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What is Medical Cannabis

What is Medical Cannabis (Cannabis Based Medical Products)

What is Medical Cannabis? What is it used to treat?

Cannabis Based Medical Products (CBMPs) or Medical Cannabis are medications derived from the cannabis plant, containing cannabidiol (CBD) and/or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – which is the psychoactive substance in cannabis). In the UK medical cannabis has been legal since 2018 for the treatment of psychological, neurological, and chronic pain conditions as well as, palliative and/or end of life care: for sake of brevity a full list of conditions treated in the UK is highlighted in eligibility section of this website.

What’s the eligibility criteria?

With cannabis based medical products (CBMPs) being unlicenced, the census would be for patients to evidence unmet clinical needs i.e., their health is not improving despite having ongoing treatment or interventions via conventional healthcare services. It is important for all patients to recognise that due to cannabis containing a psychoactive substance, for the safety of potential patients, if you have any of the diagnosis listed in the exclusion criteria, you will not be eligible. We would advise these patients to liaise with their consultants at the NHS and explore an alternative treatment method to support their health needs.

Patients have a right to a second opinion, provided they do not have any counterindications listed in the exclusion criteria below. Patient’s must be over 18 years of age.

Exclusion Criteria?  

Like all medications, CBMPs is not advisable to use if you struggle from one of the following: –

  • Suffer with high BP (If this is not stable)
  • History of psychosis
  • Diagnosis of schizophrenia
  • Heart condition (Which has NOT been stable for 6+ months)
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding

What are the side effects of medical cannabis?

Side effects of CBMPs include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Imbalance
  • Euphoria
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety and/or Depression
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Psychological Dependence
  • Tolerance
  • Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS)

Adverse reactions include:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If you experience an adverse reaction, it is important that you report your symptoms to the MHRA via yellow card, who are the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency. To report a yellow card, please follow this link and fill out the form: Yellow Card | Making medicines and medical devices safer (mhra.gov.uk). It is also vital that you inform your clinic, to ensure this medication is not prescribed to you again in the future.

Cannabis dependence:

Cannabis dependence is known clinically as cannabis use disorder, and user’s of any form of medicines, including medical cannabis are prone to psychological dependency.

Signs of Psychological dependence include:

  • Not using medications as prescribed -> using more than required or larger dosages and/or more frequently
  • Withdrawal
  • Developed a tolerance and require more
  • Failed repeated attempts to control or stop use
  • Physical or psychological concerns related to use (i.e., respiratory concerns or fluctuation in mood)
  • Missing relevant appointments or work to use
  • Craving for purposes other than prescribed

If you experience any of the following, please get in touch with your prescriber, so that they may manage this concern accordingly.

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)

Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, also known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, can affect people who are exposed to prolonged, high doses of cannabis: this can also occur with medical cannabis use.

Signs of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome include:

  • Intense nausea and vomiting
  • Projectile vomiting (can happen without warning, up to 5x an hour)
  • Extreme Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Although this is uncommon, if you experience any of the following, please reduce use or stop where possible and urgently alert your prescriber. If symptoms are uncontrollable, please seek urgent medical intervention as you are at risk of dehydration.

Monitoring BP / Warfin prescription

Medical cannabis can for some people cause heart palpations, it is important that people with a history of high blood pressure or a heart condition to be mindful of this, particularly those on warfarin as cannabis can impact the liver enzymes, interacting with other medications. It is important that you work alongside your GP and relevant health care professionals to adequately address your heart.

If you are someone who meets this criterion, regularly monitoring your blood pressure would aid in ensuring your safety and enables you to appropriately reach out for support.

