Medical Cannabis Clinics in the UK

Medical Cannabis Clinics in the UK | HealthSoul

Cannabis has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. However, it was classified as a controlled substance in 1971 as per the Misuse of Drugs Act in the UK. This law made it illegal to possess, supply, or cultivate cannabis. The criminalisation negatively impacted communities affected by drug-related offences and led to the stigmatisation of users.

The UK government announced a law change in 2018 that decriminalised weed. This change made it legal for specialist doctors to prescribe medicine made from cannabis to patients with specific medical conditions. The changes were due to a growing body of evidence suggesting that cannabis-based medications can help with several conditions without significant side effects. Below are examples of those pains.

  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Severe nausea and vomiting

However, the changes were not straightforward due to safety and efficacy concerns. Therefore, the government commissioned a review by the Chief Medical Officer to ascertain the effectiveness and safety of using cannabis-based medication. The review led to a change from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug.

This meant that cannabis had medicinal value and could be used for the purpose, albeit under restriction. With the change in laws came medical cannabis clinics like Releaf, who made a bit of noise in the space with their new medical cannabis card.

NHS Registered Medical Cannabis Clinics

The National Health Service (NHS) has registered clinics such as the one mentioned to give you access to cannabis-based medication. These clinics offer consultation with specialist doctors and follow-up appointments. In addition, they offer ongoing support if you are using cannabis-based medicines to manage your health condition.

You must have a valid prescription for a cannabis-based medicine to be eligible for this medication. Getting the prescription involves several healthcare professionals and is multi-step. However, here is a simplified step to follow:

Step 1: Discuss your medical condition with your general practitioner: You will start by discussing your condition with a GP, detailing how your medication affects you. The professional will refer you to a specialist doctor if cannabis-based medication suits the condition.

Step 2: Consult with a specialist doctor: This healthcare provider will assess your medical history, the progress or lack of it, and any side effects. Depending on your condition, age, and other factors, they will then determine whether cannabis-based medicine is a suitable dosage.

Step 3: Apply for a Home Office license: The specialist doctor will apply for a Home Office license on your behalf if they decide to prescribe this type of medication. This license is also known as the UK Medical Cannabis Card and is issued by the Home Office, a UK department responsible for domestic affairs like drug policy. The license allows specialist doctors to prescribe and administer cannabis-based medicine legally.

Once issued the prescription, you can obtain your medication from a registered dispensary or pharmacy. The note will still need close monitoring by a qualified healthcare provider because cannabis-based medicine contains delta-9 THC and CBD, which can cause dizziness, reduced blood pressure, and fatigue.

How to Access the Services of These Clinics

You can access clinics like releaf with a healthcare provider’s referral if they are convinced your medication is ineffective or affects you. However, it will help to note that not all health practitioners will be willing to refer you to these clinics due to strict restrictions. In addition, you should know the potential risks before deciding to use cannabis-based medication. You should also ensure that the drugs you use are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Cannabis-based medicine has become popular due to its potential to help with several health conditions, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. They are also well tolerated compared to synthetic medications. This popularity has led to clinics offering this type of medication. You can use the information you have read about here to seek cannabis-based medicine if it will help your health.