Monthly Archives: August 2019

Medical Cannabis ‘A Lifeline for Patients’

The Medical Cannabis Clinic ‘a lifeline for patients’

This week, The Medical Cannabis Clinics spoke to the BBC about access to medical cannabis as we await registration from care regulators the CQC, for our flagship Harley Street clinic.

Although medical cannabis was legalised in the UK last year, only a handful of patients have secured access due to multiple barriers on the NHS. With over 150 patients now on our waiting list, we are doing all we can to enable appropriate access to consultations and treatment for people with high unmet needs who are unable to access treatment on the NHS.

Watch the clinic’s Medical Director, Professor Michael Barnes and ECH Medical Patient Advocate, Hannah Deacon talk to the Victoria Derbyshire Show about the evidence for medical cannabis, and the access we’re trying to provide across the UK.

We hope that medical cannabis will soon be made available to patients on the NHS, despite the additional barriers created by NICE’s interim guidelines published this month. We remain committed to doing all we can to ensure that patients in need can get the treatment they deserve.

For now, The Medical Cannabis Clinics will remain a lifeline for patients, enabling appropriate access to treatment for people with unmet needs.

Evidence for Medical Cannabis

Understanding the evidence for medical cannabis treatments

People living with complex conditions and doctors prescribing treatments for patients have many questions about medical cannabis. Perhaps one of the biggest questions is if medical cannabis medicine works, and how well the evidence supports this.

What’s the evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicine?

When it comes to the evidence of the efficacy of medical cannabis treatments, we can class it as strong, mild to moderate and limited. There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of medical cannabis for anti-nausea in chemotherapy and radiotherapy, epilepsy and seizures and there is moderate evidence of its reliability for treating addiction and gastrointestinal conditions. 

Strong evidence

There is a wealth of research backing the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of conditions and symptoms including: 

  • Medical cannabis for nausea in chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Medical cannabis treatments for antispasmodic activity
  • Medical cannabis for Tourette’s and tics
  • Medical cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy, specifically Dravet Syndrome.

Moderate evidence 

Medical cannabis is also useful for the treatment of these conditions, and many case studies and patient testimonials support it, but the evidence backing it is not as strong. The conditions and symptoms suitable for medical cannabis treatment are as follows;

  • Medical cannabis for addiction
  • Cannabis-based medicines for mood stabilisation
  • Medical cannabis for gastrointestinal conditions
  • Medical cannabis treatments for Autism

Limited evidence 

There is a growing range of case studies demonstrating positive patient experiences of the following conditions and symptoms, but not as much evidence to the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating the following conditions:

  • Medical cannabis for motor neurone disease 
  • Cannabis-based medicines Huntington’s and other physical tremor and spasticity symptoms

Further emerging research is ongoing about the usefulness and applicability of medical cannabis in treating ailments such as cancer-related treatments including post-operative and surgery-related nausea and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The latest evidence for medical cannabis treatment can be found via the Evidence Base at The Academy of Medical Cannabis. 

Become a patient at The Medical Cannabis Clinics 

If you are considering medical cannabis as a treatment option for yourself or for a family member, the specialists from The Medical Cannabis Clinics can provide expert guidance, consultations and treatment. 

You may want to read the FAQs and Information for Doctors for more information about becoming and referring a patient to The Medical Cannabis Clinics. Click here to book an appointment with one of our specialists.