Medical marijuana is a hot topic right now. With more and more states legalizing marijuana in one form or another, the practice of using marijuana for medicinal practices is gaining support. Celebrities have even been speaking out about the topic, and one major celebrity recently joined the conversation.
Sir Patrick Stewart recently revealed that he uses medicinal marijuana spray, ointment, and edibles to manage arthritis in his hands. “I have had no negative side effects from this treatment,” he said. Stewart went on to note that using marijuana has “significantly reduced the stiffness and pain” in his hands.
A Los Angeles doctor first prescribed Stewart medical marijuana to help with arthritis two years ago. Stewart uses the ointment every night to manage pain so that he can sleep better. He also uses the spray several times a day.
Stewart's comments on medical marijuana were prompted when he was speaking about a new Oxford University study on the medical benefits of marijuana. The study will focus on how marijuana may be used to treat pain, cancer and inflammatory diseases. It is the first of its kind.
The study, titled the Cannabis Research Plan, marks a major step forward in marijuana research. Previous studies have generated support for using marijuana in treating conditions like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and arthritis, and for dealing with nerve pain. The Cannabis Research Plan, which is a partnership between Oxford University and Kingsley Capital Partners, has the potential to establish a central research hub for medical marijuana.
The study could lead to new treatment options for pain sufferers. Sativex is currently the only licensed marijuana-based product in Britain. It's used to ease muscle spasms for multiple sclerosis patients, but the National Health Service has so far rejected the product because of its cost.
Stewart strongly supports the study. “This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has, for too long, been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance,” he said. “I believe this program of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others."
Stewart isn't the only celebrity to speak out about the benefits of medical marijuana. When asked about medical marijuana during an interview, Morgan Freeman didn't hesitate to let his feelings be known. "Marijuana hasmanyuseful uses,” he said. “I have fibromyalgia pain in this arm, and theonlything that offers any relief is marijuana. They’re talking about kids who have grand mal seizures, and they’ve discovered that marijuana eases that down to where these children can have a life. That right there, to me, says, ‘Legalize it across the board!’”
Montel Williams, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999, has been a longtime user of medical marijuana. Williams explained, "I experience neuropathic pain 24 hours a day because of my MS. My physicians recommended cannabis as part of my treatment seventeen years ago, and I've used it ever since. Only someone suffering from a debilitating disease can understand cannabis's therapeutic value."
Williams, who is outspoken on the topic of medical marijuana, has taken things one step further and has launched his own medical marijuana line called LenitivLabs.
"With the issue of full legalization dominating the conversation, it's critical not to forget patients who have specific needs with respect to cannabis, including strains that might be less profitable in the marketplace," Williams said.
Whoopi Goldberg made news when she spoke out about her use of medical marijuana. Goldberg uses marijuana to help with glaucoma-related headaches, as it provides an alternative to regular painkillers. “I started using the vape pen because I stopped smoking cigarettes about four years ago and discovered I couldn’t smoke a joint anymore,” Goldberg said. “The relief that I got with the vape pen was kind of different from what I got with smoking. I could control it much better.”
In 2016, Goldberg announced that she was launching medical marijuana company, Maya & Whoopi, in partnership with Maya Elisabeth. The company offers cannabis edibles, tinctures, topical rubs, and even a bath soak, all designed to help relieve menstrual cramps. “For me, I feel like if you don’t want to get high high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort,” Goldberg said of the product line. “Smoking a joint is fine, but most people can’t smoke a joint and go to work.”
So will Sir Patrick Stewart join the trend of celebrities beginning medical marijuana businesses? Who knows. But the medical marijuana industry has gained a staunch supporter, and it should be interesting to see what comes of the medical marijuana movement in the future.