John Malanca interviews Mary Biles, a Harper-Collins Published Author of “The CBD Book. The Essential Guide to CBD Oil”
Mary Biles, a former English teacher and journalist with a rich employment and educational history, assisted her dear friend in the care of her mother who suffered from Pancreatic Cancer. Distressed by her suffering, the family decided to try cannabis which they found to be helpful.
Mary, impressed by the efficacy of CBD, like many curious cannabis professionals, began to study the Endocannabinoid system and went on a quest to inform and promote use of this powerful plant. Stunned to see Spain export cannabis while denying their own resident’s cannabis, she began to increase her knowledge of this super-herb and the rules surrounding its use.
While her book delves into the benefits of CBD, she agrees that whole plant medicine is best when using cannabinoid therapy. Commenting on European laws which either classified drugs as illegal or legal and nothing in between, she seeks to bring legal access to all humans through her knowledge, education and writings. Even Epidiolex (the first and only FDA-approved prescription cannabidiol/CBD) is limited for use in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome in Europe.
Listen in to this very compelling discussion on the European and American markets, and how location, cost and availability affect the health of millions!
To reach or follow Mary Biles
Mary Biles O’Mahony
Going Global – the CBD Markets and the World with Mary Biles
John Malanca 0:00
Welcome back, everybody. This is John Malanca, with United patients group being formed and be well, and today I have a special guest from the other side of the pond. Mary Biles. Hi Mary.
Mary Biles 0:12
John Malanca 0:13
That’s the first actually I had a guest on from Israel the other day so we’re making it we’re,
Unknown Speaker 0:20
we’re going international.
John Malanca 0:22
Yeah, we’re making this an internet COVID bubble and so excited to have you on here. So let me read your your informative bio, how about that? Mary miles a medical cannabis journalist and CBD industry insider has a unique perspective on why we could all do well with some CBD in our life. Following a very career in TV production as well as complimentary therapist, Mary decided her talents are better utilized educating the world about the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant, after seeing firsthand, extraordinary health benefits in a close friend. Is that with your friend’s mother?
Mary Biles 0:59
Yes, that’s right. Yeah.
John Malanca 1:01
I’ll get into that. But to her, Mary’s close friend’s mother also had pancreatic cancer. And so we can go into that after this. But Mary has been one of the most demand CBD content specialists in Europe, as well as here in the United States, writing educational articles for a host of CBD companies and regularly contribute to the Huffington Post. To this day, she continues to interview top scientists and cannabinoid research and tell inspirational patient stories as part of her work as a medical cannabis journalist for internationally respected educational organizations such as project CBD, which is right up the road from us. So
Unknown Speaker 1:36
Oh, great show.
John Malanca 1:37
I don’t know them. Well, so so good to have you on.
Unknown Speaker 1:40
You were saying you’re chuckling on
John Malanca 1:42
my it might be on your bio.
Mary Biles 1:45
It just sounds so funny, doesn’t it? Because, you know, you get asked to write BIOS for stuff. And you’ll see you have to sort of like hype yourself up. And you know, it’s a bit cringy. But you know, I suppose that it was all stuff that
John Malanca 1:58
I found I found that online and where your book is sold, so we’ll talk about your book, and okay. So as I’m looking at myself, like told you, I haven’t had a haircut, I’m seeing these curls, and I’m not used to. I guess just
Unknown Speaker 2:14
going through this Yeah, it’s mind.
John Malanca 2:16
Yeah. It’s so funny. So good to have you on. And so let’s talk let’s your book, and I’ll go into that, but it’s called the CBA book, The Essential Guide to CBD oil. Harper Collins. Congratulations, is a publisher on that one. And so we’ll put links and we’ll get them to your book and go from there. But your personal story, you know, I everyone has a personal story. Not everyone, but many have a personal story of getting into this industry. Can you start with that and get to where we are today?
Mary Biles 2:46
Sure. Yeah. I mean, it started really I was living in Spain at the moment I’m based in the UK but I was living in Spain and, and it really was watching I guess the first seed was sown actually with an ex boyfriend who was growing cannabis. His friend had cancer and he decided to grow some some cannabis. And I remember watching videos with him. You know, there was the kind of classic Rick Simpson video and, and like the first time I heard of CBD, and cannabinoids and I couldn’t pronounce it and didn’t really you know that. Okay, interesting. Next, and then, yeah, maybe sort of two years later, and a great friend of mine who is who is from Belgium, her mum had pancreatic cancer. And, yeah, I just sort of, you know, witnessed how, you know, she’d had the treatment it was it was terminal. And she really coped very badly with with with morphine, basically, you know, it just, I mean, it’s like taking taking a sledgehammer to pain essentially. So, but in this case, actually, it wasn’t controlling the pain but she lost, you know, lucidity, she was suffering terribly. And she just wanted you know, it all to be over really, and, and to her, her children who, you know, adults and my friend’s mom was, you know, kind of what she was about to be I think she made it to 80 before she died and but our children you know, thought okay, how can we think outside of the box and that had heard something about you know, about cannabis and its medicinal effects. And their their GP was kind of forward thinking and found a loophole that they could prescribe cannabis oil. And you know, I was witnessing this from another country. So I was hearing I saw kind of secondhand but, but I never feel sort of forget when you know, unfortunately,
my friend’s mom died but I remember you know, vividly the the conversation in my kitchen in Seville when when Anna was telling me about, you know what cannabis allowed for her mum, which was basically to die with dignity. So you know, she completely recovered her lucidity. She wasn’t in pain. She had a bit of appetite you know, she was a little bit stone so she you know could have a giggle with a friend. And it just meant that those final two months were weren’t hellish suffering. You know, it was it was, you know, a good death actually. And for me, you know, yes, cannabis is also about living but but for me being able to die well is a kind of fundamental human right. And I felt, I felt enraged. I felt absolutely enraged that, that so many people were being denied this this right really because of cannabis prohibition. So as a kind of backdrop to that, at the time I was writing, I was living in Seville, I was writing I had a blog about in a city where I lived and I was writing about kind of other stuff. I just written something about Iosco, which was published on CNN and so I kind of was my head was already in the kind of plant medicine world. And, and yeah, so I kind of, you know, I remember that I was in my kitchen, and I promised and I was going to do something about it. This injustice. And, yeah, so it was like, you know, two weeks later, there was a hemp fair and civil rights living. So I got myself a press pass, just sort of, you know, went along, again, in a completely naive cannabis naive, you know, totally, but with a view to just doing some research and maybe write an article, there were two CBD companies. So this is back in 2016. So it’s kind of before, you know, CBD went crazy, you know, worldwide. And there are two CBD companies. And I just kind of chatted to both of them, one of them, which was a company called Endoca, which, you know, I’m very grateful to them, because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you today. And yeah, I kind of was chatting to the founders mum was there and we were chatting and, and, and it turns out, they’re looking for a full time writer. And