A Yorkshire woman has spoken out on how medical cannabis has changed her life.
Jane Hinchcliffe, 44, had been struggling with chronic pain since she was young. Since she was 15, she has been prescribed codeine in an attempt to manage it.
She was eventually diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) in 2021 after several misdiagnoses. FND impacts how the brain gets and sends information and sufferers can experience seizures, sensory issues and a loss of motor control – for Jane, it was muscle spasms and intense pain.
Jane had a bike accident in 2014 that left her using a wheelchair due to a cracked knee. No pharmaceutical drugs were helping from opiates to diazepam, and Jane was desperate to find something that would help her manage the pain and get active again.
She tried medical cannabis in a cake at a festival, and found it incredibly effective. Doctors at the Lyphe Clinic were able to prescribe it to her as a treatment.
Jane, from Hull, said: “It’s brilliant that I don’t need the wheelchair anymore, people just ignored me before. Thanks to cannabis I’m able to manage my pain effectively.
“But it’s taken years to totally remove the pain. Beforehand, I had to keep going back to the doctors for more pain relief but ultimately it was all damaging my body.
“Medication made me really hungry all the time and I went from 9st (126lbs) to 18st (252lbs). Once I found Lyphe Clinic I called them up and booked an appointment.
“It only took 15 days from that call to having the medicinal cannabis prescription in my hand. These days, I’ve taken up roller skating, something I thought would never be possible, and my wheelchair lives in the shed.”
Jane, who now runs a business selling legal CBD, had been misdiagnosed for 30 years before finding out she had FND. She had been wrongly diagnosed with fibromyalgia and growing pains among other things.
Of the bike accident, Jane said: “All I did was crack my left knee on the pavement. It seemed to heal well but then got worse and the pain was intense.
“I wasn’t able to run anymore. I used to do that a lot and I had to reduce it.”
She went all the way to Green Pride in Brighton in 2019 – a festival dedicated to changing cannabis laws, where she tried a cake with THC in it. After having it, Jane found she didn’t need the morphine she’d brought with her for her usual pain.
Medical cannabis was legalised in 2018, and can be prescribed by doctors. Jane said: “What’s important to me now is breaking down the barriers and stigma behind medicinal cannabis to benefit others in dire need and struggling with chronic pain. It’s often frowned upon and rarely prescribed by medical professionals.
“Before I found Lyphe Clinic, I confess I felt I was out of options and used to purchase cannabis illegally. This would exacerbate my stress and anxiety levels though, as purchasing this way is dangerous.
“Having a legal prescription tailored to my exact needs gives me incredible peace of mind as well as pain relief. I am now able to live my life fully again.”
Dr. Luisa Searle, Medical Director at Lyphe Clinic, said: “In cases such as Jane’s medical cannabis can be used to treat a variety of conditions related to chronic pain and mental health – especially when other medications and treatments have failed.
“My team and I see day in day out what a difference medical cannabis is making to patient’s lives – Jane being a prime example. Her story demonstrates the importance of legalising medicinal cannabis and why doctors should look at prescribing this treatment for those who have tried multiple different avenues.”