“If it’s heavily controlled by pharmaceutical companies it will be very expensive to buy. A way forward with this is difficult.”
A doting husband is calling for cannabis to be made legal after seeing the “immense benefits” the drug is having on his cancer-striken wife.
Steve Harrison, from Barry , says his wife Larina is able to enjoy a relatively pain-free life after taking cannabis oil in conjunction with her chemotherapy.
Mum-of-three Larina was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November 2016 after the disease progressed from her lungs to her lymph nodes and bones.
The former Greggs employee had complained of pains in her right shoulder and arm, which were initially dismissed by her doctors as nothing more than arthritis.
But during a trip to her native Philippines in the summer of 2016, the pains intensified. Following scans and tests, a large tumour was found upon her return to Wales.
“The tumour was so bad that they were worried about her arm breaking,” said Steve.
“Her GP, like many others, let her down by not doing anything sooner.
“When you have news like stage four cancer it washes over you. All that the NHS could offer her was palliative care.”
Larina, 60, who was given a primary diagnosis of lung cancer despite being a non-smoker, was initially given radiotherapy.
She was also prescribed a drug known as afatanib which initially worked well and stopped the cancer from spreading further.
But after returning from another trip to the Philippines in September 2017 – where she celebrated her 60th birthday – her body became resistent to the medication.
“Her cough started to get worse and more tumours began developing around her body and in her bones,” added Steve, who gave up his job to look after Larina.
“Straight away they started radiotherapy again, which she had on both legs, both arms and her chest.
“But the side-affects from it were terrible. Her skin went black because it was being burnt by the treatment and she had a constantly bad taste in her mouth.
“She also had lymphoedema which caused a lot of swelling.”
After discovering that a second cancer drug would be ineffective, the couple began purchasing legal cannabidiol (CBD) oil from retailer Holland and Barrett.
CBD oil is legal in the UK as it has less than 0.2% of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol – and therefore does not produce a “high”.
They then managed to get hold of higher doses of cannabis oil, which is deemed illegal in the UK, which Steve said greatly reduced her debilitating side-effects.
By Mark Smith – Wales Online