like, you know, sort of two weeks later, me, huh, yeah, well, and you and I had to, you know, week later A few days later, had to interview with their head of marketing. And then I was hired basically. So it kind of, you know, this tremendous, it felt like the stars had aligned, you know, and also, you know, before that I couldn’t really work out I’ve always been quite random, in my, in my profession. So, you know, I worked in TV, I was a complementary therapist, I’ve also been an English teacher that you know, various seemingly unrelated things that I’ve done, but in suddenly it all kind of came together. And, you know, my sort of backgrounds, I had to you know, study anatomy and physiology to be a complementary therapist. So I had an understanding of the body and you know, kind of an interest in holistic health, my kind of journalism background from TV and writing, you know, see what came into play. So I just kind of immerse myself I had free rein to kind of write what I wanted. And this is before the times when you know, the kind of different regulatory agencies crackdown and what you could and what you couldn’t write about, so I just you know, I was living in Spain where they’re you know, in Madrid at the competence University they have some of the best scientists who’ve made the most of you know, yourself the most you know, groundbreaking discoveries, particularly with with cancer and the anti tumor or
John Malanca 8:15
Mary Biles 8:17
Yes, yeah. Christina Sanchez and manual good man and you know, the whole kind of team there so I would just, you know, kind of interview them and I don’t know I just just just felt I’d found my my cooling really and yes about that’s kind of how it all started. I particularly became fascinated by the endocannabinoid system because it was like this you know, I think it’s something for you know, the medical professions or not within the cannabis space and you know, the general public at large it can seem that can be you know, a little bit incredulous, really that hang on a sec, how can the cannabis plant which by the way for 70 years, they’ve been told as this kind of demonic plant that’s gonna you know, lead you to psychosis and all sorts of terrible things. How can it have these you know, kind of therapeutic benefits for everything from epilepsy, cancer, pain, nausea, you name it, and then as soon as I you know, started to kind of understand the endocannabinoid system, it was like people need to know about this you know, okay, it’s about cannabis but it’s also you know, the endocannabinoid system is not only the bridge you know, and and how cannabinoids act in our body, but we should be, you know, over and above cannabis. We should be paying attention to our endocannabinoid system doctors need to know about it, you know, even if they’re not prescribing cannabis, at least, you know, if you’ve got fibromyalgia patients or patients with those kind of clusters of symptoms, they’re missing a massive trick, right? So, so yes, that’s me.
John Malanca 9:55
It’s amazing when you get down to it because that’s, that’s it. It’s funny cringe. I was I worked for a magazine for years as well. And crin picked me up at the airport one day. And we were driving by one of our convention centers and it had cannabis convention this 2009. I should pull over, she looks fabulous. Go in there. You know, see what it’s a Friday night. We walked in there and I walked around. And I said, it says medical on here, but there’s nothing medical about it. And then we met a couple people started talking to the same thing. Do you think anything of it, we got home, and I was traveling a lot. And she said, you know, let’s see if we can do something. And so we started looking at how can we get in the cannabis industry and current I called her Mary Poppins she didn’t drink and didn’t smoke, and I kid you not that was in our wedding vows Mary Mary Poppins. And we started building something in the industry. It was just a site, a coupon site. And then her father became known. And we said, Hold my gosh, stop the press, you know. And the same thing we saw the benefits of cannabis, not knowing the true benefit we saw was we knew appetite stimulation, munchies. And for a cancer patient, we came across a that showed 40% of cancer patient pass them down nutrition, before cancer, same thing with AIDS patients wasting syndrome. And that’s how our story began. And so like you said, the planets align the stars aligned. And here we are today. 10 plus years later, and, and helped a lot of patients. And like you said, if we didn’t live in a legal state, it wouldn’t have ever been an option. It wouldn’t have been an option. You mentioned your friend on his mom and in Belgium, you know, I lived in Belgium, and to my friend’s mom’s past with pancreatic. And my friend gastone is his mom. They use cannabis in the same thing. She passed with dignity. They traveled, she was in no pain. And he just saw this may have children. He said, I saw this. Plant this capsule we’re taking. My mom was eating, she was happy. That’s good travel. They went all over Italy, they went all the way down to Dubai. I mean, they traveled and she passed and she would never any pain. And then two years later, Chris gets sick. And I’m thinking, Oh, what, what’s going on with us, you know, and so for anybody going through pancreatic cancer, any of our listeners, I’ve learned a lot certain Marianne has as well. And so I share all the time. With all cancer patients with pancreatic please reach out to me, because I’ve done a lot of studying when grin was ill with krim. And then afterwards, I’ve I’ve met a lot of doctors and scientists, not only in the cannabis sector, but in the integrative oncology world that are finding having success in pancreatic. And so I mean that if anybody’s going to this, please reach out, which a lot of you do on a regular basis. So that was my, sorry, I had to throw that out there. When I hear pancreatic I just stopped. And, you know, I know what it’s like, I know what it’s like on both sides as a health advocate, helping families, you know, avoid the tangled web bridging the gap. And I know what it’s like being a caregiver, I know, it’s like being a spouse, a widow now, you know, and so I think that’s why I relate to a lot of families and patients and doctors saying, help, help. So with the laws changing in Europe and globally, and you know, you’re a global journalist, what’s going on with the CEOs? Let’s go to CBD laws kind of breaks the ice, there’s still a stigma. There’s still a stigma here in California. You know, California has been illegal since 1996. for medical use, like you said, it’s, you know, Western medicine here at three years ago. And they stopped that. And it’s carried on overseas. And it’s funny. Before we got on the call, you said the United States is leading the way and I always talked about Israel, many countries in Europe, China, South America,
Unknown Speaker 14:11
perception, right. I think maybe because in the UK, there’s always you know, I don’t know, this special relationship with the United States in general. And sort of, you know, there. For example, there was a kind of entertainment slash documentary series in the UK a couple of years ago, and they took a bunch of aging celebrities, to around the US on a kind of like cannabis road trip, but, you know, kind of suggesting that. I’m suggesting that, you know, that was the most advanced and, and, and I guess it’s the kind of we don’t necessarily understand the complexities and, you know, I think each country has its own idiosyncrasies and failings and you know, in no ways perfect. That’s the thing right now in the UK. I mean, it’s In the world, you know, we can kind of some bits are working in some countries, and some bits are working better and others. And so I guess you know, where we as you said before, it’s kind of like the blind leading the blind, but you know, hopefully will there’ll be some kind of harmonization at some points in
John Malanca 15:19
Yeah. Yeah. If you know, all the different that you were talking about all the different elements I always talked about, it’s not like duct tape with a million in one uses. But when you really get down to it, you know, when you really get down to it, scientist, mine was mine. And Christina said, Dr. Christine is Dr. Shiva doc writer scientist.
