What Illnesses Qualify for Medical Cannabis in the UK?

The recently released draft NICE guide for prescribing cannabis-based medicines is unfortunately more restrictive than the initial position of the NHS. They only recommend prescribing nabilone, a synthetic drug containing THC, for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, and explicitly state that no cannabis product should be prescribed for chronic pain, unless it is part of a clinical trial. However, 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, as well as cannabis for depression. Before the publication of the NICE guidelines, very few patients had been prescribed CBPM through the NHS.

As a result, many patients have turned to the private health sector, which is not subject to the same financial restrictions as the NHS. Private specialists, doctors and doctors at medical cannabis 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. An estimated 1.4 million Britons use illicit cannabis for medical purposes, despite the fact that non-medical cannabis is considered a class B drug in the United Kingdom.

He also completed his training through the Society of Medical Cannabis Clinicians and obtained a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. A national legal medical cannabis program in the United Kingdom could have taken much longer to materialize if it weren't for the prominent cases of two young children, Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, both with serious and intractable types of epilepsy. Medical cannabis can help control pain, in addition to improving sleep so that the patient experiences less mental confusion and fatigue the next day. Chronic pain affects up to half of cancer patients during treatment, and a prescription for medical cannabis could help control it without or with opioids. The Cancard is a credential that can be shown to a police officer to indicate that the person is using cannabis for medical reasons. Patients with medical cannabis discover that THC helps reduce nausea and vomiting and can help them maintain their appetite.

Of course, 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. Medical cannabis would only be prescribed when it was considered to be in your best interest and when other treatments hadn't worked or weren't adequate. In effect, this means that if the medical specialist prescribing it believes that there is sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment for a particular condition, he can prescribe medical marijuana. We must also take into account the general lack of knowledge within the NHS about the use and effectiveness of medical cannabis.

Conditions which qualify for medical cannabis in the UK

Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana in the UK
Associated with Pain:

  • Arthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS)
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain (MSK)
  • Neuropathic pain or nerve pain

For Neurological Conditions:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cluster headaches
  • Epilepsy
  • Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)
  • Migraines
  • Motor Neurone Disease (MND)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Tremors
  • Stroke

For Psychiatric Conditions:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Appetite disorders like Anorexia
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Insomnia or sleep disorders
  • Major Depressive Disorder (Depression)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder or social phobia
  • Substance Use Disorder

For Gastrointestinal Conditions:

  • Crohn's and ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Associated with Cancer:

  • Cancer-related anxiety
  • Cancer-related appetite loss
  • Cancer-related depression
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

For Palliative Care:

  • Palliative care pain
  • Palliative care anxiety

Some Other Conditions:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME
  • Restless legs syndrome

Sarah Knight
Sarah Knight

Introducing Sarah, the voice behind the CBPM UK Medical Cannabis Blog. As a passionate advocate for medical cannabis, Sarah shares her journey as a patient, exploring its therapeutic potential and the evolving landscape of cannabis-based treatments in the United Kingdom. Her firsthand experience and dedication to providing well-researched information make her blog a trusted resource for those seeking insights into the world of medical cannabis in the UK. Join Sarah as she sheds light on the benefits, regulations, and stories of patients like herself, navigating the path to improved well-being through medical cannabis.

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