Sir Patrick Stewart, known in the States most famously for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, recently told Esquire UK  magazine about his use of a cannabis spray to help with joint pain in his hands.

This subject came up when he was speaking about his latest movie project, the X-Men spin-off LOGAN in which he plays a decrepit Professor Charles Xavier in the throes of mental illness. The 76-year-old actor admits to feeling his age, with the worst of it so far being pain in the joints of his hands.

“I’m reflecting on aging anyway, it didn’t take Logan to make me think about that,” Stewart explains. “I think about it every day. Not all the time. I’m not brooding on it, but I’ve come to a point where the numbers are against you. Physical things [make me feel old].”

“I mean, my main problem is my hands don’t work very well,” Stewart further added. “But thanks to cannabis they work much better than they used to. Thanks to the law in California now, it’s just a spray that I put on.”

The results of clinical studies published by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have shown that cannabis – in whichever form – does have a therapeutic effect for arthritis sufferers. It works because the active ingredients in marijuana, or cannabinoids, work to suppress immune system over-activity, and this type of overactivity causes the inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

While marijuana has been shown to be effective in treating joint pain, and is readily available in California, his answer to the question “What happens when you come back over here (England)?” shows how far it still has to go;

“I can’t answer that question.”