Unknown Speaker 15:38
Yeah, she said, Dr.
John Malanca 15:40
Um, you know, their studies, and it’s funny, I I recommend them as leaders from the US.
Unknown Speaker 15:48
But, you know, the irony is that this is the crazy thing. So, you know, I’m kind of between the UK and still right, my heart is a little bit in Spain. So, you know, it’s tragic, really in Spain, because they’ve got these, you know, incredible scientists, not just, you know, within the area of cancer, but in neurodegenerative diseases and whole, you know, and kaput, cannabinoid science, they are, in many respects leading the way. And yet patients in Spain do not have legal access to medical cannabis. They don’t you know, and actually, that’s not understood the amount of times I’ve read that Oh, in Spain, you know, the medical cannabis is legalized. No, it isn’t. No, it isn’t, you know. And
John Malanca 16:27
when Chris and I were there, back in 2014 15, I believe we met some underground, there are some underground cannabis clubs.
Unknown Speaker 16:36
Yeah, and that they’re underground. But they’re also, I mean, again, this sort of the gray zone, and I was a member of one. And they have these sort of ways of being it being kind of semi legal. You know, you you know, you’re a member, you don’t have, you know, they didn’t get raided by the police or anything like that. Although in Barcelona, I think there were a few problems with it. And there was a kind of industry building up around it. And it wasn’t supposed to be that wasn’t it wasn’t its intention, but you know, and also in Spain, you can you can grow, you know, you can grow your own, as long as it’s not, it’s not like you can’t see it from the road or something like that. So but, you know, as I say, No, nowhere is perfect that that’s the thing, and it’s, but I really feel I feel for, you know, I’ve got sort of, you know, friends and colleagues in Spain who are battling and battling, but there’s no political will, there’s no political and, you know, what’s what’s infuriating is that, you know, Spain is exporting, you know, it’s exporting medical cannabis. It’s been grown in Spain and exported elsewhere. But you know, Spanish people can’t, you know, can’t get access themselves.
John Malanca 17:39
So sure, let’s talk about exporting it perfectly into your article. Your What is your your FDA, your food Drug Administration called European?
Unknown Speaker 17:51
Well, there’s EFSA which is the European Food Standards Authority. And I’m obviously I’m in the UK, we’re about to leave Europe in about, you know, sort of, I don’t know what are we now? Well, about 20 days time and so we have a kind of a UK version of that that with the Food Standards Agency. And so so that there’s been a lot of upsets in the last couple of years because CBD or actually cannabinoids in general have been added to something called the novel foods catalog. So basically, a novel foods is in in Europe is is is something that wasn’t commonly consumed prior to 1997. So So kind of CBD seem to be kind of going under the radar radar that then the you know, these regulatory bodies weren’t weren’t getting involved. And then suddenly, in January, I think it was 2019. They sort of very quietly added cannabinoids to this novel foods catalog basically. which then means once it’s been added to that you have to in order to kind of market it or sell products selling CBD, they have to go they have to like do and make an application of all foods application with toxicology reports and proving its safety basic because if it’s novel, The idea is we don’t know if it’s safe.
John Malanca 19:17
You’re sorry, sorry, Mary. Your definition of a novel is like our cannabis brownies or cannabis water or CBD water. Is that what your what your
Unknown Speaker 19:27
thing is? Basically, it’s it seems, if at the time it says CBD is classed as a food, it’s not a narcotic. That’s another kind. That’s another kind of chapter to this story at the time. It was not a narcotic, so therefore it was classes of food. But it was nothing in between it’s either narcotic or food. Nothing in between.
John Malanca 19:50
wet food narcotic and back to food now right.
Unknown Speaker 19:53
Food narcotic And now back to food.
John Malanca 19:57
And so like over here, cannabis I had a lawyer on the show a few weeks ago and I asked him about CBD. And he says, Well, my dad always taught me that it was the term, it’s clear as mud, meaning there’s still a gray area. Like over here, cannabis is still for, you know, that’s why the scientists like you were mentioning. We don’t have the that. It’s not really public with our scientists, well, global scientists like like the rest of the world has, because it’s still federally legal schedule one narcotic, still classified with heroin, LSD, highly addictive, no medical benefits, ecstasy is on there, and cannabis is on there. That just kind of just blows my mind with no medical benefits. They have it as a patent as a nerve protector with medical benefits. And so is there with the with the narcotic scheduling that you have over there? Where does that stand? Is it is it still like that, like we have schedule one is the number one most dangerous is your?
