Hype or genuine hope – what IS the truth about cannabis as medicine?Posted by On

Six years ago, Carly Barton was in such severe pain that she started Googling end-of-life clinics. 

Following a stroke at 24, the former ‘bubbly’ university lecturer from Brighton developed fibromyalgia — widespread pain and muscle stiffness that at times was so bad she needed a wheelchair.

Her doctor prescribed strong opioid painkillers, but the pain persisted and the drugs left her ‘zombified’. ‘Emotionally, I felt very monotone,’ she says. 

‘It wasn’t living — I felt suicidal.’

Then, four years ago, a friend suggested Carly, now 34, try cannabis, to ‘see if it helped’.

Six years ago, Carly Barton was in such severe pain that she started Googling end-of-life clinics. Following a stroke at 24, the former ¿bubbly¿ university lecturer from Brighton developed fibromyalgia

Six years ago, Carly Barton was in such severe pain that she started Googling end-of-life clinics. Following a stroke at 24, the former ‘bubbly’ university lecturer from Brighton developed fibromyalgia

She was initially resistant, worried ‘it would send me a bit wacky’, but decided she had little to lose. ‘The effect was virtually instant,’ she says. 

‘I felt the pain melt away — and I was so scared I didn’t dare move for hours in case it came back.’

Cannabis may have brought her relief from her symptoms, but relying on an illegal, unregulated drug had its obvious drawbacks. Quite apart from the erratic quality of the cannabis itself — ‘I have had stuff that has made me feel really ill,’ she says — it’s also brought the police to her door.

According to a YouGov poll in November last year, 1.4…

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