Cannabis oil for medicinal marijuana is becoming a well-known fact amongst those of us browsing the internet with “mmj” as our search terms in Google .. that it is so is largely due to the hard work of a handful of a few dedicated activists brave enough to stand on the frontline. Growers Guide is proud to have this interview between two of our cannabis heroes Mel Thomas and Jeff Ditchfield, talking about the Bud Buddies ethos, the methodical research into cannabinoid preparations and frustration with an establishment that ignores the potential of medicinal marijuana and persecutes the most vulnerable.
Mel Thomas was a notorious cannabis cultivator. Code-named Mr. Big by detectives he was eventually jailed for producing £2.8 million pounds worth of skunk cannabis… “So what’s a grower in prison supposed to do? Write a book of course. Cannabis Cultivation: A Complete Grower’s Guide was devised during Mel’s 5-year prison stay as the ultimate grow book. Now in it’s 3rd edition in the USA and Canada, its popularity shows no signs of letting up.” – Kush Magazine.
Jeff Ditchfield is is an outspoken campaigner and activist. He has written books, lectured at The Royal College of General Practitioners and John Mores University on the medicinal application of cannabis and is the former proprietor of The Beggars Belief, the first cannabis coffee shop in Wales. he has appeared on BBC1, BBC2, Sky TV, Radio 1, Radio 5 live, HTV, ITV, and appeared live on the Parliament TV channel with John Reid. Jeff is internationally acclaimed and respected for his research and testing of cannabis based oils and preparations for medical use.
Bud Buddies will not tolerate the most vulnerable people in society being forced to rely on unsuitable prescription drugs or have contact with criminal gangs who supply overpriced, poor quality cannabis
Bud Buddies are leaders in the field of medicinal cannabis oil manufacture and the production of standardized cannabinoid concentrated preparations.
The Bud Buddies UK Medicinal Cannabis Organization was founded in 2002 by Jeff Ditchfield and for five years they supplied cannabis and cannabis preparations to seriously ill and disabled people throughout the UK. Jeff ran the organization from his cannabis coffee shop, ‘The Beggars Belief’, based at 47 Water Street, Rhyl in North Wales. The coffee shop was opened in an attempt to bring Dutch style cannabis cafés and cannabis dispensaries to the U.K. and by 2003 there were half a dozen coffee shops open throughout the country. Despite being met with universal disapproval from the authorities, suffering constant harassment and 6 police raids ‘The Beggars Belief’ had the support of the local population and remained open in Rhyl for five years.
Bud Buddies are currently researching the preparation and application of cannabinoid concentrated oil at a Cannabis Association in Southern Spain where Jeff Ditchfield is based. Jeff is regularly consulted by the World’s leading experts in this field as they themselves are regularly frustrated in their own research by the constraints of cannabis prohibition.
Since its inception the organization has always been a non profit venture operated out of medical necessity, yet despite this Jeff was prosecuted in 2004 for supplying cannabis to an MS sufferer. After a lengthy Crown Court trial he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. However, the Attorney General took the case to the Court of Appeal in London where three Appeal Court Judges ruled that there was no defence in UK law for supplying cannabis seriously ill people. https://www.youtube.com/embed/e-CKPwShsao
Bud Buddies and Jeff continued their work and in 2007 Jeff was again taken to Court on nine new cannabis charges, this effectively shut down the UK part of the operation and the research and medical plant genetics were transferred to Spain where Jeff now lives. Bud Buddies cannabis products are now produced legally in Spain, these include cannabis bud, cannabis tinctures, ready made joints, cannabis capsules, cannabis oil and creams for topical application. This year, Bud Buddies will be opening a Cannabis Dispensary in Puerto Mazarron where they will continue to produce and research cannabinoid concentrated oil and the different production methodologies used in its manufacture. They are also hopeful that they will be in a position to provide cannabis oil treatment to a small number of terminally ill cancer patients pro bono.
All the oil produced by the Bud Buddies organization are laboratory tested and whilst this is expensive it ensures that the medicines provided are of the best quality, this also enables them to produce standardized cannabis preparations. Jeff and myself are now working in partnership and things have certainly become more professional since I started using the acetone crock pot extraction in the early 1990’s.
We caught up with Jeff to ask him about his work and how the organization has been helping patients over the years:
Jeff thanks for taking the time out to speak to us, the first question has to be: what started you on this Journey? A Back in 1998 a close friend of mine suffering with MS explained that they were having difficulty in obtaining good quality cannabis so I decided to help and that was the start of my journey
Q The Beggars Belief cannabis coffee shop ran successfully for five years, was your eventual prosecution for supplying free cannabis medicines the reason for its closure?
A It was becoming very difficult to operate in the UK so in 2007 when a Housing Association made me a generous offer to purchase the building I accepted and relocated to Spain.
Q You have suffered quite a lot of harassment from the authorities over the years for running Bud Buddies, we understand you have been arrested over ten times? Has this ever caused you any personal problems?
A Many lol but my philosophy is if I’m not fighting then I may as well roll over and accept prohibition and I can’t do that
Q How is Bud Buddies funded?
A Bud Buddies is a non profit organization, we receive some help from Canna who supply us with grow equipment and nutrients for our legal experimental grow rooms in Spain but we are essentially self funded. We also receive a small commission from The Original Sensible Seed Company’s for seed sales generated via our website, they give an excellent service and we value their support
Q You supply many cannabis based products via Bud Buddies, however your cannabis oil now seems to be the most sought after. When did you start making cannabis oil?