Unknown Speaker 21:01
Yeah, so I mean, I can talk from a kind of UK perspective. So we have the we have the scheduling, because you have the kind of obviously had the single convention of narcotic drugs, which was the kind of 1961 UN Convention. So I think, then each country, each kind of member state created their own version of it, basically. So in the United States, you have one, what is called another one that was in 1970, you have the kind of convention that came for which which from which the classification of cannabis in sheduled one
John Malanca 21:33
Schaefer committee and then of course, President Nixon, are you talking that where they kind of had its, and that was around the 70s?
Unknown Speaker 21:43
Right? Yeah. So we have we have an equivalence in the UK, so for until two years ago in the UK, and cannabis was was shedule one, like, it wasn’t like it isn’t the United States. And in November 2018, we’re actually before that it was six months before that, that change cannabis was was reclassified. And as is often the case, you know, with with with these things, and it became untenable because you know, we had two cases very public cases of young children with with epilepsy that you know, was intractable and so it didn’t respond to you know, anti seizure medication and these children both of them had left the UK became a medical cannabis refugees one one was in in Holland and another one was in Canada and and but they wanted to come home and if they came home their medication that would be confiscated, basically. So it kind of forced our our politicians into acknowledging because basically, you know, as soon as these children stop taking their medication, their seizures would come back and actually those politicians were going to be responsible in some way if one of these children you know passed away or something terrible happens and that doesn’t look terribly good so thankfully they you know, actually got some balls excuse my language but because this this is you know, this been on the table before with with Theresa May then went on to become our Prime Minister, but she she had you know, that there was something called the bonds report, which was a cross party report on cannabis with doctors and patients and scientists, but she still was sticking to that schedule and there’s there is no evidence and you know, only sort of liable for abuse and etc, etc. So thankfully this the the Home Secretary in 2018, you know, actually acknowledged as you know, this is an indisputable these children, their seizures are reduced and we’re going to have to change the scheduling which kind of brought about the the gradual process which culminated in 2018. of, of the legalization of medical cannabis. So then at that point that you know, we were as long as you know, with other countries like Canada we were no no longer following that kind of UN scheduling we actually has just been changed you know, last week but it’s been taken out of our schedule for so yeah, so yeah, you know, that we did last week it was the you know, it was the the kind of the committee for narcotic drugs to decide to thankfully you know, acknowledge that actually there is evidence of therapeutic benefits
John Malanca 24:30
you know that that’s that’s what really brought I guess the walls down because I think they were so anti cannabis the THC level which in my opinion is needed to fight cancer and I think in in in even an epileptic children minute amount you can give CBD Yes, it’ll work. Add a little THC we found has really dropped this.
Unknown Speaker 24:53
Yeah, this was the case with these two children. I mean, just CBD wasn’t enough. And so when they Actually left the UK for this period of time they had a little bit of THC. And and you know that was enough to pretty much reduce their seizures to zero and so but that that little bit of THC at the time was illegal completely illegal in the UK so that’s what forced the change.
John Malanca 25:18
And that’s what unfortunately that’s what happened. Why should they unfortunately the children that pediatric epilepsy is what really brought CBD to the market over here and so you had a lot of CBD only states and that’s what again, brought the stigma down and started working and it was unfortunate I worked with families that had two children one had a seizure disorder, one had cancer they lived in a CBD only state where cancer was not a qualified condition. And so unfortunately their cancer child was an illegal patient using illegal narcotic while this seizure patient was a legal part you know getting legal metal I mean it was just it’s it’s it’s backwards and I know it was it is it in the UK or was that all over Europe where they just repatched it to mere r 0.3% because your legal limit for THC for a while was 0.2% correct?
Unknown Speaker 26:19
It was and that that’s kind of was the legal definition of hemp basically. So that’s now been changed to 0.3 I think there is a move because in Switzerland for example it you can have 1% THC so there is a move I know the European industrial hemp Association Are you know putting together I think they’re doing kind of toxicology reports and different kind of you know, studies to show what are safe levels of THC so you know, what I think what the sort of the main thing with increasing it to 0.3% meant that now you have performers there and for producers, CBD producers, you’ve got more options of strains, basically or varieties of cultivars as a proper word isn’t that of of hemp so it just it just gives more more options really, for actually getting kind of CBD rich products. So yes, I’m
John Malanca 27:19
from the UK or that being
Unknown Speaker 27:22
we you know what I mean in the UK, there is this absurd situation that farmers if they’re hemp farmers, it’s okay to grow hemp I think properly you have to have a license but you can use the stalks you can use the seeds, but you cannot use the flowering tops. So So this you know, in the UK there’s this huge CBD market and God so many CBD companies you know, that’s one of the reasons why I wrote the book it’s like they’re all like saying oh yes the best quality Top Best CBD in the world you know but actually what’s interesting is because they can’t you know get it can’t get it from from from UK grown hemp, they import it from European hemp farmers, or suppliers and producers or sometimes North American as well. And basically that you know, it’s kind of it’s white labeling really. And so you know that all these different all these different UK CBD companies are essentially selling you know, about five different types of products and just sticking their labels on them. So, but it’s kind of, you know, I really hope for hemp farmers that that that will change it just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever
John Malanca 28:45
as well. He, I think you’re still here you
Unknown Speaker 28:52
you’re kind of
Unknown Speaker 29:12
There you are. Hey,
John Malanca 29:14
sorry about that little blip in there too. With you know, I get a lot of over the years I’ve worked with a lot of UK residents patients as well. And you know, when they hear stories which are happening over here with success, you know, this is you know, the internet journalists like yourself sharing stories, you know, you want to try it and i think it’s it’s, it’s tough when a patient even here in the in the United States, a lot of them become cannabis refugees. I shared, you know, it’s not the easiest thing to leave your family, your homes, your church, your community, your doctors. Go and see if this works. It’s not a one size fits all. It doesn’t work for everyone. So before you uproot your family, always tell them take a two week vacation, if we’re able to try it, see if it works, then then go back. But I share in too many of the is Britain a common word, and I call them Brits,
Unknown Speaker 30:13
you can call us Brits. That’s fine.
