She often took echinacea for colds or flu. When she began researching pain relief, she looked for the natural options first.

She explained: “I started off with glucosamine and chlondroitin first, they are herbal remedies that you can get over the counter to ease the joints. Glucosamine and vitamins help the cartilage around the joints. The chlondroitin helps the glucose absorb into your body quicker. I was on that for several years while adding paracetamol if I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep from it.”

Arthritis: A person adding a drop of CBD oil to a cup of herbal tea

Caomihe had been experiencing migraine pain at the same time, and was struggling to find a pain relief option that helped her with both. As her doctor prescribed pain relief, she began to explore if CBD could offer an alternative.

“I was on half beta-blockers for over a year and they weren’t stopping me from getting the migraines,” she said.

“My doctors wanted to increase the pain relief and I wasn’t happy with that which is why I started taking CBD,” she said. “They were daily headaches that were very uncomfortable. It would make me miserable and stop me from going out.”

CBD for arthritis

Caomihe began to take CBD drops in the morning. She describes experiencing the effects “almost immediately” on her migraines. However, when it came to arthritis pain, it took further lifestyle changes.

“I noticed that once I was on it, I didn’t get full-blown migraines. I would get headaches, but they never developed into migraine symptoms. I wouldn’t get the tingling in the arms or the tongue, the brain fog or lose the ability to think clearly. It would just be a normal headache,” she said.

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Caoimhe found that CBD was just part of the many different things she could do to fight the pain rather than a cure for everything. She combined her CBD intake with dietary changes. One of her daughters is a personal trainer who was able to design a diet plan with pain relief in mind.

She said: “There are things that flare up inflammation in the body such as bell peppers, aubergines. Those [can be] bad if you are prone to inflammation so I avoided those, added more protein for energy and stopped eating gluten as a personal preference. I also gave up red wine, chocolate and cheese as they were triggers for my headaches.”

She also started to combine the CBD with ginger and turmeric which are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

“It’s part of a whole collection of things that you do to alleviate the problem,” she said.

But she does hope that the CBD industry will eventually regulate the way that dosage is worked out to make it easier for consumers.

“Figuring out the right dosage is the worst thing, especially if you are new to it,” she added.

“You do tend to find one bottle and stick to it because you get used to the system. I know they need to declare what is in the bottle but it’s not put out clearly. It doesn’t make it any easier to compare one week to another what strength you are taking.”

The difference in her pain levels has been incredible, Caoimhe says, noticing it most when she took her first holiday since the beginning of the pandemic.

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“Two years ago, going on holiday would have been difficult because I would have to carry my own luggage, and would struggle going up and down the steps of the plane. This time I was able to put the case up by myself over the seats. I suddenly realised I had been able to do that and walk up all the steps without any pain,” she added.

“That was something that really shocked me because we hadn’t done anything like that since Covid. I had been in my normal routine and not really noticed it.”

Caoimhe lives in a rural part of Ireland, but thankfully access to CBD has not been an issue. The town she is closest to has many health food stores that stock Irish CBD products. She says she would consider trying medical cannabis for the pain if it increases over time, but with the restrictions concerning chronic pain through Ireland’s MCAP program, this is not currently an option.

“I was taking medication from the doctor for years that was doing my liver absolutely no good, THC is a natural, herbal thing,” she said.

“I would have taken CBD for either condition, but I was lucky that it worked for both. I was able to come off the medication from my doctor as a result.

“I haven’t taken beta-blockers or anti-inflammatories in a couple of years, not since I’ve been taking the CBD.”

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Health

How can CBD help with Covid-19?

Juicy Fields examines if CBD could play a role in tackling Covid-19

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Covid-19: Could CBD play a role

With a desperate need for more research into treatments for Covid-19, Juicy Fields examines the ways in which CBD could help.

The world has been battling the Covid-19 crisis since 2020. The number of global infections and deaths keeps rising. As of 16 January 2022, the international infection numbers stood at 326,813,089, while the deaths reached 5,553,745.

According to research studies, CBD shows potential as a possible antiviral agent. The research is still in its early stages, and some studies have only been conducted in vitro. There is a growing need for the research to be advanced further, especially considering the virus’s rate of mutating. 

CBD may prevent infection and stabilise the aggressive immune response

According to a study published in March 2021, CBD may be essential during the early stages of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The researchers treated cells with CBD 24 hours before infecting them with SARS-CoV-2. CBD effectively suppressed the viral infection and promoted the destruction of the viral RNA. CBD, directly and indirectly, induces interferon production, enabling the body to fight the virus. 

The researchers additionally analysed 93,000 patients tested for Covid-19. The results indicated that individuals that were taking FDA-approved CBD before the test showed a reduced risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2.

The study further supported previous studies relating to CBD and its function in inhibiting cytokine activation. SARS-CoV-2 attacks and weakens a host’s respiratory system. As a response, the immune system has an overactive inflammatory response. This leads to a cytokine storm, the leading cause of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, characterised by fluids in the alveoli. Consequently, severe tissue damage leads to multiple organ failure and death. 

In summary, this study concludes that CBD acts as an antiviral agent in the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, the cannabinoid helps stabilise the aggressive immune response during the advanced stages of infection. 