A I made my first batch of oil in 2002 and I used a bottle of Everclear that my old mate Jack Bell had brought back from the USA. It was a very potent oil but in those early days we had very limited supplies of cannabis so we couldn’t really produce it any significant quantities. This however didn’t stop me getting prosecuted in 2007 for supplying cannabis oil capsules to a friend of mine suffering with M.E.
Q What is your opinion on the latest research by Dr. Guzman and others with regard to the efficacy as cannabis oil as a cancer treatment?
A Professor Manuel Guzman is a leading authority on cannabis pharmacology and he’s based at the University of Madrid here in Spain. This year he hopes to commence human trials using cannabinoids for the treatment of cancer and I’m delighted that he’s agreed to take part in a documentary about Bud Buddies.
Q It seems that most of the evidence for cannabis oil as an effective cancer treatment is anecdotal, do you have any case histories that you can cite regarding it effectiveness?
A For me the evidence of cannabis oil sending cancers into remission is far from anecdotal and we have many cases of it’s success, however I don’t consider that anyone individual has ever been ‘cured’. I much prefer the term ‘treatment’ to ‘cure’, if the oil truly was a cure then a persons cancer would go into remission and not return but it is obvious that there is a daily need for a ‘maintenance dose’ to keep cancer in remission
Q How do you see the pharmaceutical industry responding to the evidence that cannabis oil may be a more effective cancer treatment than their prescription drugs?
A I see them trying to synthesise the individual cannabinoids and if that’s not effective they’ll attempt to patent whole plant extracts, it is very hard to get a patent on an act of nature but that will not stop them trying. There’s too much money at stake for them to ignore this
Q What is your opinion on Sativex, the mucosal spray tincture being manufactured by G.W. pharmaceuticals and now licenced in many countries? A It’s a tincture in a spray bottle, a 10ml vial contains 270mg CBD and 250mg THC. I use Bud Buddies Oil Type G (1:1 THC to CBD ratio) to make our own version, which is basically the same but costs 5% of the price of Sativex
Q Why do you think there is so much conflicting advice given on cannabis treatments, particularly on internet forums?
A There are many reasons for this and the main reason is ignorance, people see a video on Youtube and they think they’re qualified to offer advice, most of the are well meaning but their lack of knowledge can be dangerous. What’s more concerning for me are the conmen who are selling fake or substandard oil via the internet and preying on desperately or terminally ill people
Q We understand that you take great care in making your medications and having them laboratory tested, what would your advice be to patients who wish to make their own cannabis oil?
A Take control of the whole process and that means you should start by cultivating your own cannabis. It will take around 3 months to cultivate an indoor crop of cannabis and you can realistically produce a pound of cannabis bud from a 4’x4′ area. When it comes to your own life or the lives of your loved ones then you need to know the quality of the cannabis oil, if you don’t have access to testing in a Lab then you shouldn’t gamble by purchasing oil from the internet. Grow weed, make the oil, is my mantra
Q Are there any particular strains of cannabis that you would particularly recommend for making medicinal oils from?
A When people are selecting a strain to grow they shouldn’t get hung up on looking for indica varieties, the question they should ask is “what do I want the oil to treat?” The oil made from a particular strain will reflect the cannabinoid profile of the plant used, so if you want an oil with high CBD for example you’ll need to make it from a plant that has been bred with high CBD. I do offer a note of caution, there are many seed companies and breeders who claim high CBD content that doesn’t actually reflect the cannabinoid profile, as with every purchase ‘ caveat emptor‘ buyer Beware!
Q Which method of cannabis oil manufacture would you say was the most effective?
A The answer to that depends on how you define ‘most effective’, I use different solvents or methodologies depending on where I am in the World and what the oil is to be used to treat. The oil making process is quite simple, use a solvent to extract the cannabinoids and after filtering concentrate your solution via evaporation, this is the basic process
Q Many people still like to smoke cannabis to gain relief from pain and other conditions that don’t require cannabis oil, is vaporizing an effective solution?
A Inhalation is a very effective method of administration and I am a big fan of quality vaporizers like the Volcano as they have a variable temperature control so you can decide on which cannabinoids you receive
Q Is cannabis oil more effective when ingested or inhaled?
A It’s certainly a different effect and both of the administration methods have their pros and cons. If you are using a cannabis oil to relieve symptoms then inhalation is an effective way of getting the cannabinoids into your system. However the consensus for using cannabis oil to treat cancers is that an adult needs to consume around a gram a day for a positive result
Q We have heard of many people now offering cannabis oil for sale via the internet, what would your advice be to those thinking of purchasing these products?
A I wouldn’t put my own life or the life of a loved one in the hands off a random stranger, I agree with Rick Simpson that growing your own cannabis and making your own oil is the best way to obtain a regular supply.
Q Writing your latest book with a co-author was a new experience for you, how did it go?
A I really enjoyed it, it was a pleasure writing with you mate but it helps that we are both such laid back, easy going people. Of course I knew of your work and I’ve been a fan since your first book ‘European Cannabis Cultivation’ which incidentally I regard as one of the classic cannabis cultivation books. I know we have the same opinion regarding the amount of misleading information that’s been written about cannabis and I think we both have a duty and obligation to correct that
Q Do you think the medicinal argument is more important than recreational argument
A I don’t differentiate, I feel both arguments are equally valid, the fact is that the State has no right to dictate what I can do with my own body, the prohibition of cannabis is for me a civil liberties fight and some Governments are taking liberties.
Jeff thanks for taking the time out to speak to us.
Many thanks to Mel Thomas for taking the time to write this interview with Jeff Ditchfield. More information can be found on the website www.cannabiscure.info and Mel has a new website www.melthomas.info.