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Iceni Magazine | January 15, 2021

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The Facts about Medical Cannabis in the UK

The Facts about Medical Cannabis in the UK

Cannabis has been used for centuries, both for medical and recreational use. In some parts of the world, it’s perfectly legal to grow and use cannabis, but in the UK, cannabis has been classed as a Class B drug since 1928.

Being caught with anything more than one ounce of cannabis is an offence. Less than one ounce generally incurs a fine or warning. Selling, distributing, or growing cannabis is illegal and carries much larger fines and/or jail terms. You can’t even smoke cannabis on your own property, although many police forces don’t enforce this unless there are other issues involved. In fact, most forces don’t target recreational users at all unless they are suspected of selling or distributing cannabis.

Medical cannabis is in a different class. The rules are very strict, but under certain circumstances, it is legal to use medical marijuana in the UK. But to avoid being prosecuted, you need to follow the guidelines to the letter.

Government Policy on Medical Cannabis

Previously, cannabis was always classed as a schedule one drug, which meant doctors did not believe it offered any therapeutic effects. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests cannabis-derived products are very effective when used to treat conditions such as epilepsy and anxiety.

There have been several high-profile cases of children suffering from severe epilepsy who have had their symptoms eased by medical cannabis oil. This prompted the government to re-examine their stance on medical cannabis, and from there, changes were made.

Medical cannabis was de-legalised in 2018. A statement issued by Sajid Javid stated:

“[Cannabis] needs to be a preparation or product which contains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabinol or a cannabinol derivative; it is produced for medicinal use in humans and; is a medicinal product, or a substance or preparation for use as an ingredient of, or in the production of an ingredient of, a medicinal product.”

Since then, there have been further guidelines issued that define the specific medical conditions considered suitable for medical cannabis treatment.

What is Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is an umbrella term for a number of different products. These include cannabis oil such as CBD oil and hemp oil, as well as cannabis seeds. These products contain varying amounts of the active cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC is the cannabinoid that give users a “high” whereas CBD is the active constituent that has beneficial effects.

Cannabis used for medical purposes usually has high levels of CBD and low levels of THC, so it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects when taken. However, the efficiency and quality of cannabis products varies according to the source and if CBD oil, for example, is bought from a non-reputable supplier, it may not have the right degree of CBD and too much THC.

Suppliers like have a selection of medical  cannabis seeds, as well as comprehensive resources about medical cannabis. As we have already mentioned, it is illegal to buy cannabis seeds in the UK to grow them, but people do collect cannabis seeds and medical cannabis seeds are not illegal.

Medical Conditions that Might Benefit from Medical Cannabis

To use medical cannabis in the UK, you will need a prescription from your doctor. These are difficult to obtain, but if you suffer from any of the following conditions, it’s worth talking to your doctor to see if they can help.

Epilepsy is widely reported as being helped by medical marijuana use, but government guidelines state that only rare and very severe forms of epilepsy can be treated with a medical marijuana prescription.

  • Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a severe form of childhood epilepsy that typically begins around the age of 1-5. Sufferers have severe drop seizures many times a day, which is upsetting for them and their families. Children with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome may also have myoclonic seizures and convulsive seizure, as well as learning difficulties.
  • Dravet Syndrome is another rare and very disabling form of childhood epilepsy that affects around 1 in 19k people. Children with Dravet Syndrome can suffer from breathing problems during seizures, which can lead to brain damage if not treated. It can affect some kids very severely, leaving them with mobility issues.

Medical cannabis can also be prescribed to patients suffering from sickness and vomiting following chemotherapy, as it can be very effective in preventing nausea. However, a doctor won’t prescribe medical cannabis unless other treatments have failed.

Another condition where medical cannabis is helpful is in patients with multiple sclerosis. Cannabis medication Sativex can help MS patients with muscle spasticity issues that have not responded to other drugs. However, many NHS trusts won’t prescribe Sativex, as it is very expensive.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests medical marijuana is helpful for patients with chronic long-term pain, although there has not been enough research conducted to verify this.

Other conditions where medical marijuana is thought to be helpful include anxiety and depression, Crohn’s Disease, Glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, and eating disorders.

Buying Medical Cannabis

Getting a prescription for medical cannabis is not easy and most doctors won’t prescribe it unless all other avenues have been exhausted and the medical condition ticks the right box. For this reason, many people look online for their medical cannabis.

You can buy CBD oil and other medical marijuana products such as cheap weed seeds UK, but it is very important that you only buy cannabis products from reputable suppliers.

Many health food shops in the UK now stock CBD oil, but although it might be described as pure CBD oil, this doesn’t necessarily mean it contains a high concentration of CBD, the active ingredient. The lower the CBD, the less effective the product will be. In addition, poor quality products many contain unwelcome levels of THC, which can have an unwanted effect.

If you think you have a good case for medical marijuana, speak to your doctor for advice to see whether you are eligible for a prescription. Otherwise, look for high-quality CBD products from reputable suppliers and use with care.

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