For the first time in the UK, medicinal cannabis can be prescribed for adults with chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting who have not responded to other treatments without the need for a special licence.
Until today (1 November 2018), medicinal cannabis was only available in very specific circumstances and required doctors to apply for a special licence. Following a recent Government review, medicinal cannabis can now be prescribed by specialist doctors for conditions for which there is clear published evidence of its benefit for people who have no other licensed treatment option. This includes adults with nausea or vomiting caused by chemotherapy who have not responded to any licensed treatments. The decision to prescribe cannabis-based products for medicinal use must be made by a specialist doctor - not a GP - and will be made on a case-by-case basis.
The government review did not reclassify the legal status of cannabis. It is illegal to take, carry, grow or sell cannabis in the UK. Home-grown cannabis and cannabis bought illegally contain many active chemicals in unpredictable amounts. It is not safe to use instead of medicinal cannabis.