Cannabis from your doctor.

Has the door opened to medical cannabis?

Perhaps we need to understand what medical cannabis is before I answer that question.

Currently there is one approved cannabis medicine that can be prescribed called Sativex but at present it is only given after all other medication has been tried as a last resort and only for people who have muscle spasms as a Multiple Sclerosis related symptom.

This is a very narrow group of people that can use the medicine. This product contains CBD like the beautiful products we have here at CBD One and THC – the cannabinoid that is psychoactive which means it can get you high or stoned.


So medical cannabis has THC in it which is currently a schedule one drug which means it is regarded as having no medicinal value and can only be used for research with a licence. As of November 1st this year it will be classed as a schedule two drug because there is growing evidence that it has medicinal benefits and it no longer has to be used as a last resort but can be prescribed if your doctor feels it will be appropriate for your problem.

Cannabis research has exploded in the last three decades from just 200 research papers in the early nineties to approximately 20,000 on PubMed today.

However, that does not mean the door has been opened to us all charging down to the surgery today to get our hit of cannabis!

Because it is psychoactive you cannot drive whilst using it and many work places would sack you if they found you had THC in your system as it can affect your state of mind. THC is also a substance that does not agree with everyone, it can make you feel nauseous or anxious amongst other issues. Of course it can also make you euphoric and happy! I don’t think cannabis has ever caused anyone to have a fight whilst using it or kick in a shop window…unlike a drug we find acceptable called alcohol.

Here is a description of how sativex can make people feel:

“The most common side effects with Sativex are dizziness and tiredness. Some people may also feel depressed or confused, may feel over-excited or lose touch with reality, may have difficulties with memory or trouble concentrating and may feel sleepy or giddy.”

Though there is no doubt it does help people too so we must not look at that description negatively and especially compared to the long list of horror story side effects most modern pharmaceutical drugs come with.

Fortunately, this does not happen with CBD type products which are incredibly safe to take and those of you who regularly use CBD One products will undoubtedly recognise the benefits that cannabis products can bring to your quality of life.

Thus it is fair to say the door has opened to the wider use of medicinal cannabis but it will not be suitable or appropriate for everyone.


CBD and medication

A very common question that many people ask is whether CBD interacts with any of the medication they are taking.

There is an easy to follow rule which I shall discuss later, however, there is very little evidence about CBD and medication so the important thing to bear in mind is that if you are taking any medication prescribed by a doctor you must always go with safety first.

Speak to your doctor – they may or may not be able to offer objective advice. There is precious little, if any, education for doctors in the mainstream health system regarding cannabis products so they may know less than you do but there is no harm in asking.

It is worth noting that CBD products are very safe to take compared to much over the counter medication Tweet: CBD Fact: CBD products are very safe to take compared to much over the counter medication. – a simple example being that around 3000 people a year die in the UK from taking Ibuprofen. This does not happen with CBD. In fact, I think it is safe to say that no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis in the history of humanity!

One estimate I’ve seen is that you would need to take 1.5 tonnes of cannabis in twenty minutes to overdose on it – you are actually in more danger from having 1.5 tonnes of cannabis dropped on you.

There is some evidence that CBD interacts with an enzyme called cytochrome P450. This enzyme helps your liver process and remove certain medications from your body. CBD appears to inhibit this enzyme, in other words, it slows down the action of it.

Therefore, the most important piece of knowledge you need to acquire regarding your medication and CBD is – does your medication need cytochrome P450 to remove it from your system.

Finding this out is actually very easy because there is another commonly taken food that also interferes with this enzyme and that is grapefruit.

All you have to do is check the literature with your medication – if it says do not drink grapefruit juice when on this medication you can extend that to say ‘do not drink grapefruit juice or take CBD when on this medication.’

Once you have established this you have to decide either that you will stay on your standard medication or speak to your medical team about coming off the medication so you can try CBD. Be aware that very few medics know much about CBD – they are simply not taught about cannabinoids in their training. This means you may well know more than they do.

I have encountered all manner of reactions from medics from blatant prejudice based on no knowledge of the facts to others who are very interested and willing to encourage their patients to try something that may help them. Do talk to your GP/consultant and do ask what their knowledge is, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Do not give us our daily bread!


Here’s the bad news: Sorry folks but the game is up for eating bread. ALL bread, never mind the “I only eat wholemeal” nonsense.


Here’s the good news: You can freely eat butter, cream, grass fed meats, cheese, vegetables galore smothered in melted butter and seasoned to perfection! Yum.


We know that cholesterol protects you from dementia and Alzheimers disease – that’s enough to make you choke up and throw away those awful statins I hope! And as you get older what we are told is ‘bad’ cholesterol actually protects us from heart disease!


Back to the bad news – bread and cereals, pastas, biscuits and cakes etc etc quite simply cause your brain to become inflamed. Yes, your brain is on fire!


And basing your diet on these foods as your staple diet causes rises in blood sugar which actually make your brain shrink and contribute to neurological diseases and diabetes.


Within this bad news there is hope – many people live in fear of developing Alzheimers or dementia – but we now know that turning your back on this food and increasing your intake of good fats and proteins will mean you are massively loading the dice in your favour. Nevermind the idea of looking for a cure for these diseases – your behaviour will mean you will not need a cure because you are ensuring it will not develop in the first place.


And if you do not believe me get hold of a wonderful book called “Grain Brain’ by Dr David Perlmutter that concisely explains all the evidence to show we need to turn our back on all these cereals and grains.


