If you qualify and can afford access, the certainty of medical cannabis is a great way forward.

Legal Medical Cannabis is Mainstream, What are the Advantages?

Medical cannabis access

Medical Cannabis became available on the 1st of November 2018. There are some legal requirements that must be met before you can access Medical Cannabis. See if you qualify here. Legally qualified patients get significant advantages over the illicit market. Lets look at them:-

Medical Cannabis – the advantages Reaching the parts other medications can’t!

  1. Endocannabinoid system (ECS)
  2. – the engine management system of the body, the ECS first started to be mapped in 1988 when Professor Allyn Howlett at St. Louis University Medical School identified the CB1 receptor. The endogenous system was then painstakingly uncovered and discoveries are still being made today. The interaction of the ECS and Phytocannabinoids that come from Cannabis is, the primary reason that Medical Cannabis influences so many aspects of the body’s functions. The reason Certified Medical Cannabis can be more effective in working with the ECS is because of its consistency. Know what you are using!
  3. What is Certified production?
  4. – Medical Cannabis products supplied in the UK have to be certified and produced to a standard called EU-GMP to make sure it complies with pharmaceutical standards. The growing process has to be based on creating medical-grade consistency under GACP regulation or similar to ensure the purity of products. The UK is only just starting to develop its own widespread Medical Cannabis industry, this is surprising as the UK is one of the biggest Cannabis growers in the world. GW pharmaceuticals started in the UK and still uses British Sugar to grow Cannabis under contract to supply its production process for the market authorised medications Sativex and Epidiolex. These medications are currently the only MHRA market authorised use of Cannabis extracts. All other Medical Cannabis products are supplied as “Specials” and no marketing can claim any medical benefit.
  5. What is Consistency of production?
  6. – The UK requires that Medical Cannabis has been grown and produced explicitly to be a medicine. The aim of the growing and production process is to ensure Cannabis is produced to a consistent standard across batches grown over time. The active cannabinoid content can vary greatly if the growing variables change over different growth cycles.
  7. What is Certificate Of Analysis
  8. – the production or importation of Medical Cannabis in the UK means each batch that enters the supply chain has to have an attached independently produced certificate of Analysis (COA). The COA is an analysis of the medical product using machines such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and more advanced testing is coming on stream using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). The COA lists the Cannabinoid content, levels of heavy metal contamination, Microbial Counts and other contaminants to ensure product safety.
  9. Wide range of delivery methods
  10. – Medical Cannabis has over 100 products listed in the medical formulary. The range is from traditional Cannabis flower that has to be vaporised and offers the quickest onset for instant relief to Gel capsules you swallow like a traditional pill. The products available in the dispensary are developing all the time and will soon include transdermal patches that connect to your phone to give you personalised dosing.

Legal protection

  1. Be legal
  2. – a Medical Cannabis prescription is a legal access route to a medication that many find invaluable. The NHS is not currently, routinely prescribing Medical Cannabis due to Nice guidelines. If you can afford a Medical Cannabis prescription it is a legally prescribed medication that has legal standing. This means in interactions with Government, Corporations and individuals, your prescription gives you the same protection that any other legally prescribed medication offers and takes away the stigma and criminal element you can be threatened with. Driving, a Medical Defence – The current limit on driving with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in medical Cannabis is 2 microgrammes per litre of blood. This extremely low level of THC means there is a possible threat to your driving license if prosecuted. Please note it is a Criminal offense to drive while intoxicated if the intoxication impairs your ability to drive effectively. But the law does allow for a medical defence should you be charged, this is an important consideration when considering your options. Data saves lives
  3. Data-driven proof
  4. – one of the biggest benefits of Medical Cannabis is the data being created by patient evaluations. Project 2021 is now generating data that is beginning to empirically demonstrate the efficacy of the medicine in a range of conditions, that many have suspected for a while. The data-driven approach is proving more effective than using randomised placebo trials that have been traditionally used in medical research. Real World Data collection is now becoming automated and will power the next generation of personalised medicine.

    Avoid County Lines

  5. Illicit Markets
  6. – Cannabis has traditionally only been available from the illicit market for those looking for medical benefits. The move to allow Medical Cannabis means that many can now access the medicinal effects without funding organised crime and creating the issues associated with modern slavery, electricity theft that help fuel County lines. Many patients have resorted to growing their own but the problem becomes the consistency of medication over time and potential raids by law enforcement.
  7. Harm Reduction
  8. -obtaining access to medical Cannabis is currently an option of last resort for all. You need to have tried other medications before you can be considered for Medical Cannabis. This will change as the evidence grows, access to Medical Cannabis will be an option of choice similar to many countries in the world. The advice and education that happens in the prescribing process will help many people who currently use illicit market cannabis to find the right blend of Cannabinoids that helps their condition rather than potentially exacerbating it.