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Cannabis Voices

Author: Mary Biles

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In Cannabis Voices, Mary Biles - medical cannabis writer and author of ‘The CBD Book – The Essential Guide to CBD oil’ - speaks to patients, carers, cannabinoid scientists, doctors and activists about the healing power of the cannabis plant.
43 Episodes
Today's episode features Phil Monk, founder of We The Undersigned, a community group  a "united in the shared belief in the most ancient, traditional and fundamental human right to be free to sow the seeds of the highly nutritious herb of the cannabis family, to care for and nurture, then harvest, prepare, medicate, enjoy and share, free from the fear of persecution, prosecution or prison for this fundamental health choice to manage our health, well-being and happiness with natural herbal cannabis."Ex teacher Phil has a host of chronic health conditions including chronic myofascial pain and depression, but finds cannabis not only gives him quality of life, but also a deeper connection with the divine as well as unlocking a level of creativity he never knew he had.ResourcesWe The Undersigned Website The Legal Fund Phil's book: 'The Fight for Rights and Freedom of Choice'  Support the show (
After more than 20 years  as a director of UK and Australian Stock Exchange quoted companies,  mainly focused on the acquisition, structuring and financing of natural resources deals across Africa, in 2018 Melissa Sturgess turned her attention to medical cannabis.Following a deep dive into the cannabinoid science gained in Israel, she founded UK based, AQSE quoted Ananda Developments Plc to invest in the sector and is its largest shareholder.  Melissa is also the founder of premium CBD brand Montana and was the recipient of the Executive of the Year at the Malta Cannabiz Awards in November 2019.  High on Ananda's list of priorities is growing high quality medical cannabis in the UK using sustainable practices that are line with patients' needs.Melissa is a passionate advocate and mentor for women in business, and has some great advice for anyone, women or men, about raising capital.   Resources:Ananda Developments Montana LinkedIn Support the show (
Healing leg ulcers and wounds is one of those unsexy areas that rarely get spoken about possibly because most people that have them are elderly and immobile.But as Dr Vincent Maida, a Canadian palliative care physician explains, right now current protocols do for treating these painful and debilitating wounds overall do not have successful outcomes.Dr Maida's work in palliative care over the years exposed him to the therapeutic use of cannabis based medicines, piquing his interest into wondering whether cannabis might also help heal his patients' leg ulcers.Using his own patented formula combining cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, Dr Maida has published various papers that show in the patient population treated with topical cannabis, they experienced far superior wound healing compared with standard treatment alone.So far, the research has been preliminary and in open label studies, but according to Dr Maida, clinical studies are hopefully in the offing. Resources:Clinical parameters associated with pressure ulcer healing in patients with advanced illnessTopical Medical Cannabis: A New Treatment for Wound Pain-Three Cases of Pyoderma GangrenosumTopical cannabis-based medicines - A novel paradigm and treatment for non-uremic calciphylaxis leg ulcers: An open label trialTopical cannabis-based medicines – A novel adjuvant treatment for venous leg ulcers: An open-label trial the show (
This week's episode is dedicated to Project Twenty21, the UK medical cannabis registry collecting data on safety and efficacy, while offering the participants subsidised medical cannabis prescriptions.I speak to Anne Katrin Schlag, Head of Research at Drug Science, and overseeing the research side of T21. She explains how the project came about, what it aims to achieve, and what benefits there are for patients. She also discusses some promising preliminary findings from T21 shared in a peer reviewed paper published earlier this year. To get the patient's perspective I speak to Claire Bywalec, who developed fibromyalgia after a riding accident as a child. Claire explains not only how cannabis has transformed her life, but also the process of onboarding with T21 and how it's worked for her.For more information about getting involved with Project Twenty21, head to the show (
Kyle Esplin, a professional musician by trade, discovered CBD and hemp after becoming severely debilitated by post viral fatigue.Where conventional medicine failed, CBD and hemp extracts gradually brought Kyle back to health, so he decided to harness his new found passion and create his own CBD brand, Holistic Highland Hemp.A vocal challenger to  regulations such as Novel Foods and the licensing of hemp farming through the home office, Kyle is chair of the Scottish Hemp Association and is in the process of making a documentary about the UK hemp industry. LinksHolistic Highland HempScottish Hemp AssociationCannabis Industry Council  Support the show (