John Malanca 30:15
Yeah. But a lot of the Brits that I speak to on a regular basis, it blows their minds. When I say, you know, there is a pharmaceutical company in your country called GW Pharmaceuticals.
Unknown Speaker 30:28
They said, Yeah,
John Malanca 30:29
I’ve never heard it does GW this has been over the last few years. Maybe they’re making more waves. But are they not a household name over there?
Unknown Speaker 30:37
No, no, um, because the you know, the approved pharmaceutical cannabinoid based drugs or there’s too fussy there’s Sativex, which is, which I think has a different name United States but it’s
Unknown Speaker 30:51
it’s still the same so you
Unknown Speaker 30:52
know, it’s like Napa Knowles or something. So anyway, so that’s a you know, kind of one to one ratio of THC and CBD, but it’s only prescribed in spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis. And for a while, because it was really expensive. And remember, in the UK, we have a national National Health Service, which, you know, yay, yay, that’s, that’s the cent unit publicly funded, free health care. And, but, you know, it’s, it’s, in order for our national health service to approve a drug, it has to be both effective for what it’s treating, but also cost effective and at the time of for many years, and Sativex was approved as a you know, pharmaceutical drug, but it was too expensive to be prescribed by our NHS. And that changed recently. So you know, as I was sort of talking about before, you know, since 2018, that you know, that has been coming to medical cannabis is is now legal and this is something important for you know, your your listeners and viewers in the united in the United Kingdom to know that. And so, so yes, that affects our our MS patients and are being prescribed Sativex epidiolex, which is the kind of purified CBD for in the UK, it’s just for dravet syndrome, and Lennox gostar, which are these, you know, very kind of catastrophic and rare types of pediatric epilepsy. But what’s happened, basically, because it’s leaking, you know, it’s very narrow, and very few cases or few conditions where these where cannabis can be prescribed through the NHS. And there’s been a whole kind of like two tiers, we’ve got private medical cannabis clinics that have opened up and there’s maybe about four or five now that I’ve opened and, and initially, because of various kind of supply chain difficulties, and it was, you know, that there was a lot of, kind of, I guess, fear with regulators about what this was going to lead to, you know, medical cannabis being available, initially for patients a prescription and maybe this is normal in the US, I don’t know, but, you know, patients are paying like, kind of 2000 pounds. So that’s like 3000 how many that would be that’d be $1,500. us? Yeah, yeah. So about Yeah, and a month for the medication, and then maybe like kind of $150 for a consultation. So that was, that was when things kind of first first started and the prices have come down. And I think there will be a point because actually, in the United Kingdom, it’s estimated there about 1.4 million people who are using cannabis medicinal Li the majority of which are getting it from the black markets. And so, um, you know, for many, you know, obviously, if your medication your doctor was working, you’d rather do that right. You would don’t want to have to kind of go and find a dealer or whatever. It’s not your kind of first choice but for a lot of patients, you know, initially when there was legalization, it was very prohibitively expensive, you know, you’ve got these cases of, you know, these kids with, with epilepsy, their parents are kind of remortgaging I think it’s you because I’m still here.
John Malanca 34:40
I don’t know what it is here. So my apologies, but I’m glad to come on, you’re still on here. So they’re on there. They’re hanging on the edge like and what I was
Unknown Speaker 34:52
John Malanca 34:57
bring you down and then having Maybe not with with epidiolex and not with Sativex
Unknown Speaker 35:05
Unknown Speaker 35:07
John Malanca 35:08
But with with with Sativex it’s not legal over here and I think it’s it hasn’t it’s funny you haven’t Can you hear me now? Yep. Okay well with Sativex It was a GW pharmaceutical product which was not legal over here but it was a 2.7 5 million
I know I’m going like crazy I’m getting ready to turn my hotspot on on my phone to do that as well so sorry I first UK guests in my first time I’ve popped out in the middle of my show here so sorry. But with it being 2.75 milligrams of THC, 2.75 milligrams CBD. People just said over here, people the the consumer over in America, seeing all the studies of GW Pharmaceuticals, Sativex, they said, so everyone started making a one to one ratios over here. And so yeah, and having success not only with MS patients, but with other. And then epidiolex came out and I and my my thought and you tell me as user journalists, my thought is okay, they missed the boat over here, they replicated the 2.752 milligrams of each. And so the US government said, okay, with GW pharmaceutical, this is just my mindset is, okay, let’s try something else. We’ll bring your epidiolex over here, we’ll reschedule it. Now it’s available for prescription insurance, not all, but some insurance will cover it. And you can pick it up at our local pharmacy, if you want to. And so now that I think that’s where they’re making all their money, because I know for a while GW was not making any money and they’re doing amazing thing. And I have friends that their daughter is autistic. And I introduced him to cannabis about four years ago with success, but different cultivars, you know, I can you and I can have the same bottle, we buy it. And then two months later, we buy the same exact bottle. And it’s a different thing. Because of, you know, hopefully one day it’ll get that point where it’s the same every single time like you would with a pharmaceutical Tylenol or something. And they’re their neurologist, they they get ecgs. And they said, I’m not seeing this, I don’t feel a success. And they say, well, there’s a product called epidiolex. How about prescribing and the doctor here knew at UCLA knew nothing about it. So they’ve been on it for a good year and a half now, with success.
