16/03/2017 11:59 GMT | Updated 16/03/2017 14:30 GMT

Patrick Stewart Reveals Daily Marijuana Use To Help His Arthritis

He is backing a UK initiative to explore cannabis-based medicines.

Patrick Stewart has told of how he uses marijuana on a daily basis to treat arthritis.

The ‘Star Trek’ actor explained he has tried an ointment, a spray and an edible form of the drug to help with arthritis in a statement advocating the UK’s first initiative exploring the benefits of cannabis-based medicines by Oxford University.

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“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,” he said.

“This, it would seem, is a genetically-based condition. My mother had badly distorted and painful hands.

“I purchased an ointment, spray and edibles. The ointment, while providing some relief from the discomfort, was too greasy to use during daytime and so I only use it at night. 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.”

Patrick said the spray “very quickly evaporates and leaves [his] hands quite dry, though with a slight burning or tingling sensation, which is not unpleasant”.

He claimed it had “significantly reduced the stiffness and pain” in his hands, and said it meant he could now “make fists”, which he wasn’t able to do before. 

“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,” he said. 

“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.”

28 US states have legalised the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, while in eight of those - Massachusetts, Washington, California, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Maine - it is legal to use the drug recreationally.

Marijuana still remains illegal in the UK, with a class C classification.

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