Professor Javier Fernández-Ruiz is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the “Cannabinoids and Neurological Disorders” research group at the Complutense University. Professor Fernandez is also a member of the Editorial Board in the British Journal of Pharmacology. He has authored several papers outlining the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in degenerative disorders including:Cannabinoids in Neurodegenerative Disorders and Stroke/Brain Trauma: From Preclinical Models to Clinical ApplicationsEndocannabinoids and Neurodegenerative Disorders: Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Chorea, Alzheimer's Disease, and OthersCannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?The biomedical challenge of neurodegenerative disorders: an opportunity for cannabinoid-based therapies to improve on the poor current therapeutic outcomesProspects for cannabinoid therapies in basal ganglia disordersAs Professor Fernandez mentioned in the podcast, he is happy to be contacted by anyone interested in finding out more about his area of research and can be emailed on (Please remember he is not a medical doctor). Support the show (
Some of us come to the power of plant medicine relatively late in life (me for example), while others are practically born into an appreciation of their medicinal benefits. Sarah Russo falls into the latter category. As the daughter of respected cannabinoid researcher and neurologist Dr Ethan Russo, since being a child she has shared his fascination with all things botanical. For over a decade, Sarah was involved with pushing for a change in cannabis legislation in the US, and was very much involved in the formative years of Project CBD. Now living in Ibiza, Spain, Sarah's vision of plant medicine extends well beyond the cannabis plant, and is why she has written the graphic novel, Herbs for the Apocalypse: where plants and punk rock collide in a tale of apocalyptic reckoning. Check out the fantastic website that accompanies the book, which seeks to empower us 'by delving deep into the realms of how herbal medicine can heal and bring us closer to our higher collective evolution.'For more information and to find out how to get hold of the graphic novel go to: @herbsforapocalypseTwitter: @herbsapocalypseCheck out Dr Ethan Russo's fantastic podcast episode explaining clinical endocannabinoid deficiencySupport the show (
Dr Evan  Lewis is a Pediatric Neurologist and Clinical Neurophysiologist with expertise in epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, and medical cannabis for the treatment of neurologic disorders. He is the director of the Neurology Centre of Toronto (NCT) which he established in January 2017. At NCT, Evan treats children with a variety of neurological disorders as well as seeing adult patients for concussion, headaches and epilepsy.He is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto.Evan's interest in medical cannabis began in 2013 while training at Miami Children’s Hospital – one of the major sites for the Epidiolex trials. He has significant clinical experience with medical cannabis in adults and children and is a member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC), Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials (C4T), and the Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS).He is is the Chief Medical Adviser for the Jamaican Medical Cannabis Corporation,  member of the Expert Committee of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (MCCS) in the United Kingdom and sits on the Advisory Councils for Cannabis Patient Advocacy & Support Services (CPASS) and MedCan. With a strong commitment to research, Evan is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and was the Tariff Chair of the Neurology Section for the Ontario Medical Association from 2017 - 2019. He sits on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Child Neurology’s Resident/Fellow Section and is an ad-hoc reviewer for the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences and Paediatrics & Child Health.  His research and special interests include cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy and other neurological conditions and the delivery of novel virtual care models in neurology. Evan has spoken extensively on cannabis in neurologic disorders nationally and internationally.Resources: the show (
Justin Kander is the founder of the Cannabis for Cancer Declaration, an initiative that lists medical professionals who support the use of cannabis to treat cancer. He is also the author of Cannabis for the Treatment of Cancer, a free book that deeply analyses the scientific and human evidence showing how cannabis can fight cancer. He has spoken at medical cannabis conferences around the world and continues to advocate for medical cannabis however possible.Support the show (
