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Is Medical Cannabis Legal (and Other Frequently Asked Questions)?

Published: 07/03/2024

Medical cannabis has been a topic of much interest and debate in recent years, especially here in the UK where there have been significant changes in legislation surrounding its use. In this blog, we explore what medical cannabis is, how it’s used, and the current laws and regulations governing its use in the UK.


Is Medical Cannabis Legal in the UK?

In November 2018, the UK government made changes to the law surrounding medical cannabis, allowing specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products for patients with medical conditions that had failed to respond to first-line medications. This was a significant step forward in recognising the potential use of medical cannabis and giving eligible patients access to a treatment option that was previously unavailable to them.


Medical Cannabis UK Law

Medical cannabis in the UK is strictly regulated. Cannabis-based medicinal products must meet strict quality and safety standards set by pharmaceutical regulators. Medical cannabis can only be initiated by a consultant doctor with expertise in the relevant condition. The decision to prescribe must be confirmed by a multidisciplinary team, bringing expertise from other specialities to determine if someone is suitable for medical cannabis.


How can Cannabis be used Medically?

Medical cannabis can be used by patients with chronic health problems which have not responded to licensed medical treatments. Medical cannabis can be prescribed in several formulations: dried flower, oils, pastilles, capsules and vape cartridges. These are only to be taken in accordance with the instructions provided on the prescription and with oversight by trained healthcare professionals.


Pros and Cons of Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is not a panacea, and it will not be appropriate for everybody. Even if someone is eligible for medical cannabis, this does not necessarily make them a suitable candidate. That is why at Curaleaf Clinic we pride ourselves in providing the highest clinical care, supported by the latest research. Through working with the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, we constantly update our clinical practices to ensure that we are providing the right care to the right people to hopefully enable them to reach their desired goals of treatment.


Medical Cannabis Prescriptions

In the UK, unlicensed medical cannabis can be prescribed by doctors for many conditions, which may include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. Patients must have tried other treatments that have not been successful before being considered for medical cannabis. The process involves a consultation with a specialist doctor who will assess if medical cannabis is suitable for the patient’s condition. Once prescribed, patients can access medical cannabis products from licensed pharmacies. If this is something you’d like to explore, you can self-refer by completing our online eligibility checker, alternatively, your healthcare professional can refer you to us by completing this form.

Overall, the use of medical cannabis in the UK is still relatively new, and there’s much to learn about its effectiveness and potential risks. However, with continued research and careful regulation, Curaleaf Clinic is here to provide access to medical cannabis for patients who have not found a solution to their chronic health problems with licensed medical treatments.

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