In ground-breaking news, medical marijuana has been made available on the NHS for the first time.
An 11-year-old boy named Billy Caldwell has been prescribed the drug, after suffering around 100 seizures a day as a result of his epilepsy.
Billy was previously prescribed cannabis oil in the US, and he’s now receiving CBD oil, which is made of cannabis [via the Telegraph].
Crucially, the product does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the illegal chemical which produces the ‘high’ in recreational marijuana use.
It’s believed to be the first recorded case of marijuana products being made available through the NHS, and it comes after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency allowed the prescription of drugs containing cannabidiol for medical use last year.
The drug was prescribed by Dr O’Hare, who insisted that the case is a “one-off” and will not lead to more prescriptions.
“Whatever the rights and wrongs, we had a child who had benefitted and the child’s welfare was paramount. On that basis I issued a prescription,” he said.
“This was not to open the floodgates for others, it is a one-off.”
The medical benefits of marijuana have debated amongst the scientific community for years, with the drug used to treat a wide range of conditions such as Glaucoma, Crohn’s disease and arthritis in certain parts of the world.
Other health benefits are said to include stress and anxiety relief, as well as effective relief for Parkinson’s disease and brain trauma sufferers. It’s also been suggested by some medial studies that the drug can help prevent the spread of cancer.
Marijuana legalisation groups are now hoping that the news could lead to stronger calls for the drug to be made legal for medical use in the UK, as it is in 29 US states.