Dr Sandra Carrillo, a Colombian born physician living in Panama, is a driving force in cannabis education, not only in Latin America, but across the globe. Before cannabis, Sandra had been an ER doctor as well as specialising in aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine. However, it was when working as a volunteer with children with epilepsy that Sandra was forced introduced to the therapeutic potential cannabis holds.Since then Sandra has been a passionate educator in cannabis medicine, creating a 120 hour educational programme for doctors in Colombia where she practices out of various clinics, as well as participating in educational training in cannabis medicine around the world.Resources Instagram Support the show (
Recorded on Earth Day,  this podcast is dedicated to the tremendous potential hemp holds for a more sustainable future for our planet. With all the hype around CBD oil, the fact that hemp  holds so many potential solutions to the environmental crisis we are facing, rarely makes it to mainstream discussion.But as Rebekah Shaman, Managing Director of the British Hemp Alliance shares, CBD really is just the tip of the iceberg of what hemp has to offer.We discuss how growing  hemp is an effective way to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, as well as cleaning up contaminated oil after environmental disasters. Plus there's the hundreds of uses hemp can be put to which include making a biodegradable alternative to plastics. The list of how growing hemp can benefit the environment really does just go on and on. But and there is a but - right now in the UK there are too many barriers preventing farmers from growing hemp, such as attaining licenses from the Home Office and having to destroy the flowers and leaves (which under the Misuse of Drugs Act cannot be harvested). These are some of the issues Rebekah and the British Hemp Alliance are lobbying to change. And with Boris Johnson announcing just this week how the UK will reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, now is the time to fully embrace hemp's potential role in the UK's carbon net zero commitment. ResourcesBritish Hemp Alliance Manifesto CBD Survey the show (
Martin A. Lee is an award winning journalist and author who as well as cannabis has written  about fascism, media fairness, drug policy and the social history of LSD. Most people in the cannabis industry know Martin as the founder of Project CBD, a respected educational cannabis nonprofit that promotes and publicises research into the medical uses of  CBD and other components of the cannabis plant.In this episode, Martin shares how back in 2008, as one of the few journalists  attending the early International Cannabinoid Research Society symposiums, he was fascinated by the preclinical studies showing the  therapeutic potential of CBD in a host of health conditions.However, on returning to California, he realised that  only high THC cannabis was available to patients  with no mention made of CBD.And so began his hunt for CBD-rich cannabis cultivars. His quest was eventually rewarded  with the discovery of about six varietals, which Martin and a small group of other CBD enthusiasts began giving away to patients, dispensaries and growers in California.  And so in 2009 Project CBD was born, without which the Stanley Brothers probably wouldn't have known to grow a CBD-rich strain of cannabis in Colorado,  the world may not have heard about how CBD reduced the seizures of Charlotte Figi, and the current global CBD phenomenon quite possibly would not have been born. ResourcesProject CBDMartin's booksThe Essential Guide to CBDAcid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSDSmoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational, and ScientificThe Beast Reawakens Support the show (
What better way to mark International Women's Day  than listening to this inspiring interview with Francesca Brivio, a well known actress and TV presenter from Peru.Francesca decided to use her celebrity to campaign for legal access to medicinal cannabis after going public about how she successfully used cannabis to manage the debilitating symptoms of a rare autoimmune disease. She is President of Cannabis Gotas de Esperanza, a nonprofit association with a mission to educate the public, medical profession and politicians about medicinal cannabis, as well as co-founding CannaHope, a medicinal cannabis clinic in Lima. Francesca has been instrumental in bringing about change to cannabis regulation in Peru and is currently battling with the Ministry of Health to allow patients to grow cannabis at home. Support the show (
Tom Curran is a prominent medicinal cannabis activist in Ireland, a cause that became close to his heart supporting his partner Marie Fleming through multiple sclerosis. Marie had struggled to manage the excruciating muscle spasms commonly experienced in MS, and when she finally tried cannabis, it was the only thing that brought her relief.At the time, both Tom and Marie were known in Ireland for their battle to change in the law on assisted dying, and it was after Marie's death that Tom publicly spoke about growing Marie's cannabis medicine.Tom is founding member of the Irish Medicinal Cannabis Council and is director of Exit International, an organisation that campaigns for and provides information about assisted dying.   ResourcesMarie's book 'An Act of Love' Support the show (
