October 13, 2022

Is medical cannabis legal in the UK?

medical cannabis legislation in the UK


With 5 years of cannabis journalism behind her after graduating from De Montfort University and writing for cannabis publications such as The Cannavist, Lucy is a dedicated journalist passionate about cannabis education and culture.

Medical Cannabis Legislation UK

Medicinal cannabis can provide people suffering from a wide variety of conditions with the relief they need that they have not been able to get before. Despite this, many people do not know whether or not medical cannabis is actually legal, and many people around the country will just assume that it is illegal due to the stigma that surrounds it. In this article, we will answer the questions about the legality of medicinal cannabis in the United Kingdom, as well as how you can get medical cannabis if you feel you could benefit from it. 

Is cannabis legal in the UK?

There is a constant debate about whether or not cannabis should be legal as a whole. As of September 2022, cannabis is illegal to purchase and use recreationally regardless of your age. It is also illegal to sell cannabis, and you can face a long-term prison sentence if you are found to be dealing cannabis. Medicinal cannabis, on the other hand, is completely legal for usage in the UK. As long as you have a valid prescription and can prove that you do then you are able to carry and consume medicinal cannabis. With Releaf, your medical cannabis card will provide law enforcement with all the information they need to discover that you are being prescribed medicinal cannabis.

Is growing medical marijuana legal in the UK?

It is illegal for a non-licensed person to grow cannabis in the UK. Licensed growers are able to grow cannabis plants in the United Kingdom and this cannabis will then be prescribed for medicinal purposes. In some cases people will purchase cannabis seeds online, however, it is illegal to grow these for both personal use and selling purposes. It is important to know that you can only grow cannabis legally when you have been given a license to do so. 

What is the Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill?

The Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill is a complicated legal document that discusses the regulation of cannabis-based products in the UK. The bill aims to allow patients in England to access cannabis-based medicinal products. The law around medicinal cannabis changed in 2018 to allow specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis, however, the Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill was designed to help people to access medicinal cannabis easier. For more information regarding the Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill, check out the PDF from Parliament.

When is it legal to use cannabis in the UK?

Cannabis is currently controlled as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in the United Kingdom. The use and possession of recreational cannabis is illegal in the UK, regardless of the age of the user. Medicinal cannabis is legal for use as long as the person using it and carrying it has a valid prescription.; These prescriptions can be attained from Releaf following a successful consultation with one of our doctors. 

How many patients use medical cannabis in the UK?

The number of people who are currently using medicinal cannabis as a form of treatment for multiple conditions is remarkably low considering the properties it possesses as a treatment. According to Metro, in August 2022 there were around 17,000 people in the United Kingdom  that were using medicinal cannabis. This number however is expected to boom, with over 300,000 people expected to use medicinal cannabis in 2024. The number is expected to increase as awareness rises, as many people simply do not know that medicinal cannabis is even an option. 

What medical conditions make cannabis use legal in the UK?

Medicinal cannabis is completely legal for treating a wide variety of different conditions. Cannabis is an effective treatment for many different sleep disorders such as insomnia, as well as psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression. This is not all, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can be helped by using medicinal cannabis, and some symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatments can also be eased. 

Medicinal cannabis also helps to treat chronic pain, and gastroenterological conditions that affect the stomach, oesophagus, intestines, liver, and more. If you feel like you have a condition that could be treated by medicinal cannabis then you can either speak to your doctor, or you can have a consultation with a Releaf doctor to determine whether your condition is suitable.

Can you get medical cannabis legally in the UK?

Yes! You can get medicinal cannabis in the UK completely legally from Releaf, the only all-in-one medicinal cannabis package. All of the cannabis provided by Releaf is completely regulated and certified, and you will also receive a medicinal cannabis card that legitimises your medicinal cannabis usage for law enforcement.

How can I get a prescription for medical cannabis in the UK?

It is easier than you think to get a prescription for medicinal cannabis in the United Kingdom. All you need to do is complete a consultation online with a Releaf doctor. If our doctor feels that cannabis is a good treatment for your condition then you will then be issued a prescription and you will be able to subscribe to Releaf. You will then receive the amount of cannabis you subscribe for every month. 

Accessing medical cannabis can be challenging due to the stigma surrounding it. However, Releaf makes it simple with our tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, all based on your cannabis prescription. 

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

Related Articles

07. 12. 2023

Life Insurance and medical cannabis: What you need to know

Life insurance is a meaningful investment, and is taken out to protect and provide for your loved ones after you pass away. In the UK, 35% of residents currently have life insurance, and in 2021 98% of claims were paid out in full. However, on occasion payouts are withheld, and this can happen for a number of reasons.

06. 12. 2023

Patients respond to national press over medical cannabis policing

Amidst the five year celebrations since the UK medical cannabis laws came into effect, the Guardian has released an article by Mattha Busby highlighting some patient testimonials of police incidents caused by their lack of understanding of legal medical cannabis prescriptions. Rather than an attempt to spoil the festivities planned for the week, it highlighted that some patients were being failed by the very system that was set up to protect them.

06. 12. 2023

Nourish to flourish: Balancing diet in today's world

When you’re suffering from health issues, the first thing that should be considered is diet. Eating food doesn’t just stop us from feeling hungry, as I’m sure you are all aware. It was the founding father of modern medicine, Hypocrites, who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” That quote is from around 2,400 years ago, but it still rings true today.