Parkinson's UK responds to new laws on cannabis-based medicines

The government have announced a relaxation of the laws governing access to cannabis-based medicines. This will give doctors the ability to prescribe them.

Cannabis-derived medicinal products are currently classed as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is thought to have no therapeutic value and cannot be lawfully possessed or prescribed.

But today the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, confirmed that they will be reclassified following recommendations from Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, that these products have therapeutic benefits for some medical conditions.

Head of Research Communications and Engagement at Parkinson's UK, Claire Bale, comments:

"We warmly welcome the government's decision to re-classify cannabis-based medicines which will allow them to be used in a similar way to other controlled drugs like morphine.

"Although research into their use has been limited so far in Parkinson's, certain substances such as cannabidiol hold real promise for improving hard to treat symptoms such as pain and sleep problems that affect many people living with the condition.

"This decision will accelerate research to help us fully understand the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-derived medicinal products – which ultimately, may deliver vital new treatments for people living with the condition."