A YouGov survey commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis reveals that nearly 3% of the UK adult population uses cannabis in order to treat one or more diseases, with a presence in all age groups, social classes, and genders.

So , the prospective study interviewed over 10,000 people representative of the UK adult population between 23 and 30 October 2019.

More than half use cannabis daily and the average expenditure is £163 per month (€190). Patients spend more than £2.6 billion a year (€3 billion) on black market cannabis.

The survey

The survey suggests that people with Huntington’s disease are the most likely to use cannabis for their condition, with more than two-fifths of patients admitting to using it. Nearly one-third of people with Parkinson’s disease and one-fifth of people with MS also report using the drug illegally to relieve their symptoms.

People suffering from depression constitute the largest group of self-medication with cannabis, with more than 650,000 people, which represents even less than one in ten people suffering from depression. 325,000 people with chronic pain form the second largest group of medical users, while 183,000 people use cannabis to treat insomnia. 

The results of the survey were published in the report of the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, “Left Behind – The Scale of Illegal Cannabis Use for Medicinal Intent”, an organization representing British cannabis manufacturers. It calls on the government to urgently review policies that prevent people from legally accessing cannabis-based medicines.

Results

So , the report states that The monetary, ethical and social cost to people using cannabis to relieve their symptoms is high and unnecessarily exposes them to significant personal risk. Currently, there are a limited number of appropriately sized clinical trials evaluating the therapeutic value of cannabis drugs, recently reflected in calls for targeted research from the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Care [NICE] and the National Institute of Health Research.

The United Kingdom legalized cannabis in 2018, but the conditions of access are so strict that only a few patients have been able to be prescribed cannabis by the British Health Care System. While wealthier patients can pay €700 per prescription for a private prescription and be dispensed more easily. However patients caught with cannabis without a prescription risk up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

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