Listen to the latest episode of the Cannabis Health podcast.
Medical cannabis experts, Professor Mike Barnes and campaigner Hannah Deacon sit down with their guests to find out why cannabis matters to them.
They discover how cannabis has changed their guest’s lives, what makes them tick, why they do what they do and what they think needs to improve for patients.
Forget graphs and commercial outlooks and expect open, honest conversations with those at the heart of the issue.
Episode 7 – Professor Mike Barnes, What’s Your Why?
In the final episode of the series, Hannah interviews Professor Mike Barnes for a rare insight into how he ended up as one of the UK’s leading cannabis experts.
Now known to many as the UK’s ‘cannabis doctor’ Mike spent most of his career as a leading neurologist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne. He set up the World Federation For Neurorehabilitation and travelled to countries across the globe to improve neuro-rehab facilities for patients living with brain injury and chronic neurological conditions.
It was through the many MS patients attending his clinic that he first realised cannabis was being used to help relieve pain, spasticity and other symptoms related to the condition.
After writing the one of the first reports into the medicinal role cannabis in the UK, he would meet Hannah Deacon and work with the UK Home Office to obtain the first full, permanent licence for a medical cannabis prescription for Hannah’s son Alfie.
Since then he has turned his attention to improving education around cannabis, setting up the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society and Maple Tree Consultants with Hannah, and has shared his knowledge and insight with doctors around the world.
He reveals how growing up with a sister who was profoundly disabled – and a campaigning mother – inadvertently shaped his future, what it’s like to be thrust into the limelight as an ‘expert’ in such a new field, and what needs to change to improve things for patients today.
Hannah helped change the law in 2018 after her successful campaign to enable her epileptic son Alfie Dingley to be legally prescribed cannabis medicines. She continues to help other families access medical cannabis in the UK. Hannah is also a director of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society and Maple Tree Consultants.
Mike obtained the first medical cannabis license in the UK for Alfie. He has been involved in the efforts to assist many others and is founder of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society along with Maple Tree Consultants.
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