Cannabis-based products for medicinal use: Guidance to clinicians

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

Following the Government’s announcement to reschedule certain cannabis-based products for medicinal use, NHS England has provided guidance to clinicians following the re-scheduling. [1]

The document – published on 31 October 2018 – sets out expectations of what this regulatory change will mean in practice for clinicians working in the NHS and in private practice in England.


This slight loosening of restrictions to cannabis-based products for medical use doesn’t change legality of cannabis itself.

The document notes that dronabinol – an appetite stimulant that was available in the US decades ago and used fro HIV-related wasting – is still not available in the UK.

On the same day, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition of cannabis was unconstitutional – as it violated the ‘fundamental right to the free development of the personality’. 

This has effectively lagalised cannabis for personal use, possession, private cultivation, and sharing of cannabis amongst adults. [2]

NICE guidelines on cannabis-based compounds have also just been published in draft form online: deadline for comments is Tuesday 4 December 2018. [3]


  1. NHS. Guidance to clinicians: Cannabis-based products for medicinal use (31 October 2018).
  2. Transform. Press release. Mexican Supreme Court Ruling Means Recreational Cannabis is Now Legal for Adults. (01 November 2018).
  3. NICE. Cannabis-based products for medicinal use. Draft for comments.

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.