A prescription for medical cannabis would only be given when it was believed to be in your best interests, and when other treatments had not worked or were not suitable.
Cannabis bought illegally off the street, where the quality, ingredients and strength are not known, is the most dangerous form to use.
The main risks of THC cannabis products are:
But in reality, most products will contain a certain amount of THC.
How do I get a prescription?
“Pure” products that only contain CBD, such as Epidyolex, do not carry these unknown risks linked with THC.
Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as “CBD oil” or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.
It is licensed in the UK for people with MS-related muscle spasticity that has not got better with other treatments.
What about products available to buy?
There is some evidence medical cannabis can help certain types of pain, though this evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend it for pain relief.
CBD can also affect how your liver works, so doctors would need to monitor you regularly.
11. In making the two previous determinations about THC, why did FDA conclude that THC is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act? In making the two previous determinations about CBD, why did FDA determine that substantial clinical investigations have been authorized for and/or instituted, and that the existence of such investigations has been made public?
The existence of substantial clinical investigations regarding THC and CBD have been made public. For example, two such substantial clinical investigations include GW Pharmaceuticals’ investigations regarding Sativex. (See Sativex Commences US Phase II/III Clinical Trial in Cancer Pain )
These GRAS conclusions do not affect the FDA’s position on the addition of CBD and THC to food.
As discussed above (see Question #2), the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the CSA. This change may streamline the process for researchers to study cannabis and its derivatives, including CBD, that fall under the definition of hemp, which could speed the development of new drugs.
Questions and Answers
A. FDA is aware of some cannabis products being marketed as animal health products. We want to stress that FDA has not approved cannabis for any use in animals, and the agency cannot ensure the safety or effectiveness of these products. For these reasons, FDA cautions pet-owners against the use of such products and recommends that you talk with your veterinarian about appropriate treatment options for your pet.
Despite the government ruling, CBD is widely available over the counter in dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal.
While studies have shown CBD to have anti-inflammatory, anti-pain and anti-psychotic properties, it has seen only minimal testing in human clinical trials, where scientists determine what a drug does, how much patients should take, its side effects and so on.
CBD first came to public attention in a 2013 CNN documentary called Weed. The piece, reported by Dr Sanjay Gupta, featured a little girl in Colorado named Charlotte, who had a rare life-threatening form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
After Charlotte’s story got out, hundreds of families relocated to Colorado where they could procure CBD for their children, though not all experienced such life-changing results. Instead of moving, other families obtained CBD oil through the illegal distribution networks.
Epidiolex was developed by the London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows cannabis on tightly controlled farms in the UK. It embarked on the Epidiolex project in 2013, as anecdotes of CBD’s value as an epilepsy drug began emerging from the US.