Cannabis medicine

Mesothelioma UK has been asked on a number of occasions about the benefits of cannabis medicine for people living with mesothelioma. Whilst there is no evidence exploring their use specifically in mesothelioma, we thought that we would reach out to Patrick Kendall from Grow Pharma to explain a little more…

Since November 2018, private specialist consultant doctors in the UK have been able to legally prescribe cannabis-based medicine products (CBMPs) to patients they feel will benefit from these treatments. Public awareness and knowledge of these medicines, their applications in terms of what symptoms they can help to manage and general understanding about their availability is still low.

There is a constant flow of new research into the uses and application of cannabis medicines. The evidence to support their benefits in different indications provides important guidance to doctors. Cannabis medicines do not cure, but they can help to manage symptoms of a broad range of conditions. This includes chronic and neuropathic pain, cancer pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, unmanaged epilepsy and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Within the remit of their specialism all private doctors can prescribe medical cannabis if they feel that the patient will benefit from it. Not every doctor has been trained or is aware of this. At the same time across the UK, specialised clinics have opened where doctors have been specifically trained in cannabis medicines. These clinics are available for anybody to access privately.

The two main constituents of many cannabis medicines are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabidol (THC). The two provide different benefits, and often provide the most benefit together. Cannabis medicines come in a wide range of formulations and various ratios of THC and CBD: flower taken via vaporisers, THC and/or CBD-containing oils and sprays or capsules. The dosing and balance of THC and CBD in any formulation is tailored to the patient’s clinical need and therapeutic requirement.

To learn more about cannabis medicines, their application, and the practicalities of accessing them, speak to your mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist, GP or consultant, or you can visit a number of websites including:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/medical-cannabis

www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/cannabis

www.opencannabis.uk

Please note: the publication of this article should not be taken as an official endorsement or recommendation by Mesothelioma UK. Mesothelioma UK undertakes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information contained in non-related websites or given by non-related organisations.