How to buy medicinal cannabis? Before this question can be answered the distinction between cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) must be made clear.
‘Medicinal cannabis’ is a broad term used to describe both cannabis and cannabinoids like CBD.
The cannabis plant contains a psychoactive ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – which recreational users take to get high.
Preliminary evidence suggests that cannabis also has positive medical benefits, such as reducing nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, treating epilepsy, reducing chronic pain and muscle spasms, and many others. In some countries, including the US and Canada, medicinal cannabis with THC is legal.
In the UK cannabis (with a high THC content) is a controlled drug as classified by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by specialist doctors in the UK as of November 2018.
The process to get a prescription is very stringent and it cannot simply be bought over the counter or online legally.
THC is a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 contained within a cannabis plant.
CBD is also a cannabinoid but contains little or no THC, so can be sold legally in the UK.
It is also believed to have positive medicinal effects, including relieving inflammation, pain control and reducing anxiety – although research into its health effects are ongoing.
CBD oil is soaring in popularity and can be bought in UK high street shops like Holland and Barrett.
Market research commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) estimates that the CBD market is currently one of the fastest growing wellbeing product categories in the UK. An estimated 300,000 people use CBD oil and the industry could be worth almost £1billion per annum by 2025.
CBD products, if advertised for these medical purposes, must be licensed.
They can still be sold if claims are not made about their medical benefits.
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