William Shatner has said he uses cannabis for medical reasons.
The 89-year-old actor said that he has been taking cannabis extracts such as CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to help manage pain and swelling in his joints.
Speaking to the PA news agency, the Star Trek star said: “I’ve got some aches and pains I didn’t have a few years ago. But, I’m finding out there are many things that help aches and pains that we didn’t know about just a few years ago.”
He continued: “Well, THC and CBD, and that kind of thing. It’s magical. I’ve had swollen joints where it hurts, you rub some on and while you’re rubbing it on, the pain disappears. It’s magical.”
CBD and THC are compounds known as cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant, and are legal in parts of the United States under certain conditions.
CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the marijuana plant, while THC is the chemical in the cannabis plant that gives users a feeling of euphoria.
CBD oil is currently legal to buy in the UK and is sold as a supplement in a range of products, from snacks to moisturisers, to be taken for everyday complaints such as pain and anxiety. However, in the UK THC content cannot be greater than 0.2 per cent for it to be classed as legal.
Shatner is not the first celebrity to open up about using cannabis extracts. In 2019, actor Olivia Newton John revealed that she has been taking medical cannabis to help her cope with the pain she experiences as a result of breast cancer.
The actor was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and privately overcame another bout in 2013. In 2017, Newton-John was diagnosed for a third time and is currently in the midst of treatment for stage four breast cancer.
“It has helped incredibly with pain maintenance and sleep,” Newton-John previously told People magazine.
“It’s an amazing plant, a maligned plant, but it’s helping so many people.”
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, it is unconfirmed whether using cannabis has any anti-cancer effects. However, it says there is some evidence that the chemicals in cannabis can help with symptoms such as nausea and pain.
“Some drugs that have been developed using the chemicals in cannabis have been effective in treating sickness caused by chemotherapy, or improving a person’s appetite,” Macmillan states on its website.
“But these studies have had mixed results when used in clinical trials. Because of the mixed results, the general feeling of experts is that there needs to be more research into the chemicals found in cannabis and their possible benefit.”