After prescription painkillers left teen “zombified,” cannabis came to the rescue

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Lab tests are irrelevant when real-world examples of the benefits of cannabis exist

Giving drugs of any kind to a teenager is unthinkable, except if that specific drug brings relief and better quality of life to the individual for the first time in years. That is what happened to a student who spent four years in a wheelchair and who now, thanks to a medical cannabis permit, able to walk again. Lucy Stafford was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS), a disease that affects the connective tissue, when she was only 16 years old, but her debilitating symptoms began to appear when she was ten.
Before cannabis, the treatment she received was to manage symptoms and the opiates prescribed left her feeling “zombified.”

By the time she was 20, Stafford had multiple joint dislocations, so she had to go through several surgical operations in her spine, hip, bladder and more, and she started taking opioids since she was 13. When she was 18, she went to visit a pain specialist after dislocating her jaw, and was told that she should take medical cannabis for the pain. However, it was not covered by health programs then, so she then went to find a dose in Amsterdam. As a result, cannabis eased her discomfort “for the first time in her life.”

Stafford was able to get a private prescription until cannabis was legalized in the UK in November 2018. She now asserts that her body finally “functions,” and adds, “The doctors had no real other option but to prescribe opiates. I was crying myself to sleep at night as I was in so much pain.” After the struggle she faced when trying to get cannabis for her ailment, once she tried it for the first time, she said, “It worked. For the first time in my life, my medication reduced my spasms, gave me an appetite and helped me sleep a night. I had energy, I could think clearly, I could concentrate.”