CBD and CBG acidic precursors may prevent SARS-CoV-2 from penetrating human cells

Another notable study was conducted recently by researchers from Oregon State University. According to the results, CBDA and CBGA, which are acidic precursors of CBD and CBG, respectively, show potential in blocking SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants from entering human cells. Cell penetration is one of the virus’s main processes before infecting the host. 

The research team used a proprietary screening technique to identify the two acidic cannabinoids. The team concluded that Cannabigerol acid and Cannabidiol acid, at specific potency levels, helped minimise the infections by half. This is a promising result that needs to be explored further. The authors of the study noted that for this to work in humans, the potency of the CBDA and CBGA needs to be considerably high, but it is not impossible to achieve. 

The different variants and the consequent spread of the virus have raised concerns worldwide. The most prevalent mutations are Alpha and Beta, which CBGA and CBDA block effectively. The scientists are hopeful that the results will be replicated in other studies involving different variants, such as Omicron, Delta, Gamma, and others. 

Supporting pre-covid study on CBD and Asthma

A pre-covid study conducted in 2019 looked into the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) in reducing the inflammation of the lungs and managing airways hyper-responsiveness. Although the study was not on SARS-CoV-2, it does prove how CBD works to inhibit cytokine production. The study concluded that different dosages of CBD help to stabilise airway hyper-responsiveness. However, only high doses of cannabidiol seemed to combat lung inflammation. 

The research on the effects of CBD on SARS-CoV-2 is still in its infancy stage. There is a growing need for more studies as the cannabinoid promises a lasting, diverse solution. With new variants popping from different parts of the world, having a solution that cuts across the mutations will bring about much-needed relief. 

Other ways CBD can help with Covid-19

One of the symptoms of Covid-19 is pain, which can stem from body aches or headaches. Numerous studies have concluded that CBD does possess potent analgesic properties. The cannabinoid is widely used as a pain-reliever by hundreds of individuals, especially since its legal status is no longer complicated. General perspective and attitudes towards CBD are positive, especially for people who have confirmed its efficiency. Covid patients can utilise CBD to combat pain. 

Since the pandemic struck, the number of individuals experiencing anxiety has significantly increased. Patients with Covid face great fear of being incapacitated and possibly dying. The growing mortality rate fuels this fear. CBD is a natural anxiolytic that can aid in alleviating anxiety.

According to Your Covid Recovery, many Covid patients experience changes in their sleep cycle. While some find it challenging to fall asleep, others experience interrupted sleep, keeping them awake most of the night. CBD helps restore the normal sleep cycle, leaving patients refreshed and healthier. 

Take away

CBD presents as a potential antiviral agent in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Research suggests that CBD can help prevent infection and stabilise aggressive immune responses to the virus. More research is needed to solidify these findings. CBD is readily available, comes in various forms, has minimal side effects, and is self-administered. This makes the ideal treatment option if or when it is confirmed in large-scale studies. You too can help the researchers by joining the world’s leading cannabis crowdgrowing platform, as part of their funds are destined to investigation programs that can help understand the numerous benefits of this ancient plant.

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Women's health

Study: Can cannabis help you have better sex?

Those who use cannabis regularly may have better orgasms and over sexual function.

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can cannabis help you have better sex

Cannabis consumption may improve sexual function, arousal, and orgasm, according to a new study.

Young people who use cannabis frequently may have better orgasms and overall sexual function, findings from a new observational study have revealed.

A team of researchers in Spain examined impact of alcohol and cannabis on sexual function in 274 men and women, aged 18 to 30 years old.

Sixty eight per cent of participants identified as female, while 32 per cent identified as male. 

women's health: A banner advert for The Medical Cannabis Clinics

The study analysed the effects using three commonly used surveys, designed to identify alcohol and cannabis use disorders, as well as changes to a person’s sexual functioning, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Cannabis Abuse Screening Test (CAST), and Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire Short-Form. 

The findings revealed a higher score in sexual function, as well as arousal and orgasm, in participants who were identified as being “high risk” of having cannabis-related problems and addiction associated with alcohol consumption. 

Sexual function and arousal was found to be generally higher among heavy consumers compared to non-consumers, which the authors have indicated could be linked to the lesser feelings of anxiety and shame, as a result of the effects of cannabis.

There was no significant difference in results between men and women, indicating that young people who use cannabis frequently, regardless of gender, have better overall sexual function.

These results are consistent with previous findings involving 216 people, who used cannabis to improve their sexual experience.

Researchers concluded: “Sexual function is improved in young people who are high-risk cannabis consumers with a moderate risk of alcohol use, resulting in increased desire, arousal, and orgasm. This improvement is usually associated with a reduction in anxiety and shame, which facilitates sexual relationships.”

Women’s sexual wellness

Previous findings have also suggested that cannabis may increase sexual desire and orgasm intensity. 

But while this study has revealed positive effects on both genders, others have focused on the role it could play in improving sexual wellbeing in women.

Its effects are thought to help relieve discomfort in women, particularly those with gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis, leading to a more enjoyable experience.

In a study of almost 400 women in 2019, most reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm and a decrease in pain after consuming cannabis, and concluded that cannabis “appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm”.

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