Image: a graphic showing the chemical structure of cannabis

Cannabis

One in five people with MS we surveyed in 2014 told us they’d used cannabis to help with their symptoms. They said it can help with muscle spasms or stiffness (spasticity) and pain.

Cannabis is made up of compounds called cannabinoids. The main ones studied for their therapeutic effect are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gets you ‘high’, and cannabidiol (CBD), which doesn’t.

In November 2018, the Government legalised cannabis for medicinal use, but also put a strict criteria in place for who could access it. Only specialist doctors are allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

There’s a medically approved cannabis-based treatment called Sativex, but it doesn’t work for everyone. In most parts of the UK you can’t get it from the Health Service (NHS). That’s because the good it does is seen as too small to be worth what it costs. And for many people it’s too expensive to buy privately.

Some people with MS get cannabis in a variety of ways to help ease their symptoms.

About cannabis

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