There are few voices more recognisable across the cannabis-curious world than John Malanca's. With his wife and love of his life Corinne, John fronted the global docuseries, 'The Sacred Plant' that's been seen by over 600,000 people worldwide.Their introduction to the healing powers of the cannabis plant came when Corinne's dad, given just months to live with terminal cancer, made a full recovery after he began taking cannabis oil.The couple went on to start The United Patients Group, a go-to source for medical cannabis education for patients, care-givers and health professionals alike.Tragically in 2017, Corinne herself was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and despite trying everything medicine had to offer, including cannabis, she sadly passed away just 4 months later. Left without his life partner, John threw himself into the second series of the Sacred Plant, but has since stepped away and is now back concentrating on the United Patients Group once more.John speaks honestly and openly about his struggles to deal with the grief following Corinne's death, and how continuing the work they started together has helped him find meaning in the darkest times. John is happy to hear from anyone going through or supporting someone with terminal illness, particularly pancreatic cancer, and he can be contacted through the United Patients Group website or Support the show (
Tannine Montgomery is one of those special breeds of super mums you only find in the medical cannabis world.When her first child Indie-Rose developed Dravet syndrome, a rare and untreatable type of epilepsy as a baby, Tannine and her husband decided to do everything within their power to give her the best chance of a happy and healthy life.Like most children with Dravet, pharmaceutical drugs failed to control Indie's seizures, and instead left her with a host of unpleasant side effects.It was when Tannine saw Vera Twomey,  speak about how cannabis had helped her daughter Ava who also has Dravet syndrome, that she decided to get Indie an appointment with  pediatric neurologist in Holland so that she could legally be prescribed medicinal cannabis. Thankfully, Indie responded well to the Bedrolite CBD rich cannabis oil, which has been so effective in countless other children with epilepsy. However, the family couldn't afford to pay the expensive export costs to legally get her medicine back into the UK, choosing instead to travel themselves to Holland bring it back themselves. Financing Indie's medicine has always been a struggle and is the reason Tannine has started her own CBD business Sweet Pink CBD, selling whole plant CBD products that come fully lab tested and with a personalised level of customer care that only someone like Tannine can provide.This is a great episode for any parent or loved one of a child with Dravet Syndrome or intractable epilepsy as it would be hard to find a more knowledgeable person outside of the medical profession than Tannine.Hers is very much a story of tenacity and determination triumphing over tragedy. For more information about Sweet Pink and Indie Rose, head to the Sweet Pink website or Instagram. Support the show (
In this fascinating interview, Justin Clarke gives a unique insight into how cannabis helps him cope with the sensory overload and anxiety commonly experienced by people with autism (ASD). When we hear about cannabis  and autism, it's often the experiences of parents caring for children with severe ASD that get shared. So it is refreshing to hear from Justin as he describes with great creativity the interior world of a neurodiverse mind. Before trying cannabis, Justin was prescribed antidepressants to manage the depression and anxiety that often going alongside autism, leaving him feeling numb and fatigued.In contrast, cannabis has enabled Justin to fully embrace life and trying new experiences such as stand up and public speaking, which previously would have filled him with horror and dread.I really recommend listening to Justin's first ever stand up routine - and as Justin mentions - it includes a gag about cannabis.  Justin's stand upOther resources:Patient-Led Engagement for Access (PLEA)Project Twenty21Drug Science Support the show (
