About medical cannabis
Yes; all of the medication we prescribe is fully legal and regulated. The use of medical cannabis within the UK was made legal as of 1 November 2018 provided it is prescribed by a medical specialist who has taken into account the current evidence and guidelines alongside your particular diagnoses and conditions.
Medical cannabis can be used for symptom relief in a variety of conditions where other first-line medications and conventional drugs have failed, such as with many types of chronic pain conditions, neuropathic pain and psychiatric disorders.
If you are unsure whether you are a good candidate to benefit from medical cannabis, you have two options: you can see your own GP or specialist to discuss a referral to The Medical Cannabis Clinics for treatment or you can make an appointment with Dr Leon Barron. Dr Barron is able to assess patients who are exploring this option and, if you do not have a referral letter from your physician, Dr Barron can assess your case to see whether medical cannabis is right for you.
What is the difference between the products you prescribe and CBD oil I can buy online or in shops without a prescription?
CBD oils found without a prescription in the UK and Europe are made from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is strains of the cannabis plant that have been cloned and bred to remove the THC (or psychoactive content) to less than 0.2%. These products vary in cost and quality and are not regulated as medication so we do not recommend their use for medicinal purposes.
Medical cannabis that contains higher amounts of THC (the psychoactive content) carry a small risk of habituation and addiction if used daily for chronic use, but the risk is lower than with other classes of medications such as opioid pain medications and possibly lower than benzodiazepines for anxiety and sleep. Your medical cannabis specialist will monitor you closely for signs of addiction to minimize this risk and choose specific products with lower risk appropriate for your symptoms.
Our GMC registered specialists are experts in using medical cannabis and will choose your cannabis medicine care plan products after a comprehensive assessment including the main symptoms targeted, current medications, the pattern of your symptoms and lifestyle factors such as doing any safety-sensitive jobs. They will also monitor and adjust the medication on a regular basis to ensure the best effect with fewest side effects.
We hope that medical cannabis will soon become available for patients on the NHS. Although medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in 2018, only a handful of patients have secured NHS prescriptions since then due to multiple barriers. The Medical Cannabis Clinics enable appropriate access to treatment for people with unmet needs who are currently unable to access the treatment through the NHS.
Becoming a patient
Many medical cannabis products contain only trace amounts of THC, which is the chemical in the plant responsible for making people feel high. There are many indications showing that it is not necessary to have significant amounts of THC in order to achieve symptom relief. The goal of medical cannabis therapy is to provide this symptom relief while minimizing potential psycho-activity, which is very different than smoking cannabis recreationally. It should also be noted that recreational cannabis is generally much higher in THC and specifically cultivated to produce that high feeling.
We recommend that you speak with your insurance company to confirm whether your plan will cover the costs.
A referral letter allows The Medical Cannabis Clinic specialist to understand more about your condition, symptoms and treatment history from your specialist consultant, GP or other healthcare professionals involved in your care.
If you do not have a referral letter, you will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire and return it to us along with a 10-year medical summary, the results of any recent blood tests and any letters from specialists currently overseeing your care. Patients can obtain this information from their GP and specialists.
We will then contact you to discuss an appointment with our GP.
Treatments and prescriptions
This will vary depending on the specific prescription – some may be delivered the next day while other prescriptions could take up to 28 days.
There are no medications kept on-site at The Medical Cannabis Clinics locations.
If you have a letter of referral then please bring it to your appointment together with any details of existing or previous medications taken for your current condition.
The Medical Cannabis Clinic is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for patients. A chaperoning service is available on request. Please let us know, at the time of booking, if you require a chaperone for your appointment.
The Medical Cannabis Clinic in Harley Street is fully accessible.
If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch where we will do our best to assist you.