Frequently asked questions
Answering popular questions patients have
Are the drugs prescribed at the clinics legal?
Yes. All of the medication we prescribe is fully legal and regulated. The use of medical cannabis within the UK was made legal as of 1 November 2018, provided it is prescribed by a medical specialist who has taken into account the current evidence and guidelines alongside your particular diagnoses and conditions.
How do I know if medical cannabis can help me?
Medical cannabis can be used to treat a variety of conditions where other medications and treatments have failed. Patients suffering from chronic pain, neuropathy and psychiatric conditions have found benefits.
To be eligible to consider medical cannabis treatment, you need to have tried 2 other treatments that have not worked. You also must not suffer from psychosis or schizophrenia.
If you are not sure if you would benefit from medical cannabis, we recommend either:- Speak to a patient coordinator today for free to learn more and understand how it all works- Get booked in with a consultant so they can assess your condition and suitability for treatment
What is the difference between the products you prescribe and CBD oil I can buy online or in shops without a prescription?
Medical cannabis differs greatly from the CBD products you will have seen in shops, online, and even over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Medical cannabis is grown, prepared, and packaged under the strictest conditions to produce a medical-grade product for humans. It contains various compounds from cannabinoids (you will have heard of THC and CBD, but there’s loads more) to terpenes (many of which are known for their medicinal effects).
Medical cannabis can be found as an oil to be taken under the tongue or flower to be vaped (it is illegal to smoke medical cannabis). Different medicines will have varying amounts of THC (the psychoactive compound) and CBD so that they can benefit different conditions.
CBD that has not been prescribed is an oil derived from the hemp plant. It is considered a food product and does not need to adhere to the same stringent standards as medical cannabis. It generally is not as concentrated as prescribed CBD oils and is not considered a medicine.
Is medical cannabis addictive?
Medical Cannabis that contains higher amounts of THC carries a small risk of habituation and addiction if used daily for chronic use, but the risk is lower than with other classes of medications such as opioid pain medications and possibly lower than benzodiazepines for anxiety and sleep.
Your medical cannabis specialist will monitor you closely for signs of addiction to minimize this risk and choose specific products with lower risk appropriate for your symptoms.
How do you choose what products will work best?
Our team of doctors are experts in treating patients with medical cannabis and will choose your treatment after a comprehensive assessment. Your doctor will review your symptoms, current medications, the pattern of your symptoms and lifestyle factors. They will also monitor and adjust the medication on a regular basis to ensure the best effect with fewest side effects.
Why isn’t medical cannabis available on the NHS?
Medical Cannabis was legalised in the UK in 2018, however since then only a handful of patients have secured NHS prescriptions. Only specialist doctors are qualified to prescribe this medicine as a last resort and funding must be applied for to cover NHS prescriptions.
The Medical Cannabis Clinics enable appropriate access to treatment for people with unmet needs who are currently unable to access the treatment through the NHS.
Medical cannabis is an unlicensed medicine. What does this mean?
In the UK, all medical cannabis is unlicensed – but don’t worry – although unlicensed, medical cannabis obtained via prescription from TMCC is 100% legal in the UK. This term is used to describe medicines which are used outside the terms of their agreed UK licence. So, put simply an unlicensed medicine is one that is prescribed for conditions other than those it was originally licensed to treat. Unlicensed medical products can only be supplied to meet the special needs of an individual patient and is a rather common occurence in healthcare.
Unlicensed medicines are used commonly in areas such as in paediatrics, psychiatry and palliative care.
Where does medical cannabis come from and what does this mean for availability?
Medical cannabis is currently imported from countries such as Israel, Australia, Canada, and more.
The importation process is very tightly regulated both by the authorities in the UK but also by the exporting country. The products have to be grown, prepared, and packaged to the strictest standards. The UK has some of the highest standards for quality and safety of medical cannabis in the world.
Medical cannabis is a plant and the industry is relatively young. This can mean that supply can fluctuate either due to a poor harvest, a regulatory change or a delayed shipment. However, 2022 has seen much more stability and we work closes with our partners to keep your medications available.
I want to try medical cannabis but I’m worried about feeling ‘high’ or ‘stoned’
Medical cannabis is very different to what most of us are aware of. Recreational cannabis are strains usually bred to produce very high amounts of THC and little else to maximise the “high” or psychoactive effect.
Many patients need their medical cannabis to treat their symptoms, but allow them to live and work normally. Your doctor will prescribe appropriately so the right balance of THC, CBD and strain allow you the right quality of life.
Generally, a strong THC product is used just before bed time to aid with sleep
How much will my medicine cost?
Costs can vary from £60 to £300 per month generally, depending on condition and individual circumstances.
How are my appointments held?
Lyphe is a digital-first clinic.
We exclusively see patients via video appointments. This means you don’t have to worry about visiting a far away clinic or taking lots of time off work. Just find a quiet, private space to hold your appointment.
How often will I have to see my doctor?
Once you have had your first appointment with your doctor, you will be required to have a follow up with your doctor to check in on your progress 1 month after you start your treatment.
You will then need to see your doctor every 3 months to review your condition and response to medical cannabis.
Do I have to see my doctor every month?
No. Once you’re considered stable by your doctor, you will be allowed to order a repeat prescription via our website. The repeat prescription must be exactly the same as your previous prescription, any changes will require you to have an appointment with your doctor. Our policy is that you need to see a doctor for a video appointment at least once every 3 months.
What information do I need to bring with me to the medical appointment?
Please bring a copy of your photo ID to your online appointment, so the doctor can cross reference with the one you submit during your onboarding process. We will have everything else we need by the time you have your appointment.
How long after my appointment will I receive my medical cannabis?
After your appointment, your Doctor will write your prescription and will send it to your nominated pharmacy. Depending on stock levels some may be delivered within a couple of days, whilst others may take a week.
Can I get my Prescription from any Pharmacy?
Technically yes, but really only specialist pharmacies stock medical cannabis and most high-street pharmacies are likely unable to dispense. Dispensary Green is our partner pharmacy, which is a digital-first pharmacy who will deliver direct to your door. However, you may nominate another specialist pharmacy if you wish, or even have your prescription sent to any other pharmacy of your choosing.