NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines

Information for Patients

MEDICINAL CANNABIS

On 1st November 2018 the UK Government announced plans to change the law to allow some cannabis-based medicines for medicinal use.  NHS England have published an information page on their website which patients may find useful. Please note that the guidance has been written specifically around how medicines are accessed in England which does not directly apply in Scotland, however, the principles are the same.

This guidance highlights that just because medical cannabis can legally be prescribed, the decision to prescribe needs to be based on solid published clinical evidence and it is only likely to be used for a small number of people with specific conditions:

  • Certain rare forms of epilepsy in children and young adults
  • Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy

Other conditions, including use for pain, are not considered to have enough evidence of benefit at the moment and are not recommended.  In addition, there are very few medicinal cannabis products which may be prescribed at the moment.

Additional note relating to Sativex® for Multiple Sclerosis

Patients should be aware that the recently announced change relating to medicinal cannabis does not change the situation relating to access to Sativex® for multiple sclerosis in Scotland (or England).  Sativex® is not recommended for use in NHS in Scotland by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). 

  • The SMC advice for Sativex® can be accessed HERE.

More general information relating to access to medicines can be found here.