Cannabis could be prescribed as painkiller on NHS as trial gets underway 2 months ago

Cannabis could be prescribed as painkiller on NHS as trial gets underway

Medicinal cannabis is currently legal but only in very specific forms

Cannabis could soon become available on the NHS for those suffering from chronic pain.

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A trial is set to take place later this month involving 100 people to assess the safety of using the drug to treat pain relief.

Run by private pain clinic chain LVL Health and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the "feasibility study" could lead to a full scale trial involving 5,000 to see if the treatment works.

The Times reports that the trial will be open to 18-to-85-year-olds who have been diagnosed with non-cancerous chronic pain – defined as pain that has lasted more than three months.

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Patients will use an inhaler with a tamper-proof cartridge, which vaporises the cannabis.

It would take five minutes for someone to take their prescribed dose of the drug.

The cost of the treatment would be £299 per month.

LVL Health’s Tony Samios said: "It’s not like you can puff on it all day long."

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He added that "absolutely millions" could benefit if the NHS began prescribing cannabis within the next few years.

The cannabis would be consumed through an inhaler, allowing someone to take their prescribed dose in just 5 minutes (RYAH Group, Inc)

It is also hoped that by legalising the drug for prescription, this would discourage people from illegally self-medicating and purchasing it themselves through dealers.

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Currently in the UK, medicinal cannabis is legal and can be prescribed. However, this is only in very specific forms that only use certain parts of the plant.

'Whole plant' treatments are common in Germany, Canada and Australia.

It is also possible that cannabis turns out to be less dangerous and addictive than opioids, which are currently the most common prescription for those suffering from chronic pain.

The NHS says 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."

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