Happy new year everyone. I'm sure most of us are glad to see the back of a year that was largely dominated by Covid 19.Last year year wasn't all bad for me personally as I wrote and had published my first ever book -  'The CBD Book: The Essential Guide to CBD oil' (Harper Collins).In what is essentially a roadmap for anyone curious about trying CBD, the book is a clear and easy-to-read guide covering everything from how to choose a CBD oil, current research, tips on how to get the most out of your CBD oil and some incredible case studies that really put the potential CBD has for our optimising our health into a real world context.In fact, it's these case studies that inspired me to start this podcast; it's one thing to cut and paste interviews into an article or book, but quite another to hear the true emotion in someone's voice (hence the name of this podcast Cannabis Voices).Many of you will have heard Sharon McEvoy's emotional interview which was one of the first podcast episodes I published and only recently I interviewed Vera Twomey who also features in the book. But as a special treat to welcome in the new year, I've put together a compilation of some incredible other interviews that feature in the book. 1. Emily Wilson who uses CBD to manage the anxiety and PTSD she has experienced while working on a refugee camp in Athens ( Eve Roginska with her incredible story of using CBD to come off the steroids she was prescribed for a mystery inflammatory brain condition3. Dan Rodwell who uses CBD to manage both his Crohn's disease symptoms and attributes CBD oil for his miraculous recovery from a rare autoimmune condition Guillan-Barré Syndrome4. Jo Moss, whose chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia only has only improved since using CBD oil.  (Jo's Blog - )5. Lin Coxon - diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, she started using CBD oil while waiting for chemo to start, only to discover that her tumours had shrunk by two thirds. If you want to buy 'The CBD Book,' it's available in hardback and ebook on Amazon and other retailers such as Waterstones, Blackwells and WH Smith. Support the show (
Doctor Mariano Garcia de Palau es uno de los doctores más reconocidos y especializados en terapias con cannabinoides, por haberse volcado en dar una nueva visión del uso de cannabinoides como tratamiento paliativo y coadyuvante en padecimientos huérfanos en opciones terapéuticas. Graduado de la Universidad de Barcelona en 1979 como médico cirujano y actualmente colegiado en Barcelona.Miembro regular de la I.A.C.M. ,  vocal del Observatorio Español del Cannabis Medicinal  y Director Médico en Kalapa Clinic, Barcelona, Mariano asesora clínicamente sobre tratamientos con cannabinoides.Recursos:Kalapa Clinic Observatorio Español del Cannabis Medicinal Dr Mariano Garcia de Palau is one of the most well respected and specialised doctors in cannabinoid therapy known for presenting a new vision for the use of cannabinoids as a palliative or adjuvant therapy for patients whose illnesses have not responded to standard treatment.  He graduated from the University of Barcelona in 1979 as a surgeon and is now a professional member of the college of physicians of Barcelona.He is a regular member of the I.A.C.M. and also of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis, Medical Director at Kalapa Clinics, Barcelona, where he  clinically advises on cannabinoid treatments.Support the show (
Vera Twomey is perhaps one of the most recognisable 'Cannabis Voices' featured in the podcast series so far, thanks to her determined and very public fight with the Irish government to get legal access to medical cannabis for her daughter Ava.Ava has Dravet Syndrome, a rare and catastrophic type of epilepsy that pharmaceutical drugs have no answer for.  Before cannabis, Ava was having hundreds of violent seizures a week and was being regularly rushed to hospital. Like many parents of children with epilepsy, Vera came across the stories of children like Charlotte Figi who had found CBD and cannabis could control their seizures where pharmaceutical drugs had failed. And so began her very public battle with the Irish government to get Ava legal access to medical cannabis .  Exasperated with the Irish Health Minister's empty promises, Vera took dramatic action. With no preparation (or even a pair of trainers) she decided to walk 200 miles in protest from her home in County Cork the Irish Parliament in Dublin. By now, the whole of Ireland were supporting Ava, and yet the government still refused to grant her a prescription. And so Vera, Ava and the rest of the family moved to  Holland where they joined other families living in exile as medical cannabis refugees.Under the care of a Dutch pediatric neurologist, Ava's seizures were successfully controlled by a combination of CBD oil and THC oil.Thankfully, this was enough for the Irish government to give Ava her prescription and the family could finally return home.As anyone who's read her book 'For Ava' will know,  Vera does not pull any punches when it comes to expressing her disdain for the treatment she and her family have received from the Irish government. But it's that fury that has got Ava her prescription and changed the hearts and minds of the Irish people towards medical cannabis. Be prepared for tears of emotion, tears of frustration and tears of joy in one of the most moving and inspirational podcasts of the series so far.If you liked this episode, don't forget to rate, review and subscribe to this podcast.ResourcesFor Ava by Vera Twomey Twitter: @veras1Facebook: from Vera's walk to Dublin's speech at the Water demonstration Vera's acceptance speech at the Irish People of the Year AwardsSupport the show (
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