Dr Catherine Jacobson (top), director of clinical research at Tilray, and Dr Arno Hazekamp, Chief Scientist at Bedrocan (second pic) address the Global Medical Cannabis Summit about the innovations and developments that are “changing the trajectory of this global debate” on the legalisation of the ‘erb.
Multiple Sclerosis suffer Marie Fleming and her partner Tom Curran with family leaving the Four Courts in the High Court in Dublin in 2013
During a discussion on medicinal cannabis on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke this morning, Tom Curran shared his experiences sourcing cannabis for his partner Multiple Sclerosis suffer Marie Fleming.
Sean O’Rourke: “If I could turn to you, Tom Curran, you used to grow marijuana yourself and used it to treat your late partner Marie, who had MS. Now, tell me about her use of it, and how it helped her.”
Tom Curran: “Well, I don’t have a medical background, and I know absolutely nothing, I suppose, about the chemistry of the plant, but when Marie’s MS progressed, the prescription medication worked to a point in helping her with her spasms, which are just like seizures, and also with the neurological pain, which she had constantly.
“We were aware, via, I suppose forums from around the world that cannabis was used extensively for both pain and spasms, so we tried it, because nothing else was working. And the results were remarkable, you’d have to see it to believe it.
“When Marie smoked, we originally bought on the street, but when Marie smoked, and the spasms were coming on, her whole body would relax within twenty seconds. Now, the pain medication that she was using, and the spasm medication she was using, just didn’t work. It also, then, reduced the pain. So she was comfortable, and we grew it after that, rather than buy it.”
O’Rourke: “How frequently did she use it, then, to deal with these spasms and pain?”
Tom: “She would smoke maybe, probably, twice a day. But I also learned how to process and extract, the CBD and the THC out of it, and we used that, I made capsules from that, and we used that for a long-term effect, because with the smoking, we found out the effect would wear off after a couple of hours. But by using the capsules, she got maybe eight to ten hours…”
O’Rourke: “And you made those yourself?”
O’Rourke: “And how did you go about growing it?”
Tom: “Very simply, we have a beautiful garden, one of the things Marie loved was her garden, she was very keen on gardening. And it was very simple to grow it. I didn’t use any sophisticated methods, I grew it on the windowsill upstairs.
“We had a bedroom upstairs with an exposed window that the sun shone in on most of the day when there was sun, but it took a certain amount of experimental work. On finding, for instance, the right strains, because there are many different strains of cannabis. So it was a matter of finding the right one for both the spasm control, and the pain control. And this went on for a period of about ten years before Marie died.”
[Later, when questioned on possible issues of regulation and control]
Tom: “Well, a couple of parallels I could draw, our own medical system here, widely uses products that are derivatives of opium. In fact, some of them are almost directly heroin. They’re well-controlled. They’re far more dangerous a recreational drug than cannabis is. So, if we can control that, as a medicine…”
O’Rourke: “Are you talking about something like methadone now?”
Tom: “No. Things that people are given for pain control, Fentenyl, which has just been brought out on the market now, that’s fifty times more dangerous than heroin, these sort of things can be controlled. And if we can control those as a medicine, and we’re aware of the therapeutical benefits, and the medicinal benefits of cannabis, why can’t we just control them the same way?”
A hydroponic grow house in Donegal, where approximately 800 cannabis plants and 30 kilos of cannabs ‘erb were seized.The find followed searches of lands and a premises at Carrickboy, Ballyshannon [home of the folk festival *winks*), Co Donegal.
Gardai estimate a ‘street’ value of 1.2 bajillion (pending analysis).
Labour’s junior health minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin’
Newly appointed junior health minister Aodhan Ó Ríordáin’s first task?
To ‘consider’ decriminalising the ‘erb.
Not leglisalising it mind.
A stoner speaks:
Sadly not the same thing by a long chalk, compadré, if you’ve ever been in Portugal. The purchaser is untroubled but the seller (with his pitiful few nodges) is harrassed beyond endurance, The supply dries up, the price goes through the roof, the quality diminishes and anarchy ensues….
A clear headed documentary on cannabis in Ireland.
Featuring Limerick physician William O’Shaugnessy, discoverer of the medical properties of cannabis, Mr Nice, Mr Ming, Prof Crown, addiction counsellors and a covert mildly paranoia-inducing visit to a grow house.
Maker Paul Roban writes:
The intention of this documentary is to explore the role of cannabis in 21st Century Ireland, not least due to growing usage within the mainstream, but also because of our failure to prevent its distribution. For this reason, we need to question the resources ploughed into the ‘war on drugs’ and whether both the time and manpower called upon is justifiable when it appears that all other progressive nations are either entirely decriminalising cannabis or relaxing their laws on its possession.
(Made before the Summer cabinet reshuffle while Alan Shatter was Justice Minister, James Reilly was Health and Ming was in the Dáil)