- Sandra Munford spends £1,300 a month shipping the medical oil from Canada
- Her daughter Kate, 21, has three months to live due to an advanced brain tumour
- After enduing chemo and radiotherapy, doctors say nothing more can be done
- Five weeks after taking the oil, Kate regained movement in her right side
- Ms Munford is speaking out to help cannabis be made legal for medical use
A mother is risking jail by importing an illegal drug she believes will give her terminally-ill daughter a hope of surviving.
Sandra Munford, 53, from Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, spends £1,300 a month shipping cannabis oil from overseas to treat Kate, 21, who has been given just three months to live.
Kate was diagnosed with a grade three astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer, in March 2016 and has endured four major operations, as well as gruelling chemo and radiotherapy sessions. Doctors say they have done all they can.
When her daughter became unable to walk or talk, Ms Munford took the drastic decision to break the law for the first time in her life by importing cannabis capsules from Canada, where they are legally produced for medical use.
Within five weeks of taking just one marijuana capsule a day, Kate regained movement in the right side of her body and her drooping mouth improved.
Ms Munford is speaking out to encourage a change in the law that makes cannabis products for medical purposes more easily available.
The nutritional supplement cannabidiol is derived from cannabis and is legal in the UK, however, Kate’s treatment also contains THC, which is what makes users ‘high’ and is not permitted.
Cannabis is a class-B drug that carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison if users are caught in possession.
WHAT IS CANNABIS OIL AND IS IT LEGAL IN THE UK?
Government advisers made it legal to buy CBD in 2016
Government advisers made it legal to buy cannabidiol (CBD) oil in 2016 after they admitted that it has a ‘restoring, correcting or modifying’ effect on humans.
However, the oil’s legal status has confused thousands across England and Wales, after the MHRA back-tracked on its position just weeks after.
Suppliers now have to obtain a licence to sell it as a medicine, following the decision in October two years ago – but some weave the strict rules.
Manufacturers are able to avoid regulation by selling it as a food supplement – ignoring the lengthy process of gaining a medicinal licence.
CBD oil, which can reportedly help with back pain, anxiety and epilepsy, has yet to be approved for use on the NHS in Scotland.
It comes in many forms, the most popular being an oil – which users spray under their tongue – or gel tablets which melt slowly in the mouth.
However, cannabis oil, which contains THC – the compound that gives users a ‘high’ – is illegal under UK laws.
But Billy Caldwell, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland, made headlines last April when he became the first Briton to be prescribed it on the NHS.
Cannabis oil, which reportedly has no side effects, influences the release and uptake of ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
‘This is our last hope’
Ms Munford, who is also mother to Beth, 19, told the Daily Record: ‘I’m willing to do whatever it takes to ease Kate’s pain, even if it means going to prison.
‘My daughter is dying and I’m in a desperate situation.’
‘We’ve tried every other treatment available and nothing has worked – this is our last hope.’
Caring for Kate, whose father Brian died of a heart attack aged 41 in 2010, has left Ms Munford unable to work and, having used most of her life savings importing the cannabis oil, she may have to sell their family home.
Ms Munford insists any mother in her position would do the same, particularly after seeing the benefits just one capsule a day is having on her daughter’s condition.
Kate (thought to be pictured before her condition became terminal) has an advanced brain tumour and has endured four surgeries, as well as gruelling chemo and radiotherapy sessions