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Medical cannabis prescriptions FAQs

You might have questions around medical cannabis prescriptions, and we’re here to help.

Medical cannabis is available on prescription in the UK, and to get one you need to see a doctor that is a specialist prescriber.

You can see a specialist prescriber in certain hospitals or at a clinic that provides this service. If you need help with finding, or selecting, a specialist clinic please contact us.

You can get a medical cannabis prescription by seeing a doctor that is a specialist prescriber. You’ll need to get in touch with them through a hospital or clinic that specialises in prescribing medical cannabis.

Find out how to choose a medical cannabis clinic or how to get a prescription for medical cannabis using our guides.

Medical cannabis can be prescribed for many medical conditions, but only after you’ve tried the usual treatments for them. If you cannot take the usual treatment for a condition, or you’ve tried it and it has not worked for you, you may want to consider seeing a specialist prescriber. A specialist prescriber is a doctor that can help you decide if medical cannabis could be worth trying. Common conditions patients get a medical cannabis prescription for include:
  • Chronic pain
  • Mental health, such as depression or anxiety
  • Conditions that affect your nerves, such as epilepsy (seizures)
  • Conditions that affect your gut, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease
  • Skin conditions
  • Side effects from cancer treatment
To find out if medical cannabis might be right for you, speak to someone at a medical cannabis specialist prescriber clinic. To find out more, read our guide on how to choose a medical cannabis clinic . You can also speak to a doctor that is a specialist prescriber at certain hospitals or through a referral from your GP.

Your GP can prescribe medical cannabis, but only if they’re a specialist prescriber for medical cannabis.

It’s possible for a GP or pharmacist to prescribe follow-up prescriptions, called [repeat prescriptions], if a doctor that is a specialist prescriber agrees that they can. This is called a shared care agreement. However, you’ll still need to see a specialist prescriber to get your first prescription for medical cannabis, to see if it’s right for you.

You also still have to see your specialist prescriber for a follow-up review when required. They’ll ask how you’re getting on with your medication, and you can decide together if you need to change anything about your prescription.

To get a medical cannabis oil prescription, you need to see a doctor known as a specialist prescriber. These specialist prescribers are normally a hospital doctor or they are part of a clinic.

You need to have tried the usual treatments for your health condition before a specialist prescriber will consider medical cannabis oil as a treatment for you.

You can find out more about how to get a prescription for medical cannabis through our guide.

Medical cannabis oil is prescription only in the UK because of the current laws and regulations around its use.

When a medicine is prescription only, it means that a doctor needs to look after you while you use it. With medical cannabis, the UK law says that a doctor must be a specialist prescriber to give you medical cannabis oil on prescription. A specialist prescriber will guide you throughout your treatment with medical cannabis.

You’ll have follow up appointments with your specialist prescriber to check how you’re getting on with your medication. And you can contact them or the clinic for advice at any time to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

You can find out more about how to get a prescription for medical cannabis through our guide.

A medical cannabis prescription expires in 28 days, from the date the specialist prescriber writes on the prescription, due to UK laws and regulations.

Specifically, medical cannabis is part of a group of medications called schedule 2 controlled drugs. This means you must get the medication on the prescription within 28 days, or you will need to get a new prescription.

You can find out more about how to get a prescription for medical cannabis through our guide.

A repeat prescription for medical cannabis is a new prescription to help you get your next lot of medication. You’ll need a new prescription, such as a repeat, every 28 days to get more of your medication. This is due to the current laws and regulations around medical cannabis in the UK.

To find out how you can get a repeat prescription for medical cannabis read through our helpful step by step guide below.

How to get a repeat prescription for medical cannabis

You’ll need to put in a request to get a repeat prescription for medical cannabis, depending on the specialist prescriber clinic you go to. We recommend you put in a repeat prescription request at least 10 days before you plan to run out of medication. This gives the specialist prescriber clinic enough time to print, sign and post your prescription to your chosen pharmacy, such as Curaleaf Pharmacy.

