CBD and THC can affect how other medicines work. Always discuss possible interactions with a specialist.
Possessing cannabis is illegal, whatever you’re using it for. That includes medical use unless it has been prescribed for you.
It is licensed in the UK for people with MS-related muscle spasticity that has not got better with other treatments.
What are the side effects?
It would only be considered when other treatments were not suitable or had not helped.
Cannabis bought illegally off the street, where the quality, ingredients and strength are not known, is the most dangerous form to use.
After taking medical cannabis, it’s possible to develop any of the following side effects:
And some cannabis-based products are available on prescription as medicinal cannabis. These are only likely to benefit a very small number of patients.
In the UK, cannabis derived products containing more than 1mg of THC are considered illegal unless it holds authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). MHRA authorisation for medicinal use of a chemical or drug requires the drug to demonstrate safety and benefit in well designed, randomised studies usually against placebo (dummy therapy) or current gold standard therapy, as well meeting stringent pharmaceutical quality standards.
Known side-effects of cannabinoids determined from clinical trials include sedation, appetite suppression, diarrhoea, dizziness and abnormal liver function.
There are different types and concentrations of cannabinoid oils, some of which are currently illegal.
What are the legal issues of buying and/or using cannabinoid oil?
Everyone at GOSH recognises that parents and carers only wish to do the best for their children. This sometimes involves using complementary and/or alternative medicines and therapies.
The cannabis plant is very complex and is thought to contain over 100 different cannabinoids. Current focus falls on use of two specific cannabinoids found in cannabis:
Cannabinoid oils available either in the UK or internationally over the internet or in health food stores, at present, may contain CBD alone in varying strengths, THC alone in varying strengths or may contain a combination of both and other cannabinoids in varying ratios. Legality of the cannabinoid oils available is outlined below but may vary across international borders. Formal testing has shown that what it says on the bottle is not always reliable as there may be no quality assurance testing.
This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) describes the approach we take to cannabinoid (cannabis) oil. It has been compiled by the Palliative Care Team, Safeguarding, Social Work and Complex Epilepsy teams at GOSH.Note: This information does not apply to Epidiolex® a prescribed cannabinoid medication for complex epilepsy.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is having a moment.
There are two cannabis-based medicines in the UK, which contain both CBD and THC.
1 /13 Cannabis around the world
Used in everything from snacks to moisturisers, products containing CBD (including oils, extracts, etc) seem to be everywhere.
It doesn’t disrupt the central nervous system because it doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other key compound in cannabis which causes users to get high.
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