Sir Patrick Stewart has revealed he turns to marijuana to treat his arthritis symptoms.
The 76-year-old actor made the revelation in a statement supporting an initiative led by Oxford University, which explored the benefits of Cannabis-based medications.
“Two years ago, in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands,” Stewart said. “This, it would seem, is a genetically-based condition. My mother had badly distorted and painful hands.”
He continued, saying that he “purchased an ointment, spray and edibles […] It helps with sleep as the pain was reduced. The spray, however, is much more usable and I spray my fingers and particularly my thumb joints several times a day.”
Stewart went on to admit that his condition has improved since beginning the course of controversial medicines. “I can make fists, which was not the case before I began this treatment,” he wrote.
“I have had no negative side effects from this treatment, and the alternative would have been to continue taking NSAIDs, Advil, Aleve and Naproxen, which are known to be harsh on the liver and to cause acid reflux. This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has for too long been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance. I believe this programme of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others,” Stewart concluded.
Stewart joins a short list of celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg, Lady Gaga, Tommy Chong, Melissa Etheridge, Morgan Freeman and Oliver Stone, who have gone public with their use of medical marijuana.