The pharmacy needs to have the signed original prescription to dispense your medication. Once the pharmacy receives it, they can send you your medication.

Most pharmacies will ask you to pay for the medication before they send it to you.

You can find out more about How to get a repeat prescription for medical cannabis

The main medical cannabis products available on prescription are normally one of two types:

  • Dried medical cannabis flower
  • Medical cannabis oils

Dried medical cannabis flowers are also known as flos, which is the Latin word for flower.

Medical cannabis oil is used under the tongue, and dried medical cannabis flower is used in a vaporiser. A vaporiser heats up the dried medical cannabis flower, so it can release oils that you can then inhale.

On a medical cannabis prescription, the specialist prescriber will write the strength of active ingredients that need to be present in the medical cannabis product. The active ingredients in medical cannabis are THC and CBD.

At the moment, medical cannabis is not free on prescription. However, we understand that the cost of medical cannabis can be a barrier if you need treatment. You can apply for help with the cost by reaching out to a charity, such as the Sapphire Foundation.

Some clinics do offer free repeat prescriptions and reduced appointment prices, such as Sapphire Medical Clinic, to help reduce the overall cost. In exchange for this, they may ask you to fill in a questionnaire about your experience with medical cannabis. This information will help healthcare professionals, such as doctors, make decisions about the use of medical cannabis in future.

The price of your repeat prescription will depend on the specialist prescriber clinic that you go to. This is a separate cost to your appointments with a specialist prescriber.

There are some medical cannabis clinics that offer repeat prescriptions for free.

You pay for your medication separately with your chosen pharmacy, such as Curaleaf Pharmacy.

You need to send us the hard copy of your medical cannabis prescription to get your medication. This is due to the laws and regulations in the UK around medical cannabis prescriptions, because it is a schedule 2 controlled drug. Some specialist prescriber clinics will send the hard copy of your medical cannabis prescription directly to your chosen pharmacy, such as Curaleaf Pharmacy.

If you want to keep the hard copy of your medical cannabis prescription, it’s important to remember that you can only use it to get your medication within 28 days of the date on it.

After 28 days, the hard copy of your prescription will expire and you will need to get a new prescription from your specialist prescriber to get your medication.

You can keep a copy of your medical cannabis prescription with you, for example an email copy, photocopy or a photo. It can be helpful for you to keep a copy of your medical cannabis prescription that has:

  • Your name and address at the time
  • The name of your doctor that is a specialist prescriber
  • The address of the clinic where your specialist prescriber practices
  • The date that the prescription was written
  • The details of your medication, such as the strength and amount you were prescribed

If you live in Guernsey, there is a Channel Islands import and export process to get medical cannabis to you and it takes around two weeks.

Here are the steps that make up the Channel Islands import and export process:

  • Your clinic will email you with a copy of the medical cannabis prescription, and instructions on how to apply for an import licence. 
  • They will send the Guernsey authorities a copy of your medical cannabis prescription, a written transcription of the medicines prescribed, and the GMC number of the doctor (specialist prescriber).
  • You, or normally the clinic, then need to send the original copy of your prescription to Curaleaf Pharmacy.

  • Once Curaleaf Pharmacy receive your prescription, they will send you a payment link to pay for your medication.

  • Next, you apply for an import licence. On your application you have to put the prescription reference number (this will be different every time, as each prescription is unique).

Use this as the consignor address for Curaleaf Pharmacy:
Curaleaf Pharmacy
Unit 7 Rivergreen Industrial Estate 
Sunderland
SR4 6AD

You can find out more about how to obtain a licence to import medical cannabis products to Guernsey from the UK on the official gov.gg website.

  • You pay for the import licence and delivery charge.

  • After you receive the import licence, send it to Curaleaf Pharmacy.

  • Curaleaf Pharmacy will then apply to the Home Office and the MHRA to approve the export of medical cannabis from the UK to Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

  • Curaleaf Pharmacy will then export your medical cannabis from the UK, so it can be imported and delivered to your address in Guernsey.

Get in touch

If you have any other questions about medical cannabis, you can ask us by filling out a free online form.