Unknown Speaker 39:03
Okay, that’s interesting. Are
John Malanca 39:04
you are you seeing that is where I was going with that? Yeah, I mean, is it available over there,
Unknown Speaker 39:11
it episodic is available, but just for Linux guest out and gfa. And to be honest, for me, it’s interesting that this patient that we’re talking about has had success with just CBD because to be honest, I’ve heard from other mums, really, because often these are, you know, kind of more severe moms of children with more kind of severe types of autism, they may be nonverbal, or, you know, have this kind of self injurious behavior. And I, you know, I’ve heard more and more I want more than one occasion, actually, the kind of high CBD strains have actually kind of made it worse or kind of made them more hyperactive or actually they kind of needed that bit of bit of THC. And in the UK, I think there are you know, there are patients with these particular conditions who’ve been prescribed through it. NHS epidiolex. And otherwise, you know, we’ve got these private clinics who were prescribing unlicensed drugs. So these are more they kind of, you know, your battery cam products or you know, the kind of that haven’t been through the clinical trials etc, but they are standardized GMP it’s, you know, that standardized products, but they’re not products that are sort of NHS doctors would feel confident prescribing because for them, there’s not the evidence, everything has to be evidence based. And what’s interesting in the UK, you know, we’re talking about this before, you know, at least they can actually prescribe it, you know, as I say, this idea that we have, everything’s great and rosy in the United States. It’s, you know, I don’t think in the UK people realize that actually, you can, you know, doctors can prescribe they can make recommendations, and then you have to kind of send your patient off to a dispensary, right? Or, you know, somewhere and they speak to bud tender, what have you. So, you know, it’s not perfect in the UK, because here is only consultants essentially that can prescribe. And so what you’ve got are these private clinics where you’ve, you’ve got pain consultants who you know, who talk with their fields, and you know, that there may be actually I don’t know, sort of heads of the pain society or what have you. And also we have psychiatrists, pediatric neurologists, that kind of thing. But then you to cannabis, then you they’ve never done it before. So they’re having to get trained, and learn about the endocannabinoid system and that so they’re kind of starting from zero. So it’s not I think, what what is kind of, I suppose limited here at the moment is is very much a focus on THC and CBD. So, for that, I think that’s kind of all doctors can get their heads around. Anything minor, cannabinoids or terpenes? Because actually, you know, these kind of standardized products, they don’t really say what else is in them? I’m not saying there’s like, you know, you know, chemical, I don’t know, mold or anything like that. But they don’t say what are the minor cannabinoids? What are the terpenes? So it’s sort of, I don’t know, it still feels quite, quite crude in a way. But it’s better than nothing, for sure. And the prices are coming down. So there will be a point approaching if not already, where for certain patients, you know, who perhaps don’t need the need the kind of massive amounts of massive of milligrams every day, that they’re spending possibly less a month than they would be if they’re going to the black market. And they’re under the care of, you know, of a consultant, which I think that’s hugely important in otherwise, what are you doing? You’re just I mean, I know, you know, with cannabis, you’re uptight, treating, you’re listening to your body, etc. but you kind of need to know, is this going is there going to be some interaction with my prescribed medication? Now, that’s that kind of stuff is really, really important. Someone is looking after your care.
John Malanca 42:55
And that’s something that I share all the time. It’s not one size fits all. And you should look at age, weight, current health condition, stage of ailment, or whatever you’re battling and drug to drug interactions, because we’ve had, you know, patients that have never tried cannabis. They’re taking, you know, neuropathy patients for diabetes or cancer. And they’re taking their oxycodone, you know, four or five a day like you and I would take a breath. And they try to milligrams of cannabis. And they’re stoned out of their mind climbing the wall. They said, you know it, I’ll never do cannabis again. I said, No, you’re mixing them just like you wouldn’t, and you don’t have alcohol with that. And so give it a try. But education like this, I think educating and that’s what we pride on at least united pace group. We’ve always come in education first. We’ve done you know, Chris, and I were big into conferences, and we did all of our conferences were accredited for medical professionals, CME continuing education is so we would have 85% of our attendees were medical professionals, not only here in the US, but around the world that knew nothing about cannabis and one to learn. Yes, oh, and they would get they would get credits for that. And so I just think what you’re doing as a journalist, and others out there, have, and I always use the analogy of throwing a pebble in the pond, and seeing the ripple effect of education going out and, and sharing stories and seeing patient share stories to like mums, as you’re saying because my friend, you know, her daughter, she is her. That’s your number one advocate and she educated the UCLA doctor. Okay, if you don’t want us to go down to our local dispensary and get this thing. How about prescribing? Well, what are you talking about? You know, nothing about epidiolex if you want to prescribe it, and so last week, actually, about 10 days ago, they had the you know, they do about three IE G’s a year, and they did see some drop in the seizures with that and so the doctor was pleasantly surprised and I’m certain that doctor will go do some more research on that. And you were saying you were gonna say something? Sorry, Mary?
Unknown Speaker 45:05
No, it’s gonna say I mean it, I think it’s the cannabis movement worldwide is patient LED. And that is, you know, fantastic. So exactly, I think, you know, the the a mother’s love, you know, in so many instances we’ve seen, you know, obviously a father also loves their children, it seems to be it seems to be mothers who just push this movement along. But you know, the kind of flip side of the coin is that, certainly I don’t know, in the UK, patient experts tend to kind of, yeah, not always get a very sort of warm reception from doctors, because doctors don’t like their patient to know more than they do. And, and, you know, and that’s, I really feel for patients in that situation. I mean, it’s, you know, sometimes we always think about these these children with with epilepsy and then urologist within the NHS soon as they hear that they’re going to a private clinic, and you know, they’re under the care of a specialist, they no longer want to have them as patients, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, you don’t want to let this kind of resistance, why? If you if you’re a doctor, why haven’t you have Why don’t you have this curiosity, when you see patients getting better? And you’re like, how does that that’s like the fourth patient who I was, you know, oncologist, for example, you know, that there’s so many patients, you know, again, in the UK, it’s not a condition that can be prescribed cannabis legally. And so, you know, like anywhere in the world, there are 1000s of patients who, you know, through Facebook groups, etc, go to community and they’re, you know, self medicating, etc. But you know, when you’re an oncologist, and you’ve seen a series of patients who say, oh, by the way, I’m taking cannabis, and those patients, you know that their outcome far exceeds the norm? Wouldn’t you kind of ask yourself in a sec, I need to investigate this. And I think some do, I mean, there was an amazing case, I love the story of this gentleman is in the UK. And I think he had lung cancer. And he was, you know, in his 80s, he decided not to have any chemo or radiotherapy or anything like that, because he just, you know, wanted to sort of enjoy what he had left. And he just sort of got some CBD, you know, randomly chose some, and wasn’t taking very high doses, actually. And then when he went back to have an appointment with his doctor, his oncologist, X amount of months later, and he had some tests, what have you, though, it was like the tumor had practically disappeared? And they’re like, what have you been doing? And is, you know, if he changed anything, and he’s like, Why just started taking, but that that oncologist did actually write a paper about it, you know, so it’s, I think, I think once you just have to hope and I, you know, encouraged patients. I know, it’s, you know, scary because, you know, your oncologist and consultants, or these kind of authority figures, and there’s always this fear that they’re going to, you know, they’re going to sort of threaten not to, you know, give you the treatment, if you say reveal that you’re that you are using cannabis, but but, you know, please do say please do say, because, you know, little by little, that kind of Penny starts to drop. And I think, you know, there’s a point where, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a tipping point, basically tipping points for sure.
