The Home Office is set to relax rules over the prescription of cannabis oil across the UK, it has been reported, making it available to those with chronic pain within a month.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has reportedly approved the ‘rescheduling’ of cannabis-derived medicines in Parliament. An announcement is expected in the coming fortnight which will allow them to be prescribed without significant delays.
Currently, medicines of a cannabis origin are only prescribed in certain circumstances, after permission is granted by a number of medical experts. Specialist doctors, it is expected, will be able to prescribe for people suffering chronic pain, epilepsy, chemotherapy nausea or MS and patients will no longer need to try other drugs before gaining a prescription for cannabis-derived treatments.
Cannabis oil and other medicinal cannabis treatments do not produce a high. The component THD, found in recreational marijuana, is not found in medicinal cannabis treatments.
The Home Office in June allowed Charlotte Caldwell’s 12-year-old son Billy (who suffered from severe epilepsy) to keep medicinal cannabis treatments prescribed to him in America after they were seized at Heathrow Airport, the first sign the Government was taking a softer stance in these rules. England’s chief medical officer conducted a review on the similar treatments earlier this year. It is understood the review convinced the Home Secretary to relax the rules.
A Home Office spokesman recently told the BBC in a statement: “We completely sympathise with the families who have been facing desperate situations as they try to find treatment.
“In July the Home Secretary committed to swift action on behalf of those whose medical conditions could potentially be eased by cannabis-based products and we have announced that cannabis-based products for medicinal use will be available for specialist doctors to prescribe legally from the autumn.
“Any proposed course of treatment with cannabis-based medicine must be clinically led.”