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“Exceptional Clinical Need” – Understanding the UK’s Strict Rules for Prescribing Medical Cannabis

In the UK, medical cannabis has been legalised in a number of different ways over the past few years. In the past, cannabis was considered a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This meant that it was against the law to have or sell it. But in 2018, new rules made medical weed somewhat legal. In the UK, medical cannabis is currently allowed in the following ways:

Legalisation in 2018: The UK government announced in 2018 that specialist doctors would be able to officially prescribe medicines based on cannabis when they think the benefit is greater than the risk. This happened after well-known cases of kids with severe seizures whose conditions seemed to get better with medical cannabis. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, said that doctors could write prescriptions for weed if there was a medical need.

With these new rules, doctors can recommend medicines made from cannabis as long as they meet safety standards and have very small amounts of THC, the chemical that gets you “high.” The medicines can only be given by a specialist doctor, not a regular practitioner. The drugs can be given by doctors if they think the patient has a “unmet special clinical need” that can’t be met by licenced drugs.

The change to the law in 2018 was not very big. It didn’t make medical cannabis legal in a broad sense; it only let people use it in certain situations with a doctor’s OK. The use of weed for fun was still illegal.

At the moment, medical cannabis is only allowed in the UK if it comes from a reputable source and is prescribed by a specialist doctor. It’s up to the doctor to decide that the patient can’t get better with any other licenced drug. Access is still very limited because a lot of doctors still don’t want to recommend cannabis. So far, only a few hundred scripts have been written, according to estimates.

Only a few drugs made from cannabis meet UK standards. One of these is Sativex, which is used to treat multiple sclerosis. The vast majority of goods sold outside of the UK do not comply with medical cannabis UK law. It is still against the law for anyone to grow, own, or sell any kind of raw medical cannabis.

Problems and Disagreements: The change in the law was a step in the right direction, but there are still a lot of problems with getting medical cannabis. Campaigners say the rules are still too strict and that many people still can’t get the medicines they need to feel better. Here are some of the big problems that are still going on:

There aren’t many doctors who are ready to prescribe. Many say they don’t have enough training or information on cannabis drugs.

-The NHS doesn’t have enough money or formal standards for prescribing, so patients have to go to private treatment centres.

–It is said that the requirement to show that no other licenced treatments will work is not possible.

The price of private medications is too high for most people to afford.

-Since most goods can’t be made in the country, they have to be brought at high costs.

Some say that the benefits of full-plant extracts are missed when the focus is on CBD that is separated.

Some people are also worried that letting medical cannabis be used could lead to legalising it for fun. But the UK government says it has no plans to change the law so that cannabis can be used for leisure purposes.

What’s Next:
A number of recent events suggest that the UK may continue to loosen its rules on medical weed access. The government held a meeting in 2021 to talk about easing limits. Prescriptions through the NHS are set to start in early 2023. More legalisation in places like the US and Canada also makes people want things to change. While casual use will still be illegal, people who support patients want medical cannabis to be easier for more people to get, based on doctors’ decisions rather than a patient’s true need. While the UK’s stance is still changing, it doesn’t look like full legalisation will happen any time soon.