John Malanca 48:23
And that’s something that I share with patients all over the world is even if you live in a legal state or legal country, or legal state or legal countries, it’s not illegal to ask the question, ask the question, this is your health. And know if there’s another option, hey, Doctor, have you heard of this have, you know, shared share these cases, and we’ve had doctors here that work for major cancer institutions that have called us and said, You know, I made a promise to my patient that I do some research, can you help me? And I applaud those doctors, because they’re, you know, not too many of those are out there. But it’s, you know, the, the topic of cannabis is starting to diminish, meaning the stigma, even other natural like, you’re talking about Iosco, you know, and so assignment that is another topic that’s been around for 1000s of years, that people have kind of pushed away, but it’s coming coming back now. You know, Colorado recently passed a law Oregon here in the states have passed laws and so but education is is is what I what I love, and you’re talking about mums, I can tell you so there’s some great dads out there and and and moms, but my friend Mike side, his son cash was the first and youngest legal Medical Cannabis Patient in the whole United States. He was the pioneer. And no one wanted to cover the story. He beat cancer twice and he was four. And Kashi ended up passing to the laws changed in Montana, but he would share it to families, moms and dads Listen, if assigned, said and said it’s federally legal to go swimming in that water, but your son’s in there drowning. He said you better believe I’m jumping in that water. And so that meant a lot because I do I’ve done a lot with that family. He’s one of my best friends in the Kashi past. And because the laws, you know, the laws were there in Montana in their state. And then they sit out, we made a mistake. We opened the doors too early now, you know, now doesn’t matter if you have hiccups, you know, our national TV station will oh boy cures hiccups with cannabis. You know, they’ll talk about it. But then it was too It wasn’t ready. They weren’t ready. And so I don’t want him to be forgotten. I don’t want him and his mother to be forgotten. What was her name?
Unknown Speaker 50:51
I’m just saying, was it just saying?
John Malanca 50:54
Just saying just and then, of course, my wife Curran to be forgotten. I mean, you know, and so, I mean, if any of these stories help, this is why we continue doing this. Let’s talk about your book and what you’re doing.
Unknown Speaker 51:07
Yeah, great. I mean, actually, the case studies and the stories in the book are sort of my favorite part of the book. Because it is about you know, I’ve never you know, I write about sciences. There’s a kind of unpack the science behind CBD and the endocannabinoid system, I talk a lot about the research, and, you know, the kind of potted history of, of, you know, kind of CBD and hemp, etc. But it’s, it’s the patient stories that that just bring the book to life. Really. Yeah, so you know, without having to kind of cast the net too far, I spoke to different people, a mom of little boy with autism, who, you know, just eight days into, into taking CBD had his kind of first conversation with his mom, which was to tell her that his head didn’t hurt anymore, and he wasn’t scared anymore. Insane. And actually a very, you know, very dear friends of mine, actually, who she’s this amazing woman who works on a refugee camp in Athens. And he was this kind of amazing force of nature so positive and but you know, as you can imagine, if you’re working, you know, every day in a refugee camp, you start to get sort of PTSD, anxiety, etc, etc. So she was she was having having panic attacks and, and yeah, and kind of waking, waking up in the middle of night seeing the faces of refugees that she couldn’t help and all that kind of stuff. And, and she, because she knew me CBD was was on her radar. And she and she started taking it and you know, alongside now she’s a yoga practitioner, and because I think has to be part of particularly an adult, it has to be part of other stuff. Yeah, it just it really, you know, it, she’s, she, she’s no longer having panic attacks in her, you know, she’s kind of over a PTSD. But yeah, just loads of stories like that. And that and that’s actually, I was sort of doing the research for the book and interviewing people. And you know, I kind of record the interviews and you know, when you write an article, or in this case, a book, you kind of you cut and paste the best bits, you know, like, Oh, yeah, I use that nice quotes, and then you kind of, you know, stitch it together in your own words and stuff. But when I was listening back to, to, you know, their their stories in their own words, I was like, Damn, these people need to have their own platform, you know, it’s like, it’s not the same me just retelling their story. And so I yeah, beginning of kind of COVID lockdown, I decided I was going to, you know, launch my own podcast. Cool. Yeah.
John Malanca 53:50
And I want to I want to say that so for those of you who not and it wasn’t in your bio, and I apologize because I like sharing others podcast and Okay, out there. And so I really so if you haven’t had a chance, there’s Mary, you do a great job First off, but you have some incredible guests. And I know a lot of them so I may have to reach out to a couple of you say Hey, guys, you know, but, but talk about that it’s on it’s on Mary Biles bi le s.com.
