What is medical cannabis oil?
Medical cannabis oil is created by extracting cannabinoids from the plant, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), then diluting and combining them with a carrier oil. Medical cannabis oil can help longer, background treatment of symptoms when compared to vaporising dried medical cannabis flower, which offers a fast relief due to the method of administration.
A high percentage of our patients take their medical cannabis prescription in oil form.
How do you take medical cannabis oil?
The majority of medical cannabis oils come with an oral syringe. These will be marked so that an accurate dose can be measured. Medical cannabis oil is taken sublingually. This makes titration of medical cannabis oil easier when compared to vaporising dried medical cannabis flower.
However, taking medical cannabis oil orally, means the onset of action is slower. It’s also less predictable due to absorption factors in the GI tract. Taking medical cannabis oil sublingually bypasses the first pass effect, creating a more predictable absorption.
What can medical cannabis be prescribed for?
Medical cannabis can be prescribed for patients who have tried all of the available treatment options for their condition. If the available, or recommended, treatment options have not proven clinically beneficial, then a specialist prescriber can offer medical cannabis as a potential treatment or aid to manage their condition.
A specialist prescriber may consider medical cannabis for their patient if they have:
- Chronic pain, and conditions related to it, such as fibromyalgia
- A mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety
- Conditions that affect their nervous system, such as epilepsy or multiple sclerosis
- Conditions that affect their gastrointestinal system, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease
- Skin conditions that may be rare or difficult to treat
- The side effects of cancer treatment, in particular nausea or vomiting
As research continues, more conditions are being found to benefit from medical cannabis treatments.
How do I prescribe medical cannabis?
To prescribe medical cannabis you must be a specialist prescriber. You also need a unique controlled drug private prescriber identifying number issued by the NHS, and a pink prescription pad (FP10PCD).
You need to specify the formulation and the dose. It’s good practise to prescribe only a 30 day supply on one prescription.
As medical cannabis is a schedule 2 controlled drug, the prescription is valid for 28 days. You must send the original hard copy of the prescription to the patient’s chosen pharmacy for the medication to be dispensed.
It can take time to source and dispense medical cannabis depending on the formulation, so it’s recommended that you have a designated pharmacy to send prescriptions to.
If you cannot prescribe medical cannabis, you can refer your patient to a private medical clinic where there are specialist prescribers that can assess their suitability for medical cannabis. Your patient can also refer themselves to a medical clinic.
Is medical cannabis safe?
Medical cannabis is safe for human consumption because it is manufactured to EU GMP standards.
Curaleaf Pharmacy works with Rokshaw, a specials manufacturer for over 10 years, to ensure the medical cannabis we import or produce is high quality.
As with any medicine, medical cannabis can have side effects which should be recorded on the patient’s records and reported to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme.
Why choose us?
If you’re a healthcare professional and want to know more about medical cannabis, we’ve created some resources to help answer your questions.
We also want to make you aware that we provide services to help you and your patients access medical cannabis safely.