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Cannabis Oil - Is the UK waking up to the benefits of Cannabis?

So what exactly are the current laws and regulations about cannabis oil in the UK?

Today we are able to celebrate a step forward in the regulation and laws for cannabis derived products. At last! 

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that moving forward specialist medical professionals in the UK will now be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products. 

Cannabis is currently a controlled drug as classified by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. However a follow-up to this law, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations Act 2001, placed it under Schedule 1, which is the category for substances with no medicinal value. It is this categorisation which is now under review as the governing body are trying to keep up with new research and global trends. 

Cannabis plants are made up of more than 120 different cannabinoids, which have different impacts on the body and are concentrated to different extents in certain parts of the plant.

CBD and THC are the two most prominent Cannabinoids found in the plant. THC is considered the psychoactive part of the plant, which can get people high; whereas CBD is non-psychoactive and is known for its potential health benefits.

While almost all cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD is not considered the same.

For example, industrial hemp may be grown under licence in the UK. It is a strain of the cannabis plant that contains little or no THC, but does contain CBD.

The Home Office says that it can contain a maximum THC content of 0.2% and that the THC must not be easily separated from it.

Industrial hemp can be used for things such as building materials and clothing.

CBD oil can also be extracted from these plants and, as it is a legal cannabinoid, can be sold in the UK.

The oil has been thought to have some medicinal properties, including relieving inflammation, pain relief and reducing anxiety, although there have not been conclusive scientific studies on this in the UK.

In 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that CBD products, if advertised for these medical purposes, needed to be licensed.

Licences for CBD oil as a medicine have not been granted yet but the products can still be sold as long as claims are not made about their medical benefits.

The oil that has been in the news recently due to its use by those with epilepsy is cannabis oil, which has a higher THC content, and so, unlike CBD oil, is not usually allowed in the UK.

 


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