Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK by the Home Office in November 2018; yet only a handful of patients have managed to access it.

There is conclusive or substantial evidence that medical cannabis may be of benefit for several medical conditions including drug resistant epilepsy, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and nausea in cancer-related chemotherapy.

While not a first line treatment, medicinal cannabis may be useful where patients have exhausted all other treatment options.

But uptake among the UK medical community has been slow as many professionals are simply not educated or trained to use medical cannabis as a treatment option.

Prescribing has been limited to specialists only. We need to give GPs the ability to prescribe medicinal cannabis in the UK.

GPs are well placed to prescribe, as they are trained to monitor chronically ill patients, they see them regularly and are able to monitor their patients’ after care.

In the case of patients suffering from chronic pain, GPs are already allowed to prescribe a large array of other pharmaceutical options such as opioids. 

Meanwhile, there is a good economic argument that if medical cannabis has the potential to keep chronically ill patients out of hospital, then it could be cash flow-positive for the NHS.

Medical Choices UK was set up to provide much-needed education to health professionals about medicinal cannabis and advocate for its use as a treatment option.

We are running a series of scientific educational seminars across the country in September including on the following dates:

We have a number of qualified speakers including pharmacists, doctors, researchers, patient advocates and a cannabis economist.Visit www.mcuk.orgfor more details.

Sharlene Mavor is education coordinator / medical scientist at Medical Choices UK.

Get your 100% free subscription to Cannabis Health magazine

Cannabis Health is THE UK magazine covering cannabis medicine and wellbeing from every angle. It is affiliated with the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society and lists campaigner Hannah Deacon, leading expert Professor Mike Barnes and prominent doctor Dani Gordon on our editorial panel. For a limited time only, we are offering a free – absolutely no strings – annual subscription to the quarterly print title. You will  receive four issues, delivered with discretion to your address – with no hidden fees or obligation to pay beyond that. To repeat, this is a 100% free promotion available to the first 100,000 sign-ups.

Claim your free subscription now!