a last line treatment option
Cannabis-based products can help people that have already tried licensed medicines which have failed to meet their clinical needs.
What to expect at SW11 clinic?
An initial eligibility consultation is performed via phone call with one of our experienced staff members is free of charge.
– If eligible, you will be referred to one of our specialist consultants for an initial consultation which will last around 45 minutes
– In this consultation, your prescribing consultant will look at your presenting symptoms and your medication history to determine whether you are suitable for a medical cannabis prescription
– If treatment is commenced, you will be written a medical cannabis prescription
– You can choose to take this to a pharmacy of your choice or leave it with the clinic who will process your prescription via an online pharmacy
– The prescribed medical cannabis product will last you around a month
– You will have regular follow up consultations with your doctor at monthly intervals until your dose is stabilized
– Once you have found a stable dose you may be able to see your consultant at longer intervals
We all have an endocannabinoid system and produce our own ‘cannabis like molecules’. The endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator it is responsible for promoting sleep, appetite, stress reduction and modulation of pain.
Medical cannabis acts as a result of the Phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant acting on the bodies endocannabinoid system to produce an effect.
There are two main cannabis chemicals known to have the most medical benefit; THC and CBD.
Medical cannabis with different ratios of THC & CBD is prescribed for particular conditions and symptoms. This will be decided upon assessment with your consultant.
The most widely studied cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Most medical cannabis preparations contain a combination of both THC and CBD in various ratios.
There are many ways to take medical cannabis. Oils can be taken under-the-tongue, or there are capsules, topical creams, or dried flower for vaping. Smoking is not allowed.
Cannabis oil provides a better background relief all day long when taken 2 to 3 times daily.
Cannabis oil taken orally has a slow and gradual onset of effects, when compared to inhaled cannabis.
Vaping is usually for “breakthrough” symptoms when a quick result is needed, as vaping effects come on quickly (in minutes) but last only about 2 to 3 hours.
This medicine may make you feel sleepy. Do not drive while taking this medicine until you know how it affects you. Do not drive if you feel sleepy, dizzy, unable to concentrate or make decisions, or if you have blurred or double vision. If this happens do not drive or use tools or machinery. Do not drink alcohol.
For further information please visit www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law
All medicines can have side effects. Patients generally tolerate medicinal cannabis well. Low doses are usually sufficient and side effects are therefore relatively rare. Side effects occur mainly with higher doses or with the simultaneous use of a substance that enhances the side effects (such as alcohol).
CBD is generally very safe, but can give some people stomach upsets, diarrhoea, dizziness and tiredness.
THC has more side effects, and these can include dizziness, disorientation, drowsiness and dry mouth. Slow increase of your dose will help to reduce the risk of these side effects.
It is mainly the higher THC products that produce more troublesome short-term effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, disorientation, euphoria and confusion. Patients, on higher THC products especially, should be warned not to drive or operate heavy machinery whilst under the influence of side effects of a cannabis product.
When travelling, there may be restrictions about what you can bring in or take out of the country you’re travelling to and from. Cannabis is highly regulated and may not be legal to possess in some countries, even with a doctor’s prescription. Please consult the following before travelling with Cannabis www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs
Medical Cannabis Consultations
Medical cannabis (medical marijuana) has emerged as an important and complex ‘new’ therapeutic option for patients with a variety of medical conditions. Our medical cannabis specialists will offer cannabis and CBD consultations available to anyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
Is Medical Cannabis legal?
In the UK medical cannabis was rescheduled in November 2018 from a controlled drug Schedule 1 to a controlled drug Schedule 2, allowing it to be prescribed by specialist doctors for eligible patients.
What can medical cannabis be used for?
There are no specific licensed indications for medical cannabis treatment, but it is most commonly used to treat chronic pain conditions, multiple sclerosis spasticity, psychiatric conditions e.g. anxiety/PTSD and epilepsy.
psychiatry conditions / ADHD etc.
What is Medical Cannabis?
Medical Cannabis is an unlicensed medication available in the UK as a prescription medication. Cannabis has been used as a medicine used for thousands of years by humans to treat a wide variety of conditions. Medical cannabis has two active components known as CBD and THC. These are available in different ratios depending on the condition being treated.
What is in my medical cannabis?
Many Medical Cannabis products are a full-spectrum plant extract. This means it contains not only THC and CBD, but also minor cannabinoids, terpenes and other plant compounds. Many Medical Cannabis oils also contain medium-chain triglyceride, a food-sourced oil derived from coconut or palm kernel oil.
How does Medical Cannabis work?
Medical cannabis acts on our cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, these receptors are part of our endocannabinoid system which acts as our body’s ‘regulator’.
Is it the same as over the counter CBD?
Over-the-counter CBD is usually derived from hemp. Hemp contains high levels of CBD and very little other cannabinoids and few of the other components, like terpenes and flavonoids. It is thought by many that these other components are essential to produce the full medical benefit of the plant (the entourage effect).
Who is suitable for Medical Cannabis?
The UK law currently requires you to have tried other medications for your condition which have not worked or there is an intolerance to your analgesics. Medical cannabis is a last line treatment option after you have exhausted all other available licensed and off-label medications for your condition.
Who can prescribe Medical Cannabis?
Medical Cannabis is an unlicensed medicine and needs to be initiated by a consultant on the GMC specialist register within their area of expertise, in the management of chronic conditions. In our clinic we have 2 consultants.
Can I drive while taking medical cannabis?
THC can cause impairment for driving whilst the intoxicating effect is still present, so avoid driving (or other hazards such as operating machinery) whilst under the influence. There is a legal limit for THC (2 micrograms per litre).
THC can be detected in the blood for days after the effect has worn off because THC is stored in fat cells so, it is possible to be over the legal limit even though you do not feel impaired. It is a good idea to carry a copy of your prescription at all times.
What is the difference between recreational cannabis and medical cannabis?
Do I still need to take my other medication?
You should continue to take all your other medication unless instructed to stop by your prescribing clinician.
Once at home, your product should be safely stored as indicated by the patient information leaflet and out of the reach of children or pets. Always follow directions for storage on your Medical Cannabis label as this may change depending on the product you have been prescribed. To avoid leaking, products should always be stored upright with the lid securely tightened.