Medical Cannabis is now legal in the UK 🇬🇧
Updated: Aug 29
Since 1st November 2018 cannabis based products for medicinal use can be legally prescribed in the UK, but only by doctors on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register. This is a huge progressive step forward in medicine. However, it will not be readily available to everyone on the NHS that needs it just yet.
Medical cannabis has higher concentrations of the therapeutic Cannabidiol (CBD) and much lower concentrations of the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to prevent unwanted side effects and highs. There are different high-quality medical cannabis products available from pharmaceutical companies including oil for consumption and flower for vaping. These are also available in varying concentrations of CBD and THC depending on what medical condition is being treated.
The Centre for Medical Cannabis has produced data to show that there are about 1.4 million illegal cannabis users in the UK for medical purposes.
I have joined The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (MCCS) which supports medical cannabis clinicians in prescribing safely in the best interests of their patients. The MCCS has recently produced the helpful expert consensus document “Recommendations and Guidance on Medical Cannabis under Prescription.” https://www.ukmccs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Recommendations-and-Guidance-on-Medical-Cannabis-under-Prescription-2nd-Edition-2020.pdf
There‘s growing evidence that medical cannabis can help in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and PTSD. However, the more traditional evidence-based treatments, e.g. CBT, short-term hypnotic or anxiolytic medications, or antidepressant medications, should be tried first before considering medical cannabis.
Get in touch with IamPsychiatry to book a mental health assessment to see whether medical cannabis could be your best treatment option. Whilst high-quality medical cannabis is not cheap, it may be an effective natural alternative if the more traditional medications have been ineffective or caused intolerable side effects.