Patrick Stewart has revealed that he uses medical marijuana daily to help him deal with the symptoms of his arthritis.
The veteran actor, 76, made the admission as he threw his support behind a UK-first research initiative by Oxford University which aims to explore the benefits of cannabis-based medicines.
In a powerful statement, the X Men star explained that he uses an ointment, spray and edible marijuana medicine to help him with his condition.
'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.Describing the process, Sir Patrick detailed:
'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.'
'The spray very quickly evaporates and leaves my hands quite dry, though with a slight burning or tingling sensation, which is not unpleasant.Dailymail
'I believe that the ointment and spray have significantly reduced the stiffness and pain in my hands.
'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.'