Dr Sunny Nayee has successfully prescribed cannabis for patients suffering from chronic pain, spinal pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, large joint pain (shoulder, hips, knees), acute pain, post-stroke pain amongst others.
The live session will last 30 minutes and give you a chance to ask questions to Dr Sunny (please note that, due to time constraints, we may not be able to respond to all questions).
If you would like to attend, please register for the event here – places are limited so we recommend you RSVP early to secure your place.
Got a question for Dr Sunny?
Simply add it to your calendar invite with you RSVP. We will select a few of the bet ones and also leave time in the event for live questions to be picked up from the chat. Alternatively, you can send your questions through to our Facebook Page and we’ll pick the up from there too.
Join our Facebook Group
Our group on Facebook is private and exclusive to our patients. This is a safe space for you to discuss your symptoms, ask each other questions and talk about how your prescriptions are helping improve your lives. We’d love for you to join our group here.
I was honoured to recently be invited to speak at the Medicalcannabiz Summit in Malta. The event held some very interesting talks and panels over two days along with an exhibition where many different companies offered a range of services and support to the many stakeholders within the medical cannabis sector.
I was asked to talk about Alfie’s story and the current issues being faced by patients in the UK who wish to access medical cannabis on prescription.
I personally love these occasions, as you get to network with other people within the medical cannabis sector, all of whom have a common goal: to ensure that medicine made from cannabis is accessible to all who need it. For me, the thought of children like my son being able to access the products they need easily with a doctor who knows how to prescribe is the goal that many of us wish to see. These sorts of events help us to network, motivate discussion and enable the connection of industry partners.
When I speak about all major hurdles we came through to achieve Alfie’s license and NHS prescription it makes me realise over and over again how far we have come. When I stepped on the boat with my family to travel to the Hook of Holland to try to save his life, I never dreamed that things may end up as they have. It just shows the amazing things parents can achieve when they have the desire to help their suffering child. As a new mother, I always asked everyone else but myself what was best for my little boy, but over time as he became ill and every treatment failed him, I knew that I had to start listening to myself and every time I tell our story I am so grateful that I did.
I was also lucky enough to take my partner and daughter with me, and we were able to travel with Professor Mike Barnes who was also speaking at the conference. Our family life has never been normal for our daughter, so sometimes when we get the chance, we take her away, so she isn’t the only child in her class who hasn’t been on holiday with her parents. It was tough though not being there with Alfie, he is part of our whole family and when he isn’t there, there’s a big hole. He just doesn’t enjoy being away from home though, he needs routine and to know that he’s going to school the next day.
I will never forget those that are not fortunate enough to have access to an NHS prescription. We worked so hard to achieve what we did for Alfie, but I realise that there are many thousands of children like Alfie in the UK who need urgent access to medical cannabis on prescription. There are many thousands of patients all over the UK who will be driven to the black market if we don’t do all we can to ensure access for all who need medical cannabis on prescription.
I work with 18 families who all have very poorly children. They are fighting every day to access a prescription which every one of them has proved helps their child. Even some of their NHS doctors have tried to secure funding or tried to prescribe and every one of them has been blocked from helping them. Much of this is down to fear from the hierarchy within the hospital trusts who simply don’t understand cannabis as medicine. So today, they continue to fundraise and worry about how they can afford the next month’s supply when they should be enjoying the extra time with their child without seizures, or the time out of hospital or the first time their child has sat unaided.
To hear the patients’ and parents’ voices is so important. We are the link between businesses who wish to help patients, the patients who need help and the doctors who need to know how to access the support they must get to ensure they can prescribe.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to talk at these events as I believe it makes everyone there remember their purpose and why they are in this industry – to help the patients that will benefit from this new and exciting medicine.
Medical cannabis is everywhere across media outlets following the release of the NICE guidelines, so this event was attended by a significant number of GPs and specialist consultants – many of whom have little to no knowledge of the cannabis plant and its uses in medicine.
The acceptance and knowledge of medical cannabis amongst them varied wildly, with the overwhelming consensus being: they didn’t know enough about the substance but thought it sounded like it might be useful. A big step forward for the industry here was the inclusion of twotalks around medical cannabis, the first being a thirty minute presentation by neurologist and complex care specialist Dr Liz Iveson that was attended by over a hundred delegates.
The second session, led by Dr Michael Platt, focused on the impact of medical cannabis on pain. The inclusion of these sessions highlights the fact that the medical community, driven by daily inquiries from patients, is asking more and more questions themselves.
A major issue that doctors working in A&E told me is that they just see people ‘out of it’ from smoking – they had no idea that there are more than 130 different cannabinoids that could be behind this. What these doctors are describing is driven, most likely, by high levels of THC bred into illegal and unregulated recreational products. This is no doubt something that is not delivered through medical school modules, and naivety is a broad problem.
Many doctors were unaware of how to administer medical cannabis and were under the false impression that you can medicate only by smoking. This is not the case. It is occasionally vaped but is mainly taken as an oil in drops or in capsule form. A few GPs even asked if it’s injected or given in the form of a pill. These questions are forgivable though, as there has been very little in the way of education, especially in the primary care scene, given it is a drug of last resort. The challenge for GPs is substantial as patients can be well-informed, but just as easily can be armed with alarming amounts of incorrect information that GPs cannot correct.
Pain specialists were by far the most receptive of the attendees and all had some basic knowledge of medical cannabis. Upon further discussion it was clear that they wanted a platform or event to learn more, and an opportunity to support gathering larger evidence-based research for the UK market.
This is of course a separate issue from the currently fashionable CBD retail scene. While there are some good over-the-counter CBD products that can provide good benefits, we’re talking specifically about medical grade EU GMP standard prescribed medical cannabis. It has been legal to prescribe since November 2018, but owing to the startling lack of movement in prescriptions, the question arises – what are the medical community and policymakers doing to support doctors?
The government changed the law with no clear plan to educate and support practicing healthcare professionals, let alone academic or institutional resources. The NICE guidelines appear to be heavily steered towards pharma led products and totally omit pain or psychiatric conditions – despite the growing evidence base from other countries around the impact of medical cannabis on chronic pain and the side effects versus opioids.
Over a year on, there’s still a great deal to sort through, and a tremendous amount of frustration among patients whose hopes were raised last year. It would appear there is some light at the end of the tunnel though.
Events like the AGM give me the opportunity to speak to a number of open minded medical professionals who want to educate themselves further, to satisfy an academic curiosity and understand how to put this wonderful plant into practice to support their patients where other medicines have failed.
The Medical Cannabis Clinics, with the support of The Academy of Medical Cannabis, are here to help support the education of doctors and open up patient access to trained and experienced specialists.
To read more about our training services and book a training date, please visit The Academy page.