A tiny amount of grain is no big deal but I’m afraid the modern westerner eats it for breakfast, lunch and with their evening meal in some form or another and it is this that is causing devastating effects on your body and nervous system and brain.


It is also worth noting that if you have depression, ADHD, OCD or any number of other mental health issues there is also very good evidence to show that removing gluten from your diet can make a profound difference. Even if you have been shown to be able to tolerate gluten it seems it doesn’t do much good for any of us.


You can also begin to help the problems associated with these disorders by eating fermented foods every day such as kefir and sauer kraut. Take a regular probiotic such as pro-cognitiv by Nature’s Aid (it has specific good bacteria and vitamins that aid mental health). Don’t forget also that a regular intake of cannabinoids from high quality full spectrum plant extract contained in all our CBD products here at CBD One is useful to maintain a healthy lifestyle.



Watch Your Back!

This time of year brings me a host of patients who have injured their backs whilst doing the gardening.

We sit around all winter and with the first sign of spring dash out to sort the garden out – spend a productive day sorting out the mess, go inside to have our dinner, then seize up.

The next day we can barely move and our lower back is in agony and away we go to the osteopath.

Yet this is such an easy problem to avoid with a few simple changes to how we do things.

The first thing to do is to take a look at all the jobs that are waiting for you in the garden. I can guarantee that there will be some that require you to kneel, some that require standing and others that demand you lift and move things.


Step one is to plan a ‘round robin’ of tasks that require different postures and spend twenty minutes on each job, gradually getting each job completed over several hours. The commonest mistake I see is one of people focussing on one job, such as weeding a flower bed, and starting it and finishing it all in one go – regardless of time. This may mean someone spends several hours kneeling down, leaning over and reaching across the flower bed.

Now, if you were a professional gardener and used to such work this would be less of a problem but when you are not used to such work there will be enormous strain placed on your body from maintaining a posture for a long period of time. Pressure through your knees and through your flexed lower back with a double whammy on your lower back from the weight of your upper body reaching across to pull weeds up.

The same is true for digging and even more so if most of your life is spent working in a sedentary job.


Therefore, the golden rule is to never spend more than twenty minutes on any one job and after twenty minutes switch to another job that requires a different posture. After twenty minutes in your new posture change again, either back to job number one, or to a new job with a different posture again.

Of course, this requires a little planning and above all else you must think about your body rather than ignoring it to get a job done.

An easy reminder to do this is to set a timer on your phone for twenty minutes and when it goes off you change to job number two, reset the alarm and go again.

Step two in preventing injury in the garden is to make sure you do a warm down after you have finished. This can be some simple leg and whole body stretches such as standing, then bending forward to touch your toes with legs kept straight, or gently rolling your shoulders and arms to release all the muscles that have been working hard. There are a myriad of stretches that are really useful.


Gardening is a physical activity and our body should be gently warmed up and warmed down afterwards to enable it to reset and recover from the work. It may not be a sport but is using your body in a very strenuous way so please stretch it afterwards.

An Epsom salts bath is also useful so add that into your post gardening routine once a week. You can even apply Magnesium oil to any aching muscles and this will also help them recover.

And if the worst comes to the worst there is always your local osteopath to help you out – and if it is me, I will also tell you how to prevent future trouble, the question is…will you heed my advice?

Lowering high blood pressure naturally.

I read a headline in the press recently about the drive to medicate half our population to help reduce high blood pressure.

It showed how studies point to aggressive use of medication to get this problem sorted. Yet I would argue that aggressive promotion of exercise for everyone should be the absolute first line of defence for this problem.

Most people’s high blood pressure problems are caused by a chronic lack of movement. This leads to a weaker heart from the fact it does not have to do much every day – our body is very dynamic and clever and it is always looking for efficiency savings so if we sit and do nothing it will let muscle waste away that is not required.

Muscle requires lots of energy to maintain it so if it is not being used your body will let some of it disappear so it can move important resources elsewhere, such as using energy to feed your brain. I am over simplifying the entire process but the old adage of ‘use it or lose it’ is very true.

Therefore, you sit all day and your heart gets weaker. The knock on effect of this is that your heart has to pump harder to get the circulation moving, therefore, your blood pressure rises.

This is where we then see the usual, predictable, standard medical response of treating the symptom (your high blood pressure) rather than the cause (your sedentary lifestyle) because getting you to deal with the cause does not make a single penny for a drugs company.

I’m sorry to say that the world is a very cynical place and being healthy does not pay. Of course, humans are also naturally lazy and always looking for the easy route so having a drug for a problem appears the simple, easy way out.

Yet this is not in any way the easy way out. Have you seen the side effects of using these drugs long term? In an issue of Cardiology Review it was shown that these drugs increase the risk of death and being hospitalised. They can also cause acute kidney failure.

There are many problems with taking long term medication for a symptom. However, using exercise brings nothing but enormous benefits to all aspects of your life.

Exercise does not just lower your blood pressure, it can improve your mood, ability to do things (like going up stairs – and believe me, I see plenty of people who start to lose that vital skill), get out of a chair and on and on.

If you have been sedentary for a long time, start with walking and get advice from a health expert before you throw yourself into a movement regime. Do not be concerned by picking up niggles, aches and even injuries when you exercise – your body will recover from these and you will learn from them too.

Medication should only ever be the option of last resort – nobody has ever become ill from a lack of meds. Avoid wherever possible.

Exercise is truly the wonder drug of drugs for your health. Use your body wherever possible.

Our body is a moving machine, so move it.

Take care,

Nick Tofalos

Cannabis Trade Association Member

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