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There are many different ways for patients to access a medical cannabis recommendation in England, Scotland, or Wales. However, a medical cannabis prescription is normally given by a consultant psychiatrist or neurologist, rather than a GP.

The government says there are no plans to change the law anytime soon. But some doctors believe that medical cannabis could help people suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, cancer, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Step one: Choosing a clinic

There are around 20 clinics in England that offer medical cannabis prescriptions. Many people choose to go to a specialist clinic rather than a general practitioner because it offers better access to treatment and there tends to be less paperwork involved.

A good starting point would be looking into what other patients think of the clinic you want to use. You could ask friends or family members who have used the same clinic. If you don’t know anyone else who uses the clinic, you could try searching online for reviews of the clinic.

Step two: Complete an eligibility assessment

A summary of care record contains information about your visits to the surgery over the last 12 months, including what treatments you received and whether you met the criteria for referral.

This helps doctors assess if you are eligible for treatment. They can use it to make decisions about how much follow-up care they need. You might receive a letter inviting you to complete an online form to request a summary of your care record. If you don’t want one, you can ask your GP to cancel it.

Step three: Arrange an initial consultation

An initial consultation involves meeting with one of our doctors who will assess your needs. We will discuss your medical history, current health status, and treatment plan, and answer any questions you might have about cannabis use. This appointment typically takes around 30 minutes.

If you decide to proceed, we will send you a prescription for medication and instructions on how to fill it. You will receive a phone call within 24 hours to confirm your appointment date and time.

A consultation fee applies.

Step four: Choosing a pharmacy and paying for your prescription

The UK government recently announced plans to make it easier for patients to access medicinal marijuana. Under the proposed changes, patients will be able to obtain prescriptions from pharmacists rather than doctors. This move could help reduce waiting times for those seeking treatment, while also cutting down on unnecessary doctor visits. However, there are still some things you need to know about how to find a good provider.

Step five: Follow-up consultation

This step is important to ensure you continue to take the medicine as directed. You will see your doctor again soon to discuss how well your symptoms are improving and whether you still require antibiotic therapy. If you do not feel better after 2–4 weeks, it is likely that you will need another course of antibiotics.

Your doctor will ask about the following:

  • How much pain you are experiencing
  • Whether you are feeling tired or fatigued
  • Any changes in bowel habits
  • When you had your last period
  • Whether you have been menstruating regularly

How to access a cannabis prescription in the UK: step-by-step

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