Professor Michael P Barnes MD FRCP, Honorary Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation; Chief Medical Officer, Scythian Biosciences

Cannabis is probably the world’s oldest medicine and finally, after 5000 years, we are beginning to realise its potential as an effective modern treatment. Shut away for six decades after a ban by the US Bureau of Narcotics, despite 29 of 30 respected international scientists insisting it was safe, it’s now out of the closet thanks to public pressure. Governments in 41 countries, including Canada and Australia, and parts of the US and Europe, have legalised it as a treatment which is prescribed by conventional medical practitioners.

Medical cannabis has been developed by doctors and scientists and is having spectacular results with a range of conditions. Pain relief - including arthritis - is a common one, but it is enjoying success with many hard to treat conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, eating disorders, mental health such as depression and psychosis, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Users often find their symptoms are not just controlled, they can become far more manageable or disappear completely. For many, drugs, and their unwelcome side-effects, can become a thing of the past.

The Beginners Guide to Medical Cannabis (tbc) explains the difference between medical and recreational cannabis, and how it works. It looks at the evidence of its effectiveness and gives an honest opinion on its safety. This book is essential reading for people suffering with chronic illness and for those interested in the history, science and huge potential behind this amazing and underrated plant.