News – More research on cannabis-based medicinal products urgently needed

Caroline White

Friday, 09 August 2019

The lack of good quality evidence on the safety and cost effectiveness of cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) has proved a major hurdle to prescribing them, finds a review* of progress on access since their reclassification in November last year.

Most of the clinicians interviewed for the NHS England/Improvement review said that products containing THC, one of the active ingredients in cannabis, would not be prescribed in their trusts, primarily because of the lack of knowledge about these products and hard evidence on their long-term safety.

Several referenced the higher risk of mental health issues associated with longer term exposure to THC and the need to adopt a cautious approach.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock commissioned the review in March this year to identify any barriers in NHS processes and systems to clinically appropriate prescribing of CBPMs and what might need

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