The UK could soon experience a tidal wave of accessible treatments for chronic illnesses and medical conditions, as a committee in England has called for wider access to “unlicensed” medical cannabis. With an increasing awareness of the potential of cannabis in the healthcare industry, the call for widened access to medical cannabis is sure to send shockwaves through the sector. read on to discover how this could affect people across the UK.
1. Improving Access to Medical Cannabis in the UK
As the UK’s attitudes toward cannabis are increasingly shifting, many organisations are pushing to improve access to medical cannabis. Here are two key steps proposed by proponents of legalized medical access:
Create a licensed cultivation and production industry. Creating a licensed system of cultivation and production would allow for the legal and safe distribution of medical cannabis. This would ensure users are receiving a consistent product free from contaminants, and also provide some assurance for medical professionals prescribing it. These systems could be modelled off of existing production and manufacturing guidelines.
Establish an advisory board. Establishing an advisory board to formally review and recommend policy changes related to medical access would provide guidance for government agencies and help integrate the new industry into existing regulations. The board could consist of representatives from the cannabis industry, research experts, medical professionals, and other impacted communities.
- Developing a legal framework for medical production and distribution.
- Establishing a formal advisory board for policy guidance.
2. UK Committee Calls for Wider Use of Unlicensed Drugs
A UK committee recently called for wider use of unlicensed drugs to address the country’s challenge in providing cost-effective treatments for conditions like cancer and cystic fibrosis. The committee’s report argued that patients should have easier access to such drugs and suggested amendments to existing regulations.
These recommendations seek to bring UK practices closer in line with those of other countries like France, Germany, Canada, and the US, enabling the quicker delivery of treatments and improved quality of life for patients. To that end, regulatory changes proposed by the committee include:
- Granting powers to the Ministry of Health to approve drugs on an emergency basis own its own, provided the guidance of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is taken.
- Compensating pharmaceutical manufacturers for supplying unlicensed drugs, either through a direct payment from the government or subsidies for related costls.
- A duty placed upon the government to set up a clear system for allocating drugs and managing a centralized process for making them available.
These proposed changes, the committee argued, would take into account the complexities and risks associated with unlicensed drugs and ensure that the patient’s journey is smoother and more equitable.
3. Understanding Unlicensed Medical Cannabis
The Plant and Its Varieties
Cannabis plants come in many varieties, each of which has its own unique characteristics. Sativa and indica are two of the most popular types, and hybrid plants are created by combining the two. Sativa plants are known for their euphoric highs, while indica plants induce a body-focused relaxation. Other varieties, like ruderalis and hemp, are also available.
At the same time, medical cannabis can come in many different forms. Flower (also known as bud) is the most popular way to get medical cannabis, but oils, tinctures, vapes, edibles and topical solutions are all becoming increasingly popular. Each form of medical cannabis has its own benefits and uses, so it’s important to understand the differences between them.
Benefits for Different Conditions
Medical cannabis has long been known for its wide-ranging health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and anti-anxiety properties. But it can also provide treatment for more serious conditions, such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer and more.
Unlicensed medical cannabis is often used to treat conditions that have not been studied extensively or approved by governmental medical organizations. It can also be used in conjunction with traditional treatments. In general, unlicensed medical cannabis is thought to be safer, more effective and more affordable than its prescription counterparts.
By understanding the differences between licensed and unlicensed medical cannabis, patients can make an informed decision about their health and well-being.
4. Future of UK Medical Cannabis Access in Question
The future of medical cannabis access in the UK is far from certain. There is much debate surrounding the viability of further loosening of regulations, and various associated concerns. While only certain individuals have access to medical cannabis currently and in limited circumstances, there are increasing voices calling for greater access.
On the one hand, advocates for medical cannabis access herald the relief it could provide for patients suffering from chronic and terminal conditions. Furthermore, they plea for the government to recognise the wealth of clinical evidence that supports the use of cannabinoids in treating medical conditions. On the other hand, experts cite worries about abuse of the system, confusion in the public’s perception of medical cannabis, as well as the need for further testing and research into the ideal dosage and side effects.
- Benefits of medical cannabis: Relief for chronic and terminal conditions, Clinical evidence supporting use in treating medical conditions.
- Worries: Abuse of the system, Confusion in public perception, Further testing & research required.
This latest call for the wider availability of the unlicensed medical cannabis in the UK shows that the discussion around its use is still ongoing. It remains to be seen how authorities will respond to this committee’s suggestion, but one thing is for sure – cannabis is increasingly being considered as a potential treatment option for many medical conditions, and with any luck, soon wider access will be available to those that need it.