A really tiny good thing has happened. In 2018. Seriously. After the heartbreaking cases of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley – boys whose epilepsy would only calm down when treated with cannabis oil – hit the headlines, special measures were introduced to make their cannabis products available on a case by case basis. That's now about to change again, with the NHS able to widely prescribe cannabis-derived medicines from November 1.
This does not mean you can fake a bit of stress or back pain and come out with a prescription for medical-grade dope or some cannabis oil to use as a salad dressing, although the potential for use is surprisingly wide. There are no limits on the types of conditions that are eligible for treatment with cannabis products, nor will doctors have to seek advice from numerous layers of management experts before prescribing something.
The key limiting factor is that the say-so of a "specialist doctor" is required before anything cannabis related is prescribed, so badgering a GP for it won't work. The approval of a brain specialist or some such expert medical mind that has assigned to your healthcare is required, and everyone has to agree there's an "unmet special clinical need" that means a case can't be better treated by drugs that are already available.
Professor Ashok Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: "This news will be welcomed by many patients with serious health conditions. The prospect of a future where safe and effective licensed cannabis-based medicines can be prescribed to help relieve suffering is genuinely exciting." [GOV via Metro]
Image credit: Unsplash