Veteran Eastenders actor Pam St Clements has called for cannabis to be legalised in the UK and admitted she uses it every day. The 75-year-old, who played Pat Butcher on the soap for 26 years, suffers from polymyalgia rheumatic, a condition which causes pain, stiffness and inflammation in the muscles around the shoulders, neck and hips. St Clement, one of Eastenders’ longest-serving cast members, revealed she uses cannabis-infused to oil to relieve the aches and pains caused by the condition.
The actor recently appeared on the ITV show Gone To Pot: American Road Trip – a three-part series which sees five celebrities embark on an American road trip to learn about marijuana and explore whether it should be legalised.
Viewers back home could not get enough of the scenes where St Clement smokes marijuana with nuns and takes a hit on a bong.
St Clement has now heaped praise on cannabis, which was reclassified from a class C to B drug in 2008, and said products containing cannabidiol (CBD) had revolutionised her life.
CBD, a non-psychoactive compound of marijuana, was classed as a medicine by the UK medicines regulator at the beginning of the year and St Clement buys a daily dose of “CBD + Oil” from Holland & Barrett.
Campaigners who push for cannabis legalisation argue reclassifying it as a medicine opens up the medicinal marijuana debate.
“Taking this oil has changed my life. I am no longer in pain. My joints are no longer stiff, I sleep better, almost jump out of bed and walk longer distances – all things I could never have dreamed six weeks ago,” she told the Sunday Mirror.
“I have suffered with polymyalgia rheumatica for the past 10 years. I just woke up with it one day. Until now the only thing that treats it is steroids, which I’ve become resistant to.”
The actor said the TV series had totally transformed her life and enabled her to learn a great deal about marijuana and thus change her view of it.
“Gone To Pot changed my life because when I went to America to find out about how cannabis has been legalised in certain states, I also discovered CBD,” she said. “And I have to say that it’s absolutely wonderful. I didn’t realise cannabis was such a complex plant with these properties which you can get medical help from.”
The legendary actor said while she did not like the hallucinogenic (THC) effects of cannabis, she was a massive fan of its healing properties. She called for research to be speeded up so it can be presented to politicians.
“Oxford University is doing research into its medicinal properties and we should hurry up with more research. Then we can sling it at the politicians to see if they will legalise it,” she said.
St Clement said she had been taking CBD oil consistently since returning from the US – taking the legal drops every day under her tongue – and her limbs were feeling considerably less sore and stiff.
“There are things I wasn’t able to do before like carrying shopping, walking long distances and going for country walks. For the first time in years, I feel as if I am walking straight and upright,” she said.
“I also use a CBD-infused lotion and I rub it all over my back in the evening. It eases everything for any inflammatory condition.”
St Clement was joined by Christopher Biggins, Linda Robson, John Fashanu, and Bobby George to explore the medical benefits of marijuana on the weed-themed road trip. It was the scene in which she took a toke on a marijuana bong at a “Puff, Pass and Paint” art class that attracted some of the biggest applause from viewers.
“A few minutes after I took my first puff with the nuns I had this lovely relaxed feeling and I was in hysterics after smoking the bong at the art class,” she said.
St Clement previously said she thought the show would do the world of good for her so-called street cred and young people would lap it up.
The show’s highlights – in both the literal and figurative sense – sees panto legend Biggins and darts player George ferociously vomit after gorging on Nonna Marijuana’s marijuana-infused ice cream.
Nonna Marijuana, a nonagenarian whose real name is Aurora Leveroni, is a committed proponent of legalising marijuana for medicinal purposes but worked in the kitchen for 75 years before she chose to experiment with the plant.