Blood pressure guidance:

Low 90/60 or below Inform GP and clinic, if unwell seek medical attention
Ok 90/60 – 140/90 Continue to monitor – update clinic at FUP appointment
Raised 141/91 – 179/119 Raised, monitor and inform GP and clinic
High 180/120 or more Significant risk, needs urgent review – update GP and clinic

 

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The Sanskara Platform Joins Forces with the NCVO: Elevating Medical Cannabis Advocacy

The Sanskara Platform Joins Forces with the NCVO: Elevating Medical Cannabis Advocacy

Dear Sanskara Community,

We are thrilled to share some exciting news! The Sanskara Platform CIC has recently become a proud member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). This is a significant step forward in our journey of advocating for patient rights and fostering positive change in the medical cannabis landscape.

Understanding the NCVO:

The NCVO is a leading voice for the voluntary sector in the UK. Established in 1919, NCVO champions the work of charities, community groups, and voluntary organisations, providing them with a platform to collectively address challenges and amplify their impact. This membership places Sanskara in a vibrant network of over 15,000 member organisations, ranging from small community groups to well-established charities.

The Value of NCVO Membership for Sanskara:

  1. Networking and Collaboration: Joining NCVO opens doors to a diverse community of organisations working towards social change. This network provides opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and building alliances within and beyond the medical cannabis sector.
  2. Advocacy Amplification: NCVO is a powerful advocate for the voluntary sector, influencing policies and decisions at the national level. By aligning with NCVO, Sanskara gains a stronger voice in shaping policies that directly impact medical cannabis patients and the industry.
  3. Capacity Building: NCVO offers a wealth of resources, training, and support to enhance the effectiveness and impact of voluntary organisations. This invaluable support will empower Sanskara to further its mission of educating, advocating, and supporting the medical cannabis community.
  4. Policy Engagement: As an NCVO member, Sanskara gains access to valuable insights on policy developments and changes affecting the voluntary sector. This knowledge is crucial for steering our advocacy efforts in a rapidly evolving medical cannabis landscape.

Implications for the Medical Cannabis Community:

Our membership with NCVO is not just a milestone for Sanskara; it’s a win for the entire medical cannabis community. It elevates the visibility of medical cannabis advocacy within broader discussions on healthcare, patient rights, and social well-being.

Looking Ahead:

As we embark on this exciting journey with the NCVO, we are filled with gratitude for the continued support of our community. Together, we will continue to strive for a future where medical cannabis patients are informed, empowered, and treated with the dignity they deserve.

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for being an essential part of the Sanskara family.

Warm regards,

The Sanskara Platform Team

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The UK’s First Medical Cannabis Roadshow: Empowering Patients, Educating the Public, and Normalising Medical Cannabis

Mark Your Calendar for the 26th and 27th of August, 2023!

Introduction

The UK’s medical cannabis landscape is evolving, and with it comes the need for greater awareness, education, and empowerment. We are excited to announce the launch of the UK’s first-ever ‘Medical Cannabis Roadshow,’ a groundbreaking initiative aimed at raising awareness, educating the public, healthcare professionals, and local authorities, and empowering medical cannabis patients. Join us on the 26th and 27th of August 2023 for two days of enlightening events at the Herbology Ltd CBD Store in Gillingham and the Good Vibes Cafe & Vape Lounge in Maidstone.

Raising Awareness and Breaking Stereotypes

The roadshow aims to break stereotypes and misinformation surrounding medical cannabis. With the help of passionate volunteers, we will reach out to the public, dispelling myths, and providing factual information about the benefits and responsible usage of medical cannabis. We believe that informed citizens make better decisions about their healthcare, and we are committed to spreading accurate knowledge.

Education: Empowering Healthcare Professionals and Patients

The roadshow will host a series of informative sessions, designed to educate healthcare professionals about medical cannabis, its applications, and the latest research. These sessions will create a bridge of understanding, encouraging more doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to eligible patients.

Furthermore, we will empower medical cannabis patients by providing them with essential information about their rights, access to medication, and guidelines on responsible use. Our goal is to ensure that patients have the confidence and knowledge to navigate their medical cannabis journey effectively.

