The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently released a draft guide for prescribing cannabis-based medicines, which is unfortunately more restrictive than the initial position of the NHS. NICE has recommended further research to examine the clinical and cost-effective relationship of CBPM in fibromyalgia or treatment-resistant persistent neuropathic pain in adults, chronic pain in children and young people, CBD for severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, THC in combination with CBD for severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, CBPM for spasticity and intractable nausea and vomiting. Due to the limited availability of cannabis-based medicines on the NHS, many patients have turned to the private health sector. Private specialists, doctors and doctors at medical marijuana clinics should only prescribe when there is a clear and unmet clinical need.
The list of conditions suitable for prescribing CBPM may be broader and include chronic pain, fibromyalgia, neurodegenerative diseases, migraines, PTSD, and anxiety. A number of private medical cannabis clinics have opened across the UK, but even these cannot prescribe CBPM unless standard drugs have not helped improve your condition and there is clear evidence of their effectiveness. The estimated number of prescriptions on the NHS is still a few hundred, while around 1.4 million people in the UK use cannabis to treat their own medical conditions. Searching for medical cannabis privately will entail a cost, not only for consultation and follow-up treatment, but also for CBPMs themselves, which can amount to more than 1000 pounds a month.
A full list of conditions that may require a prescription for medical cannabis can be found online or by talking to your family doctor to see if you can get a referral letter. You can only get medical cannabis by prescription in the UK if you have a specific condition that meets the requirements. The doctor does not need to recommend cannabis or favor it as a medical treatment, he only needs to indicate that the patient has the medical condition or conditions in question. By law, a prescription for medical cannabis can only be delivered “when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met with authorized products”.
The cost of a monthly dose ranges from 75 to 120 pounds sterling per 10 grams at The Medical Cannabis Clinics. The first step is to talk to your family doctor and see if they refer you to a specialist doctor or book a consultation at a private medical cannabis clinic. If you've been diagnosed with one of these qualifying conditions, you may be able to apply for medical cannabis in the UK. The Cancard is a credential that can be shown to a police officer to indicate that the person is using cannabis for medical reasons, helping the agent to have more discretion when it comes to proceeding or not with a possession charge.
If you meet the requirements, you can discuss a treatment plan with a specialist doctor or a consultant from a medical cannabis clinic to find the right dose for you and your condition.