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Cannabis has recently been legalised for limited medical use and can be prescribed by some specialists for limited conditions only. However, there is insufficient evidence for its use in long term persistent pain for it to be endorsed. There is also concern about longer term problems and the lack of evidence regarding this.
Cannabis is an unlicensed and unregulated product, so the feeling and the consensus from the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists and the NHS website is that it shouldn't be prescribed for chronic pain. Likewise, the NICE guidelines recommend similar.
The Faculty of Pain Medicine's position is that whilst it acknowledges changes in regulation, there is a need for further research.
The Government has announced plans to reschedule certain cannabis-based products for medicinal use, and has laid regulations in Parliament to that effect. Subject to annulment by either House of Parliament, those regulations will come into force on 1st November 2018. This letter provides support and guidance to clinicians following the re-scheduling. In particular, this letter sets out our expectations of what this regulatory change will mean in practice for clinicians working in the NHS and in private practice in England.
Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists: This statement is focused on the issues relating to cannabis derived medicinal products in relation to Pain Medicine.
A Statement on “Medicinal Cannabis” with particular reference to its use in the management of patients with chronic non-cancer pain
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