What is Medical Cannabis?

Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, is a term for derivatives of the Cannabis plant that are used to relieve serious and chronic symptoms. Medical cannabis uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It's basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it's taken for medical purposes.

How does one get a prescription for medical cannabis in the UK?

In November 2018, it became legal for a doctor to prescribe medical cannabis under certain circumstances in the UK. However, obtaining a prescription for medical cannabis in the UK is not easy. It's only given for a very small number of health conditions such as severe epilepsy, vomiting caused by chemotherapy and multiple sclerosis with painful spasticity where other treatments haven't helped.

To get a prescription, a general practitioner or specialist will need to agree that you would benefit from treating your condition with cannabis. They'll also need to agree to refer you to a specialist clinic.

Once at the clinic, you will be assessed and, if appropriate, given a trial prescription for a specific type of cannabis product. This will be monitored for efficacy and side effects over a period of time. If the trial is successful, you might be given a longer-term prescription.

It's important to know that medical cannabis is typically only considered when all other treatment options have been tried and found to be ineffective. Therefore, obtaining a prescription for medical cannabis is not straightforward and is likely only to be considered as a last resort.


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