Can you get a medical cannabis card for scoliosis in the UK?

Cannabis for back pain management


Kerry is an experienced author specialising in content and business writing for health and cannabis industries, with expertise in social equity plans, licensing applications, and marketing materials.

Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal condition characterized by a deviation or curvature of the spine. In the UK, roughly 3 to 4 people out of every 1,000 have scoliosis. It can develop at any age and its severity can vary from mild to severe forms. For many scoliosis patients, constant discomfort is an everyday reality, highlighting the crucial need for effective new complementary therapy options that can enhance their quality of life.

Many patients would say one of the worst parts about living with scoliosis is how the disease decreases the quality of their life and makes day-to-day activities so much more difficult. Little tasks can be made almost impossible due to discomfort, and cognitive fog also makes daily life frustrating.

In November 2018, significant changes were implemented regarding the legal status of medical cannabis. Due to multiple decades worth of public interest and support, coupled with a transformation in the political and social landscape regarding the perception of cannabis a potential medical treatment option, the administration of medicinal cannabis is now permitted in the United Kingdom. It must be prescribed by a specialist doctor registered on the General Specialist Register, which means that the vast majority of GPs are not qualified to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

What are the typical treatment options for scoliosis?

That really depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s age. Mild scoliosis may not need treatment at all, while moderate or severe scoliosis often requires treatment

The most common treatments involve bracing, physical therapy, exercise, and in extreme cases, surgery. All of these treatments are focused on slowing down the progression of the condition, but not all of them are effective in providing long term relief. Scoliosis is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, and bracing is often applied during the years that the patient is still growing to try and lower the chance that surgery will be needed further down the line.

Complementary therapy options have become increasingly popular for those suffering from scoliosis, and include chiropractic adjustments, massage, and acupuncture. And there is a growing body of research showing that cannabis may be a promising treatment option for patients suffering from scoliosis.

Can patients in the UK get a medical cannabis card for scoliosis?

The question should actually be, "Can patients in the UK receive a prescription for medical cannabis for scoliosis?"

This is because unlike certain US states and other countries where medical cannabis is legal, the UK does not require medical cannabis patients to hold a cannabis card.

However, it is worth noting that the process for obtaining a prescription for medical cannabis in the UK still involves meeting certain criteria and seeking the approval of a specialist doctor. With the appropriate medical consultation and documentation, patients with scoliosis can indeed receive a prescription for medical cannabis in the UK.

But, to answer the original question, yes. Although not a legal requirement here in the UK, some private clinics that offer cannabis prescriptions do provide their patients with a medical cannabis card, and this includes us here at Releaf.

If you are suffering from scoliosis (or any other qualifying medical condition) and you are interested in the potential that medical cannabis has to offer while also wanting the added security of a recognised medical cannabis card, then you have landed in the right spot. In the next section, we will run through the entire process, and breakdown the steps necessary to receive a medical cannabis card here in the UK.

How to get a medical cannabis card for scoliosis

There are two avenues of action that you can take in order to get a medical cannabis prescription in the UK, through thew NHS or through a private clinic. But currently, the NHS will only prescribe medical cannabis for rare, severe forms of childhood epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and for the reduction of nausea for cancer patients. The NHS will not provide their patients with a medical cannabis card.

So, for scoliosis patients, it is the private route that needs to be taken. There a bunch of private clinics to choose from, but only a select few offer a medical cannabis card as part of the package. The process of receiving a medical cannabis prescription, and a card, is as follows:

Book an initial consultation

Your medical cannabis journey will begin with an initial consultation. Some clinics will require you to physically attend the appointment, while others will be happy to provide face-to-face video consultations (via Skype or a similar platform).

Either way, this first appointment is to asses your eligibility and to collect all the necessary documentation. You will be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire and to also provide a copy of your Summary Care Record, which your GP can provide.

A doctor will then assess your medical information, and decide as to whether you will be able to continue the process.

Have a second consultation

If you have been approved, then a second consultation will take place. This is the more lengthy and significant appointment, as a specialist doctor will go through all your medical information in full detail. You can expect to have to answer in-depth questions about your medical history and current health.

Your doctor will evaluate the extent of your scoliosis and determine if you are a suitable candidate for medical cannabis. If you meet the criteria, a prescription will be issued. The doctor will also provide guidance on the recommended dosage, administration method, and frequency of medical cannabis administration.

Receive your prescription and medical cannabis card

As soon as you are prescribed medical cannabis through Releaf, you will recieve a digital copy of your medical cannabis card. The physical copy will be sent along with your medicine.

What information does the card display?

The medical cannabis card that Releaf provides its customers with serves as a physical representation of their legal entitlement to medicinal cannabis products. The card includes the patient’s name and photo, as well as thier Releaf patient number.

To keep the medical information of our patients safe and secure, the card also has a QR code which is password protected. Each and every time the QR code is scanned, the patient holding that specific card will receive an email with a one time password, allowing them access to their medical information.

All of this is intended to make the process simple and secure, as well as to protect the patient from any potential stigma associated with cannabis-based treatments, while also offering patients an easy way to verify their medical cannabis prescription status, should they be questioned by the authorites.

The cards are intended to give patients the confidence to take medical cannabis products wherever they are, without feeling like they have to hide or be secretive about their treatment. It can also offer patients the peace of mind that they are legally protected, should they be stopped by the police.

A medical cannabis card enables patients to readily and securely verify their status as a medical cannabis patient. Additionally, it grants patients an identification document that they can present in situations where they may be questioned by law enforcement regarding their possession and administration of medicinal cannabis.


So, while there is no legal requirement for medical cannabis patients who suffer from scoliosis in the UK to hold a medical cannabis card, such a card can offer added security and peace of mind.

Releaf provides its patients with a unique medical cannabis card, complete with QR code for additional protection. This will ensure that those suffering from scoliosis can access the treatment they need, without worrying about any stigma or legal issues that may arise.

Don't let the stigma surrounding medical cannabis prevent you from getting a suitable treatment. Releaf provides tailored monthly packages and specialist consultations for medical cannabis all based on your medical 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.

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