Unknown Speaker 54:21
Yeah, all right. You know, wherever you listen to your podcasts and you will find cannabis voices. Yeah, I mean, it’s you know, it’s a mixture of as I say patients and parents of patients, scientists, I really you know, I I’m a bit ashamed that I barely scraped through my my kind of high school science exams but now I kind of find myself being a science writer essentially. So but I’m fascinated by you know, that the how it all works and and and so, you know, when you’re when I’m writing articles, you kind of you know, now I don’t understand everything in a scientific paper, but I can kind of pull out the salient points, but I love to hear the story. behind it, you know, and so I really it’s one of my favorite things to, you know, to speak to the scientists or you know, the likes of Christina, I mentioned before a man well, and Greg Goodman, who is brilliant on the endocannabinoid system, and Ethan Russo. Yeah, and, and I just, I just, you know, I love, I love hearing people’s stories. And, and, and so that that’s kind of that’s what it’s about, really, I mean, sometimes I kind of tie them in, if I’m doing something for project CPD. And I, you know, again, if I’m writing an article, I just think it’s really important, you know, if it’s about I don’t know, outsiders or something that you You not only do you go direct to the source and speak to the scientists, maybe it wouldn’t quite be so possible with without slimers to speak to a patient. But so I, you know, I often, you know, if I’m writing a project, project CBD article, I’ll maybe use the interview in a podcast or something like that, but good, but no, I really loved it, but also sort of getting back to the buckets. And I think one of them from a practical point of view, and I think this is the same for where wherever you are, in the world really be in Europe, or United States, if you’re someone who’s like, Oh, I’d really like to try CBD. And then you kind of like, you know, type in Google, whichever is your, you know, search engine of your choice. And, and it’s just, you know, it’s like 1000s, and 1000s of companies and products come up. And, you know, I used to sort of work a little bit in digital marketing. So I know all the tricks that they play the kind of, you know, the search engine optimization with keywords and that kind of stuff. So I know, a lot of it is just, you know, yeah, it’s not great products, but they just happen to be
Unknown Speaker 56:39
most marketing dollars.
Unknown Speaker 56:40
Yeah, exactly. So, so I kind of did the book, really, if nothing else, if someone like, it has a little, little hands and spend some time reading through the different steps of just kind of explaining, you know, the different types of products and the difference between whole plant broad spectrum, the entourage effect, all these different things, and then you just follow the steps. And hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll get to a point of being able to buy a reliable product that you know, is gonna have the best chance of actually helping you in some way. So so so it’s kind of for me, it’s a, it’s a roadmap. And it’s been really gratifying, because I’ve seen that people have liked it, or used it, and I’ve got my product. And now I’ve you know, and that’s that’s kind of what it’s all about reading.
John Malanca 57:27
Okay, is it on audiobook as well?
Unknown Speaker 57:30
I don’t think so. It’s on it’s, it’s in hardback at the moment. And it’s also ebook. So if you’re in the United States, I know people have bought it in the US, but just takes a long time to get there because I don’t think they’ve sorted out the rights for it to be kind of sold through Amazon, the US version, but you can not you can buy it and it just will get shipped from from the United Kingdom. But I think, you know, if you’re in Europe, it gets getting so much. And
John Malanca 57:57
Harper’s Collins not not a shabby publishing companies know that. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. question before we go to and I meant to ask you earlier, for Americans going into the UK or the are coming? Are they able to bring their medicine over there? I get that I get that quite a bit. And and yeah, you know, I didn’t want to put anybody in jeopardy. And if you don’t know the answer, you know,
Unknown Speaker 58:25
I don’t know the answer, actually. I mean, they’d have to, they’d have to, I mean, that’s the thing. I mean, maybe because in the you know, in the United States, it’s it’s whether their kind of recommendation would be enough. You know, if you’re coming through customs, I would have to
Unknown Speaker 58:40
say here that
John Malanca 58:41
I, you know, I’ve had patients, I said, Boy, you talking about, I think you said balls earlier, because I’ve had a patient say, I said you’ve had bigger balls than I do, because they said I’ve gone through, I’ve shown my liquor recommendation, and I’ve shown my product and I’ve gone through here.
Unknown Speaker 58:58
John Malanca 58:59
but I said but what’s going to stop that I make it through the the TSA, which is the security here, and I hand you my packet, and you go off to the UK, you know, and so that’s that’s the part that I don’t know a lot. But anyway, I’ll do some research and I’ll put in the links here. Any closing words?
Unknown Speaker 59:21
I don’t know. Yes, education, education, education. And for me, you know, what I I don’t know I feel compelled to do the work that I’m doing. And it’s it’s you know, this is a kind of fundamental human rights you know, we have a human rights to wellness when it when it’s possible, and you know, that this plant is one tool that can be used. And also for me, it’s, it’s also about defending the plant itself, because I do fear for a time in the future where, you know, it’s just going to be kind of I don’t know Synthetic isolated compounds and all the rest of it, and we still won’t be able to have access to this plant that we’ve been given, you know, so and so I, you know, I just I, you know, I think we just have to keep fighting and, and, and yeah informing ourselves and, and trying to get the message out of the echo chamber because that’s the thing it’s like, you know, there’s more information getting out, but it’s still, you know, sort of within the cannabis community, although that is changing in the UK that is changing.
John Malanca 1:00:29
Well, you mentioned tools, and I’m a big fan of tools. It’s, it’s, you know, what you put in your body sleep is important getting exercise being surrounded by good people love and then good products. And so you can find that in the CBD book, The Essential Guide to CBD oil, Mary miles, I so appreciate your time. And I know and there you are, and I’ll put a link to that as well. On this podcast and our podcasts go video, of course, without the glitches, I’ll see if I can edit those out but audio and we’re like you located I think about 18 different channels, then we do a transcript for the people. That’s good. You want to read as well
Unknown Speaker 1:01:09
read my words as well. It’s really
John Malanca 1:01:13
funny when you when you please use British spelling British earlier when you said balls and I was thinking myself, I wonder what how they’re going to translate that on the on the transcript. But, uh, I thank you so much, Mary. And thank you for having all your legs out there too. And thank you for our listeners. I hope you enjoyed this. This is John Malanca with United patients group. Be informed and be well and we’ll see you soon. Bye bye.