Medicinal cannabis is now legal in the UK but What is Medicinal Cannabis? 

What is Medicinal cannabis?

“Medical cannabis” is any sort of cannabis-based medicine used to relieve symptoms.

The two most well components of Cannabis are: 

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is responsible for the “high” people feel. The legal limit of THC content in a product, as stipulated by the Home Office, is 0.2%.

CBD (cannabidiol) is not psychoactive and it is thought to be responsible for many of the medical benefits associated with cannabis.

These are found naturally in the resin of the cannabis plant.

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There are four difference levels of cannabis. Three are described below. 

CBD-based medicines

Epidiolex is a highly purified liquid containing CBD, its not yet licensed in the UK but is currently going through the licensing system.

Patients with the rare form of epilepsy Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome can currently be prescribed the unlicensed medication. 

CBD oils with THC

CBD oils are cannabis-based products are available to buy over the internet without a prescription.

It’s likely most of these products  will be illegal to possess or supply. There’s a good chance they will contain THC, and may not be safe to use.

CBD products

Brought from health food shops and online, these contain less than 0.2 per cent THC and are therefore legal.

Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as hemp oil. But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.

Street cannabis

Possessing cannabis is illegal, whatever you’re using it for. That includes medical use unless it has been prescribed for you.

The government has no intention of legalising the use of cannabis for recreational (non-medical) use

Who can get it prescribed?

On November 1st  2018 the law changed to make it legal it for Medicinal cannabis products to be prescribed to some patients across the UK for the first time.

You cannot get cannabis-based medicine from your GP – it can only be prescribed by a specialist hospital doctor. 

Very few people in England are likely to get a prescription for medical cannabis. Currently, it is only likely to be prescribed for the following conditions:

  • Epidiolex for children and adults with rave, severe forms of epilepsy
  • Nabilone for adults patients with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
  • Nabiximols (Sativex) for Multiple sclerosis patients

Further information

If you wold like to lean more about Epilepsy see our training course.

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