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Medical doctor holding cannabis leaf and bottle of cannabis oil on white wall.

Cannabis oil, cbd oil cannabis extract, medical cannabis concept.

Cannabis, cannabis seeds, cannabis oil placed on a wooden floor with a green tree in the background.

Cannabis or hemp plant leaves for alternative medicine concept

Cannabis, cannabis seeds, cannabis oil placed on a wooden floor with a green tree in the background.

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In the middle of our heartland lives a symbolic message about our fight for access.
In collaboration with Studio Number One and Mother Nature herself, we honor everyone
who has fought for – and benefited from – access to hemp.

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However, it is possible the drug is not as effective as cannabis oil containing THC, says Nutt. For example, the cannabis oil used to treat Billy Caldwell, the boy at the centre of the recent cannabis oil confiscation furore, contained cannabidiol and a low dose of THC, because cannabidiol alone did not stop all his seizures.

That’s a complicated question. In the UK cannabidiol is legal. Cannabis plant extracts (known as hemp or CBD oils) are available in high-street stores but the THC content must be below 0.2 per cent. “THC is not psychoactive at this level,” says David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London. But cannabidiol is illegal in many other countries.

The UK government announced on 19 June that it would review the use of medical cannabis.

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Is it legal?

The first part of the review will look at the evidence for the therapeutic value of cannabis-based products. It can recommend any promising ones for the second part of the review. This will be carried out by the government’s Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs, which can recommend a change to the legal medical status of cannabis and cannabinoids.

Two recent high quality randomised and placebo controlled trials showed that cannabidiol is an effective treatment for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, severe forms of epilepsy. The mechanism of action is unknown, but it may be due to a combination of effects, such as inhibiting the activity of neurons and dampening inflammation in the brain.

What is the evidence that cannabis oils can help treat epilepsy?