The parents of Charlie Hughes, who suffers from West syndrome, a severe and treatment resistant form of epilepsy are challenging prescription guidance in the UK. The case will turn on the contention by the family's lawyers that the guidance was drawn up without adequate consideration being given to the beneficial effects of medicinal cannabis in the context of Charlie's condition, guidance which means that his family cannot obtain the 'life-changing' cannabis-based medicine on prescription. Charlie's parents say they will run out of the financial means to cover the cost of this treatment in the next six months.
The emergence of medical cannabis products onto the health and well-being mainstream is likely to be fraught with difficulty, not just for the industry, but for those for whom cannabis-based products are proving life changing. With the bewildering array of products available today in the absence of any easily discernible 'kite mark' of quality that users can point to in choosing the right product for them, resistance from organisations like NICE and, therefore, a wider adoption, is likely to be resisted for some time to come. The many beneficial effects of these products are well-documented and available for those proponents who spend their time researching and evangelising about the industry. As far as the mass market is concerned, however, adoption of these 'new' solutions in healthcare and disease management might take a little longer yet.
Charlie Hughes went from having up to 120 seizures a day to fewer than 20, after receiving cannabis oil privately