Normalising Medical Cannabis in the UK

While medical cannabis has been legal in the UK since November 2018, there still exists a stigma surrounding its use. The roadshow aims to normalise medical cannabis by fostering an open and inclusive dialogue. We want to create an environment where patients can feel comfortable discussing their experiences and challenges without fear of judgment.

Event Details

Date: 26th August 2023 (Herbology CBD Store, Gillingham)
Time: 10am – 7pm

Date: 27th August 2023 (Good Vibes Cafe & Vape Lounge, Maidstone)
Time: 10am – 7pm

Get Involved!

The success of the Medical Cannabis Roadshow hinges on the support of volunteers like you. If you are passionate about empowering patients, spreading awareness, and making a positive impact on the medical cannabis community, we encourage you to get involved. Volunteers will play a crucial role in helping us reach a broader audience and ensure the smooth running of the event.

Join Us for a Milestone Event

The UK’s first Medical Cannabis Roadshow promises to be a milestone event that will shape the future of medical cannabis in the country. Together, let’s pave the way for a more informed, supportive, and compassionate approach to medical cannabis.

Mark your calendars, invite your friends, and be a part of this transformative journey on the 26th and 27th of August 2023. Together, we can make a difference!

For more information, to register as a volunteer or to donate to the cause, get in touch and contact us here

Let’s Ignite Change: One Roadshow at a Time!

Roadshow Partners

The UK’s First Medical Cannabis Roadshow: Empowering Patients, Educating the Public, and Normalising Medical Cannabis Read More »

Empowering GPs to ‘Protect our Patients’: Join the Campaign!

https://www.protectourpatients.co.uk/

In the realm of medical cannabis, a significant disparity exists between patients’ needs and their access to appropriate treatments. While progress has been made, with the UK government allowing specialists to prescribe cannabis medicines in 2018, a critical challenge remains: general practitioners (GPs) are still unable to prescribe this potentially life-changing therapy. As a consequence, a staggering 1.8 million individuals in the UK are compelled to turn to the illicit cannabis market for medical reasons. This is further exacerbated by the financial strain faced by those on low incomes, who struggle to afford private prescriptions. It’s high time we address these issues and embark on a transformative journey to protect our patients and enhance healthcare outcomes.

The ‘Protect our Patients’ campaign is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at rectifying the inequity surrounding medical cannabis prescriptions. Its core mission is to advocate for GPs to be granted the same prescribing rights as consultants, thus empowering them to effectively support their patients in need. By removing the existing barriers, we can ensure that every individual, regardless of their socioeconomic background, has access to safe and effective cannabis-based treatments.

In 2018, the UK government acknowledged the therapeutic potential of cannabis medicines and legalised their prescription. However, this progressive step fell short in one crucial aspect: GPs were excluded from the regulatory framework, limiting their ability to provide comprehensive care to their patients. This oversight has resulted in a significant gap in access to medical cannabis, forcing patients to navigate the illicit market or face financial hardship to obtain private prescriptions.

GPs serve as the first point of contact for patients, entrusted with their comprehensive healthcare. By granting them the authority to prescribe cannabis medicines, we open doors to a range of benefits:

  1. Enhanced Patient Care: GPs possess invaluable knowledge of their patients’ medical history and overall health. Empowering them to prescribe cannabis allows for personalised and holistic treatment plans, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
  2. Expanded Access: With GPs authorized to prescribe medical cannabis, patients would no longer be restricted to seeking specialized care. This democratization of access ensures that everyone can benefit from this therapeutic option, regardless of geographical location or referral requirements.
  3. Cost Savings: By enabling GPs to prescribe medical cannabis, patients from all walks of life will have access to affordable treatments within the public healthcare system. This will alleviate the burden faced by those currently reliant on expensive private prescriptions or illicit sources.

The time has come to bridge the gap in patient care and advocate for the empowerment of GPs to prescribe medical cannabis. Together, let’s protect our patients and ensure equitable access to life-changing treatments. Visit ProtectOurPatients.co.uk to learn more about the campaign, get involved, and be part

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