The risks of using cannabis products containing THC (the chemical that gets you high) are not currently clear. That’s why clinical trials are needed before they can be used.
It’s expected this would only apply to a very small number of people in England.
A hospital specialist might consider prescribing medical cannabis if:
What about products available to buy?
They tend to only contain very small amounts of CBD, so it’s not clear what effect they would have.
Many cannabis-based products are available to buy online, but their quality and content is not known. They may be illegal and potentially dangerous.
And some cannabis-based products are available on prescription as medicinal cannabis. These are only likely to benefit a very small number of patients.
Nabilone can be prescribed by a specialist to help relieve these symptoms, but only when other treatments have not helped or are not suitable.
Our advice for clinicians on the coronavirus is here.
If you are a member of the public looking for information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), including information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to the NHS website. You can also find guidance and support on the GOV.UK website.
Following the publication of NICE guidance on Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products in November and December 2019, a further letter has been issued to share details of the guidance. It also includes other new resources and reminds those who are in the position of deciding whether to prescribe CBPMs of the current process for prescribing.
A further letter has been issued which provides additional guidance to clinicians and organisations following the rescheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use. This clarifies the status of the clinical guidance issued, and provides further clarification in relation to synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal use.
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She has received just one reply so far, from the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who, in a letter addressing her as “Bridget”, began by saying that cannabis use was detrimental to the mental and physical health of communities.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We sympathise with those patients dealing so courageously with challenging conditions.
Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, pointed to Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and Canada, where full-extract oil is available through public healthcare systems, and said the UK system was not designed to deal with multi-component plant-based medicines.
Deacon has written to every member of the cabinet to express the “abject despondency” parents feel due to the lack of access, after their hopes were raised by legalisation, with thousands of children enduring hundreds of serious seizures a month which it is hoped could be dramatically eased with medicinal cannabis.
There have been no new NHS prescriptions for full-extract cannabis oil since the medicinal use of the drug was legalised more than 18 months ago, the Guardian has established.
Wealthier families and those who can successfully raise funds pay about £2,000 a month to access full-leaf cannabis medicines via private prescription for children with rare forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy, while poorer parents are unable to afford the prescriptions.
“The government’s medical cannabis legislation has been a disaster,” said Hannah Deacon, the mother of eight-year-old Alfie, who used to have up to 500 life-threatening seizures a month but can now ride his bike and go to school – with his seizures hugely reduced.