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GPs go forth

In full: RCGP guide to cannabis-based medicines

Read the RCGP desktop guide on cannabis-derived medicines on prescription, outlining what GPs need to know and how to deal with requests

The UK Government announced last November that doctors on the specialist register of the GMC may prescribe cannabis-based products for medicinal use in patients with an exceptional clinical need. The products have been moved to Schedule 2 so they can be prescribed by a specialist doctor on a named patient basis, provided approval is granted by the local Trust.

Importantly, GPs should not prescribe these products and there are no shared care arrangements.

However, GPs are already facing requests for cannabis products since the announcement.

The RCGP desktop guide aims to provide GPs with practical information on how to hold discussions and make decisions when patients make a request for cannabis.

The guide covers:

  • The difference between cannabis and cannabinoids
  • Legalities of use
  • Conditions where cannabis-based products might be prescribed
  • The formulations licensed for use in the UK
  • Safety and monitoring – what to consider
  • Referrals to specialists
  • What GPs are likely to get asked
  • Where to get further information

Read the RCGP guidance in full here:

Cannabis-based medicines: an interim desktop guide



Readers' comments (1)

  • This is really helpful. I am a neurologist. Every day at least one patient asks about therapeutic cannabis or cannabinoid(s). My answer is inevitably: no. The hard part is explaining why, and getting that out of the way, to leave time for more constructive discussion.

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