FAQ

Q – Am i eligible for a medical cannabis card if i don’t have a prescription?

No you will need a valid UK doctors prescription to get your MedCannID card

Q – Can I travel with medicinal cannabis?

Travelling with medicinal cannabis is possible depending on the destination. Check the legality of cannabis in the country you are travelling to and contact the embassy in advance about travelling with your prescription medication. When travelling, ensure that the medication is kept in the original container, and bring a copy of your prescription, which you can ask for from your prescribing doctor.

Q – Can i be prescribed medicinal cannabis on the NHS?

Currently, certain cannabis based medicinal products can be prescribed for a number of conditions on the NHS. These are:

  • Sativex (THC:CBD spray) to treat moderate-to-severe spasticity in adults with Multiple Sclerosis who have not found other drug treatment to be effective.
  • Epidiolex (CBD isolate) alongside clobazam to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
  • Nabilone (synthetic THC) as an add-on treatment for intractable chemo-induced nausea and vomiting.

Patients with these conditions may find that they obtain greater relief from unlicensed, full spectrum cannabis based medicines, available on private prescription. While these medications can be legally prescribed by an NHS consultant, very few prescriptions have been written or funded within the NHS.

Q – How do I get a medicinal cannabis prescription?

If you are interested to explore the legal medical cannabis pathway for your condition, you can become a member of PLEA which will assist you with all your questions and support your journey .

As medicinal cannabis is only available for a very limited number of patients on the NHS, the majority of prescriptions are private and so incur costs. There are a range of clinics across the UK that can prescribe cannabis based medicines.

The following medical cannabis clinics are CQC (Care Quality Commission) regulated:

Independent prescribers may also be willing to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

You may require a referral letter from your current doctor, or you may be able to self refer with your medical records. When a referral has been received and accepted by the clinic, you will be able to book an appointment with a prescribing doctor. The doctor will review whether they think medical cannabis is an appropriate treatment, and prescribe appropriate medicines.

Private prescriptions are usually fulfilled at pharmacies that specialise in specials medicines. The clinic should suggest where you can send your prescription, but patients are able to have their medication dispensed at any pharmacy. However, dispensing fees and potential delays vary between pharmacies.

When the pharmacy has received your prescription, they will contact you for payment. On receipt of payment, medication will be dispensed and delivered to your address by courier.

At times, there are delays in receiving medication due to the complexities involved with importing and dispensing cannabis based medicines. Pharmacies should update patients on expected arrival times in the event of a delay.

Medical cannabis is available at a subsidised rate for certain conditions through Project Twenty21, from £150 per month for medication. More details can be found here.

Patients who are unable to afford the costs of a medicinal cannabis prescription may wish to apply for assistance from the Sapphire Medical Foundation, who fund grants to support the cost of a medical cannabis prescription.

Q – What can I expect at a medicinal cannabis clinic consultation?

At a medicinal cannabis consultation, the doctor will assess your medical history, current symptoms and quality of life. They will discuss whether medicinal cannabis might help your condition, and decide which product would be suitable and the dosage.

If you have previously consumed cannabis or CBD oil, you should feel comfortable sharing this with your doctor including:

  1. What has been most effective at managing symptoms (including THC and CBD dosage if known)?
  2. How this is taken – by oil, edibles, balm, smoking or vaporising?
  3. Any issues or side effects experienced from using cannabis previously

Q – How much does medical cannabis cost?

The cost of a medical cannabis prescription varies significantly, depending on the products prescribed and quantity required. Patients have reported this ranging from £30-1000+ a month. Patients should discuss cost limitations with their doctor, so that the most suitable and cost-effective medication can be prescribed.

Patients will also need to fund private consultation fees. These usually cost £100-200 for an initial consultation, reducing in cost for follow up appointments. When you have stabilised on your medication, doctors are often able to review less frequently and at a lower cost.

Medicinal cannabis is available at a subsidised rate for certain conditions through Project Twenty21, from £150 per month for medication. More details can be found here.

Patients who are unable to afford the costs of a medicinal cannabis prescription may wish to apply for assistance from the Sapphire Medical Foundation, who fund grants to support the cost of a medical cannabis prescription.

Q – Can I drive with medicinal cannabis?

Patients prescribed medicinal cannabis should not drive if impaired. Like many prescribed medications, the medication label will state that the medication may cause drowsiness and if affected, you should not drive or operate machinery. Patients should discuss driving with their prescription with their doctor.

If a medical cannabis patient were drug tested, they would likely have levels of THC above the legal limit in their system. If a patient exceeds the specified limit of a controlled drug when driving, it is a permissible defence if the patient has taken a prescribed drug as directed. (S.5A(3)b of the Road Traffic Act 1988).

Q – Can I go to work with medicinal cannabis?

Workplaces should provide suitable workplace accommodations for disabled employees who have a medicinal cannabis prescription. Patients with technical jobs should discuss this with their doctor.