Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Patient Perspective

Patients like me manage lifelong illness with cannabis. For us, the UK is a hostile environment

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 27 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3287
  1. Greg de Hoedt, patient and UK Cannabis Social Clubs chairman
  1. Brighton, UK
  1. greg{at}

As a 30 year old with Crohn’s disease, I have lived my entire adult life dependent on drugs, both legal and illegal. I have learnt what works best to keep my symptoms under control and provide me with a good quality of life.

In 2010 I was told that I needed major surgery and chemotherapy or I would live two to five years before dying from malnutrition associated with short gut syndrome. For me this wasn’t an option. The side effects of chemotherapy can include all the symptoms of Crohn’s amplified, and potential impotence, leukaemia, and death. I was a mess.

Pharmaceutical drugs like the immunosuppressive azathioprine and the anti-inflamatory mesalamine nearly killed me, causing nausea, vomiting, and foaming at the mouth. I had worse diarrhoea with blood and mucus than my Crohn’s had ever given me.

Cannabis, however, drops my bowel movements from 20 …

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