Getting CBD On Prescription In The UK
CBD has become one of the most popular alternative therapies in recent years, owing to a combination of promising research and individual experience.
Many people who take CBD products claim that they feel less pain, fewer bouts of anxiety and get better sleep.
Today, there are numerous CBD products available online, including CBD oil. However, you can get stronger medications on prescription than you can buy over the counter.
Can I Get CBD On Prescription?
As science progresses, the medical establishment is becoming more open to the idea of prescribing CBD products for those in need.
The law in England and Wales now allows private doctors and those employed by the NHS to prescribe “cannabis-based medicinal products.” Cannabis-based medicinal products are low in THC, the chemical which makes cannabis users high, and high in CBD, the compound which gives cannabis its purported medicinal properties.
The current guidelines in the UK state that doctors on the General Medical Council’s specialist register can prescribe cannabidiol-containing products.
The decision to prescribe CBD will follow a multidisciplinary discussion. Typically, your doctor will speak with all of the people involved in your treatment to find out how you are progressing and where you’re struggling. If it appears that conventional approaches are not working in your case, then they may consider CBD a solution.
The reason that the law says that only specialists can prescribe CBD is to protect people. Specialists, the medical establishment believes, are in the best position to evaluate the evidence and determine whether the use of cannabis-based medicines will be useful.
If you want to get CBD on prescription, you need a valid medical condition from a doctor. It is not common for GPs to prescribe medicinal CBD in the UK, but there are circumstances under which they will.
You Are An Adult With Severe Nausea Or Vomiting From Chemotherapy
For some time now, researchers have believed that CBD may be useful in reducing the symptoms from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is toxic to the body and can lead to exhaustion and generalised pain.
Doctors may prescribe high-strength CBD products to patients who are suffering and struggling to cope with therapy and for whom traditional treatments are not sufficient.
Your Child Has Severe Epilepsy
You can also sometimes get CBD on prescription for your child. Early on in the science of CBD, researchers found that it appeared to reduce symptoms of epilepsy.
Modern medications sometimes aren’t effective, and so your doctor may recommend that your child uses CBD to control symptoms.
Get Stronger Concentrations Of CBD On Prescription
It is legal in the UK to buy CBD-based products over-the-counter without a prescription, either online or through a dispensary. However, there are limitations on the strength of these products.
While many people report benefiting from these freely-available products, some find that they aren’t as effective as they’d hoped.
Doctors on the General Medical Council’s specialist register, however, can prescribe high-dose CBD oil for a variety of ailments, including those discussed above. High-strength types may provide sufficient incentive to help the body move back to a state of balance and health.
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How To Get CBD On Prescription
CBD is not always the first medication that your doctor will offer. NICE guidelines state that doctors must first prescribe patients with the conventional medicines that are licensed for use with specific conditions.
For instance, if you go to your doctor complaining of severe side effects from chemotherapy, then your doctor will prescribe traditional first-line drugs to manage symptoms.
Sometimes, though, the drugs aren’t as effective as you’d hope and you may want to seek an alternative way to reduce your discomfort. You may ask your doctor, therefore, whether they’d consider prescribing CBD-based medicine.
Remember, if you want to get CBD on prescription, you need to have a genuine medical reason. Doctors, understandably, are reluctant to put people on high-dose CBD without a legitimate underlying medical cause.
While there might be plenty of plausible evidence for the efficacy of CBD from both patients and papers in the research literature, doctors are highly scientifically conservative. The reason that they usually do not prescribe CBD immediately is that there are not yet have randomised controlled trials proving its efficacy.
That is not to say that CBD is not useful or “unproven.” It’s just a consequence of the way that doctors are trained. Doctors fear to prescribe medications that have not been through the traditional verification process.
When it comes to CBD products, the science is still young, and researchers need more time to back up the claims of the many millions of people who use cannabis-derived products (check out this post for a list of scientific studies on CBD).
Is Prescription CBD Quality-Assured?
NHS England states that “no medicine is completely risk-free.” The NHS, however, follows procedures to ensure that it sources CBD-containing products from reputable suppliers, including those overseas.
At present, the NHS sources CBD products approved and licensed by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency).
The MHRA regularly inspects manufacturers to ensure that they remain compliant with health and safety practices and that the quality of their product remains high.
Can You Get Synthetic Cannabinoids In Prescription?
Synthetic cannabinoids fall into three categories:
- Those that are identical in structure to naturally-occurring cannabinoids, like THC and CBD,
- Those that are structurally similar to natural alternatives and mimic their effect in the body
- Those that look nothing like natural varieties, but still bind to the body’s cannabis receptors
Some products fall into the first category, but they are not licensed for use in the UK.
Nabilone is a licenced drug in the UK and falls into the second category.
None of the products in the third category are currently licensed for use in the UK.
So, in summary, yes you can get CBD on prescription in the UK, but you need a genuine medical reason before a doctor will prescribe it.
Furthermore, doctors can prescribe higher strength CBD than is available over the counter.
You may find that higher-strength varieties are more useful for managing your symptoms. If you believe that you might benefit from prescription-strength CBD, speak with your doctor to find out if you are eligible.
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