Is medical cannabis legal?

The question is medical cannabis is legal is something we hear every day from new patients enquiring at our clinic, based in Chelsea, London. Prior to coming to us, our research found 74% of patients have accepted physical pain or discomfort while 51% have lived with a chronic health condition for over 5 years. This research supports that educating patients about how to access medical cannabis is vital, read on to learn more.

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The short answer is yes, medical cannabis is legal in the UK, but with certain restrictions and conditions. In 2018, the UK government legalised the use of medical cannabis for patients who have specific medical conditions and who have not responded to traditional treatments. You can learn about what conditions we treat here. This was a significant step forward for patients who had previously been unable to access this potentially life-changing treatment.

How do I access medical cannabis in the UK?

It’s important to note, medical cannabis is classed as a second-line treatment. This means patients need to have tried two or more prior treatments, therapies or medicines as prescribed by their GP or specialist to then be eligible for medical cannabis treatment.

Can I get medical cannabis via the NHS?

Medical cannabis via the NHS is incredibly limited and typically only prescribed in severe circumstances for rare epilepsy, vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy and certain cases of muscle stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis. The majority of patients who are helped with medical cannabis access their treatment via a private clinic such as Mamedica.

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Who can write a medical cannabis prescription?

The law specifies that prescriptions can only be written by a specialist doctor. You can learn more about our extensive team of specialist doctors here. Prior to your consultation, you will be matched with a doctor dependent on the condition you have selected in the eligibility form.

During your initial consultation, we encourage all patients to have a transparent conversation with their doctor about their condition, previous cannabis use and any queries they have surrounding treatment.

What types of medical cannabis are available with a prescription?

We offer every patient unrestricted access to one of the widest ranges of medical cannabis prescription options in the UK. This includes flower, oils and vape cartridges across THC, CBD and balanced profiles. Every prescription is EU GMP-certified, ensuring patients can trust they are receiving the highest quality medication, discreetly to their door.

Can I self-refer to a medical cannabis clinic?

Patients who are seeking medical cannabis treatment can self-refer to a private clinic or be referred by their GP. If you would like to self-refer, patients first need to check their eligibility via our form and then, if successful will need to choose from booking an initial consultation or requesting a call back with our clinic if they have any additional questions.

What is the legal status of cannabis?

It’s worth noting that medical cannabis is still a controlled substance in the UK, and there are strict penalties for anyone caught using or possessing it without a valid prescription.

So, while the use of medical cannabis is legal under certain circumstances, it is crucial that patients seeking this treatment follow the proper procedures and obtain their medication through legal channels. We also recommend all patients keep their prescription in its original packaging and have a copy of their prescription to hand, should they ever need to provide evidence.

What is the cost of accessing a medical cannabis prescription?

Our clinic fees to speak with a specialist doctor via online consultation are £150 for an initial and £75 for a follow-up consultation. Prescription costs are discussed separately during consultations, and we offer a wide range of medications to suit every budget.

For veterans or those on means-based benefits, we have created the Access Scheme to deliver unrivalled value to those who may not otherwise be able to afford medical cannabis.

In conclusion, medical cannabis is legal in the UK and available with a prescription for patients across a wide range of conditions. We hope, as awareness increases across the UK, more doctors and patients approach medical cannabis as a life-changing treatment for a number of people.