1: What Medical Conditions can Medicinal Cannabis be used to Treat ?
Please note there have only been a limited number of well-designed clinic trials on medicinal cannabis. Cannabis may be a useful medication in a multitude of chronic medical conditions where conventional treatments have failed. These include (but are not limited to):
- Chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and nerve pain conditions
- Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia, and PTSD
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
- Palliative care settings
- Autoimmune disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraine headaches
- Sleep disturbances(Insomnia)
2: Can Medicinal Cannabis make me feel ” High ” ?
A common concern for patients is that medical cannabis will make them feel euphoric or ‘high’. In clinical practice however, this is not what we are trying to achieve. The main goal in using medical cannabis is to achieve good relief of symptoms without producing a ‘high’, and ideally doing it with minimal or no side effects. This is accomplished by starting at low doses and slowly titrating up to effective therapeutic levels. Our doctors will conduct a thorough assessment of patients and will prescribe the most appropriate dosage based on symptoms.
3: Is Medicinal Cannabis Addictive ?
There is some evidence in the scientific literature to suggest that cannabis has a low risk profile for addiction, with lower rates of addiction in regular cannabis users than in users of alcohol, tobacco, and even caffeine.Over time, escalation in dose is not generally needed, and often patients can maintain a stable daily dose for many years unlike people on opioids treatment for their chronic pain.
4: What are the common side effects of using Medicinal Cannabis?
Serious adverse events are rare with medicinal cannabis.Most side effects come from its THC component. Potential common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Headache and visual disturbance
- Cognitive effects
Combining CBD and THC can further reduce the THC side effects.
5: Will I develop tolerance to Medicinal Cannabis?
Interestingly, medical cannabis users tend to quickly develop tolerance to its side effects (over a few days), but not to its beneficial effects. So over time, escalation in dose is not generally needed, and often patients can maintain a stable daily dose for many years.
6: When should I not use Medicinal Cannabis?
It is not advisable to take medical cannabis while pregnant or breast feeding. Also, children, teenagers, and patients with a history of psychosis/schizophrenia,or unstable lung or heart disease should avoid products containing a cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
7: Does Medicinal Cannabis interact with other Medication?
Most interactions occur when cannabis is combined with medications that can cause drowsiness. As THC can have sedative effects, adding it to other medications can compound the risk of sedation. Drug interactions will be discussed during the assessment.
8: How does Medicinal Grade Cannabis differ from high street products?
Firstly, street-sourced products can fluctuate wildly in potency from one batch to another which makes consistent dosing and titration difficult to achieve.
Secondly, street-sourced products can often be contaminated with bacteria, moulds, heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides that can be harmful when consumed. Therefore, we would strongly recommend using a pharmaceutical-grade cannabis medicine that also provides you with an exact grade and quality of CBD and THC product. This would ensure there is consistency of product, along with a guarantee that it is grown under sterile and contaminant-free conditions.
9: How do I know what the Right Dose of Medicinal Cannabis is right for my Condition?
The sensitivity of each person’s underlying endocannabinoid system is highly variable. Thus, medicinal cannabis should be considered a personalized medicine. There is no single type of product, dosage, or mode of delivery that is optimal for everyone. We recommend speaking to your doctor to figure out a treatment plan that is right for you.
10: How do I take Medicinal Cannabis and when should I feel the effects of the Medication?
Medicinal cannabis can be taken in a variety of ways depending on the clinical indication. These include:
• Oral – e.g. through a spray, oil drops, or capsules
Oral preparations/sprays are absorbed more slowly and take around 30-90 minutes to take effect. Peak effects occur around 2-4 hours and can last for up to 8 eight hours or more.
• Vaporization – e.g. by using a specialized medical device that heats the cannabis flowers and causes the release of cannabinoids into a vapour form, which is inhaled.
Vaporization results in rapid absorption into the body, with first effects occurring within 90 seconds, reaching a peak after 15-30 minutes, and can last 2-4 hours. This method is best used where a rapid onset of action is desired.
• Topical – patches, gels, or creams
The smoking of cannabis is strongly discouraged as this can create an abundance of toxic compounds that can cause cancer.
11: Can I Drive while taking Medicinal Grade Cannabis?
It’s illegal in England, Scotland and Wales to drive with legal drugs in your body if it impairs you’re driving. Under section 4 of the road traffic act 1988, it is an offence to drive,attempt to drive or be in charge of a vehicle while unfit because of drugs. However section 5A of the road traffic act 1988 allows for the taking of medicinal cannabis as long as the driver can show that the drug has being prescribed or supplied for medical purposes and that the drug has being taken in accordance with the doctor’s instructions.
The clinic advices that the following rough time frames before driving after using Medicinal Grade Cannabis.
-4 hours after inhalation
-8 hours after oral ingestion
12: Is Medicinal Cannabis Expensive and what are your Fees ?
As medicinal cannabis is an unregistered medicine, it is not covered by medical aids.
Most patients can expect to pay between £5 to £10 per day for medicinal cannabis but it ultimately depends on the dose and frequency.
At Panacea Pain relief clinic, we pride ourselves in providing a high-end comprehensive service in all aspects of cannabis-based treatment. We understand that it can be hard to find good, reliable information in the medicinal cannabis space. Therefore, we have made it a priority to provide in-depth education to our patients so they can make an informed choice regarding their treatment.
At the initial consult, we conduct a thorough evaluation of your medical history, and based on your situation, we tailor a specific treatment plan to your needs. This first consult will take approximately 30 minutes and initial cost for this consultation is £165.
Subsequent follow-up appointments will usually incur of £110 depending on the services rendered.
DUE TO CORNOVIRUS WE UNDERSTAND THESE ARE CHALLENGING TIMES THEREFORE WE OFFER CONSULTATION SERVICES OVER THE TELEPHONE AND VIDEO CALLS VIA ZOOM (TELEHEALTH) .
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