Sir Patrick Stewart has revealed that he uses legally prescribed marijuana every day so that he can allay the symptoms of arthritis, which runs in his family.

The 76 year old Logan star, and long-standing icon of the stage and screen, made the admission in a statement he issued to support a new effort by Oxford University to explore the possible benefits of cannabis-based medicines. In it, he revealed that since 2015 he frequently uses a cannabis-based spray, ointment, and edible marijuana in his battle to keep at bay, and even reverse, the debilitating condition.

Patrick StewartSir Patrick Stewart has used cannabis-based medicines since 2015

“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,” the acting legend 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.”

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“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. The spray very quickly evaporates and leaves my hands quite dry, though with a slight burning or tingling sensation, which is not unpleasant. I believe that the ointment and spray have significantly reduced the stiffness and pain in my hands.”

Sharing the benefits he has felt of the treatment, shoring up support for Oxford University’s £10 million research programme, the ‘Star Trek’ actor said: “I can make fists, which was not the case before I began this treatment. I have had no negative side effects from this treatment and the alternative would have been to continue taking NSAID’s, Advil, Aleve and Naproxen, which are known to be harsh on the liver and to cause acid reflux.

“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.”

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