Where can you Buy Medicinal Cannabis?

Liz Filmer
30 Nov 2022

You can't just buy medicinal cannabis in the Uk. Here are the steps you have to take to get hold of it. The NHS takes a conservative approach to medicinal cannabis prescriptions in the UK. The NHS website has clearly defined the limited conditions they would consider treating with medical cannabis. 

  • Severe forms of epilepsy that respond to cannabis-based medicine

  • chemotherapy-induced vomiting or nausea.
  • Spasticity is caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) or muscle stiffness.

The NHS will only consider cannabis-based medicines if other medications haven’t worked. They predict that only a very few UK patients will be eligible through the NHS.

Specialists at private medical cannabis clinics in the UK can act more freely when treating conditions with cannabis. Often they have a deeper understanding of how CBPM and how may treat the disease they specialise in

If the specialist decides that the best treatment is a CBPM, they can discuss the products that may be best for you. They will often refer you to a partnered pharmacy with a special license to fulfil a cannabis prescription in the UK.

Your GP is the best person to discuss whether CBMP may affect any other medication you are on. Legally they cannot prescribe cannabis-based medicines themselves. Still, they can refer you to an NHS specialist or a private consultant who can prescribe you a CBPM.

Private and NHS Specialists will want to see your medical records to make an informed decision. These specialists will often feel more comfortable prescribing cannabis-based medicine to patients who have unsuccessfully tried at least two standard treatment options.

Any medicine containing psychoactive THC is classified as a CBPM or a ‘cannabis-based product for medicinal use’. Cannabis is a controlled schedule 2 drug in the UK, meaning it is illegal to possess without a legal prescription or licence.

Pharmacies need a special license to stock and supply CBPMs, so not every pharmacy can fulfil a medicinal cannabis prescription in the UK. Private clinics often work with a specifically licensed pharmacy partner who will stock the recommended product you’ve chosen with your specialist.

cannabis products available to buy without a prescription?

The most common cannabis-based products available to buy without a prescription contain high amounts of CBD without any THC. 

CBD has been linked with pain and inflammation reduction as a treatment for anxiety. Because CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, it isn’t currently controlled as a Class B drug in the UK like THC-based medicines. You can legally buy products containing it as a food supplement without a prescription. The market is increasing, with CBD-infused drops, edibles, cosmetics, drinks, balms and even pet foods widely available.



Liz Filmer