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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who are Cannabis Clinic Cardiff?
    Cannabis Clinic Cardiff (CCC) are a clinician-led prescription cannabis assessment service, placing the patient and their experience central to the process. CCC is made up of a small group of clinicians who believe it is the right of a patient to have access to assessments for any medicine that might ease their suffering. It is the hope of the clinicians at CCC that Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) will be available through the NHS on an equitable basis for all those in need.
  • Is it illegal?
    No. In the U.K., since November 2018, Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) have been legal for patients having the product prescribed by a Specialist Consultant, where other treatments have been ineffective.
  • Am I eligible?
    Patients can get in touch with Cannabis Clinic Cardiff for a FREE eligibility assessment. Patients must have an eligible mental health condition and have had a trial of at least 2 traditional therapies to book an initial appointment.
  • How do I get an appointment?
    Appointments will be booked directly with Cannabis Clinic Cardiff once the FREE eligibility assessment has taken place and the medical history has been verified. Appointments are typically held virtually, via video-conferencing to link clinicians with patients anywhere in the UK.
  • Will I be prescribed Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs)?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) will be prescribed where patients are eligible and the treatment is agreed with the specialist clinician as appropriate. CBMPs come in the form of infused oils (taken sub-lingually/orally), cannabis flowers (vaporised) and pre-filled vape cartridges (inhaled).
  • What if I have never used cannabis?
    The clinicians at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff have training in prescribing Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) for people with mental health disorders, whether they have prior experience with cannabis or not. Each person is an individual and responses to CBMPs will be monitored. The underlying philosophy is 'Start Low and Go Slow' for all patients.
  • What if I am an experienced cannabis user?
    The clinicians at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff have training in prescribing Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) for people with mental health disorders whether they have prior experience with cannabis or not. Each person is an individual and responses to CBMPs will be monitored. The underlying philosophy is 'Start Low and Go Slow' for all patients.
  • What will I be prescribed?
    For eligible patients, who have agreed a trial of Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) with their specialist consultant, Cardiff Cannabis Clinic (CCC) follows the mantra of; 'Start Low, Go Slow'. Patients are individuals and even with prior experience of cannabis use, the effects may be unexpected. CBMP products, if prescribed, will typically be oils and/or flowers There are a numerous CBMP brands with varying constituents, but CBD and THC content are typically high on the priority list for making a choice. The other consituents may also have a large impact on medical use, however and this is known as the 'Entourage Effect'. There is presently insufficient evidenece to recommend any particular brand for a particular condition, however details of the latest reseach and evidence will be discussed with you at your CCC appointment. Some patients go through a process of 'trial and error' to find the product that suits them and alleviates their condition best. Cannabis Clinic Cardiff is not affiliated with any CBMP production company, importer or pharmacy. This gives them complete freedom to evaluate all products equally and without any bias.
  • How much will I be prescribed?
    Prescriptions for Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) are dispensed on a monthly basis as per Controlled Drugs legislation. The amount prescribed will be discussed with the prescribing clinician at your appointments.
  • How long will it take to work?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) have their peak effects within 30 minutes (if vaporised) or up to 2 hours (orally). Longer term effects will be monitored, as well as any side-effects.
  • How will my symptoms be monitored?
    Monitoring of response to CBMPs (if prescribed) will primarily be via clinician appointments at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff. Patients enrolled in the Project TWENTY21 registry also document their symptoms using structured assessment scales via the electronic, 'SAIL' system. Active real-time monitoring can also be completed using an app on mobile devices and discussed with your clinician at your appointment.
  • What happens if it does not work?
    The Clinicians at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff have training in prescribing Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs). Each person is an individual and responses to CBMPs will be monitored. If you feel that the present prescription is not working, or has stopped working, it is important to discuss this with your clinician.
  • Will I feel intoxicated?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) contain many hundreds of chemical compounds, the most familiar being cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Different CBMPs contain differing amounts of these elements. CBD is non-intoxicating and does not impair cognitive or motor functioning. THC can be psychoactive and at higher doses, can acutely impair functioning. The method of administration is also relvant, with inhaled High-THC CBMPs causing a more rapid onset (and recovery), but sub-lingual/oral High-THC CBMPs having a delayed onset but longer duration of action.
  • What should I do if I get side effects?
    The Clinicians at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff have training in prescribing Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs). Each person is an individual and responses to CBMPs will be monitored. If you feel that you are having side effects from the prescription, it is important to discuss this with your clinician.
  • Will it interact with my other medications?
    The Clinicians at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff have training in prescribing Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs), including interactions with other medications. In particular, caution should be used when taking any medicine (or other sedative, such as alcohol) that may impair functioning or judgement as effects may be cumulative. It is important to ensure that medical professionals invovled in your care (either at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff or elsewhere) are aware of your up to date medications to minimise risks and side effects.
  • Will it affect my other (physical and mental) health conditions?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) may be trialled in the treatment of a variety of physical and mental health conditions. When prescribed by a clinician at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff, your medical history will have been assessed and any issues highlighted. It is important to feedback to your medical professionals any concerns you have or symptoms you experience.
  • Is it addictive?
    The legal, medically-supervised use of Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) has limited association with dependence. Some people do report a discontinuation syndrome when stopping CBMPs however, with insomnia and irritability. Caution would be used when considering a trial of a medical prescription of a CBMP for someone with a history of any addiction, including recreational cannabis use dependency.
  • Can I use it whilst pregnant or breastfeeding?
    As with most medications, it is not advisable to take any Cannabis-Based Medicinal Product (CBMP) if pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive. Feel free to discuss your specific situation with clinicians at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff, as well as any other medical professionals involved in your care.
  • How much will it cost?
    Costs for Private Medical appointments with Cannabis Clinic Cardiff are detailed on the website. Costs for the Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) (if prescribed) depend on the current price at the relevant pharmacy. See Useful LINKS for details of websites with this information.
  • Where will I get the product(s) from?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) (if prescribed) can be purchased from a pharmacy as soon as the prescription has been forwarded to them from Cannabis Clinic Cardiff. These are typically specialist online pharmacies that will arrange delivery via courier. It is worth noting that not all pharmacies stock all products and not all products are always in stock.
  • How long does it take to get a prescription?
    The FREE eligibility assessment will involve you getting a copy of your Summary of Care record from your GP detailing your diagnosis and history of treatments tried. This may take several weeks. A summary letter from your relevant hospital specialist would also be acceptable, but may take longer. If screened as eligible, a mutually convenient appointment will be booked for an initial assessment by a Specialist Consultant. This may vary dependent on advance booking schedlues. Once the initial consultation has been completed, the Specialist must discuss the case with another Specialist to agree the prescription is appropriate. Specialists meet weekly and will issue your prescription at the earliest opportunity. If agreed, the Specialist will send the prescription to the nominated pharmacy, instructing them to dispense the medication. The patient would receive the medication (via courier) as soon as this has been processed, assuming the specific CBMP is in stock.
  • What happens if the product is out of stock at the pharmacy?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) are unlicensed medications, individually prescribed on a named-patient basis. This means that the prescription cannot be altered once it has been issued and the cannot be dispensed until the product is back in stock. The specialists at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff will ensure that they have up to date information on stock levels if prescribing is appropriate. Should a stock issue arise in between prescription and dispensing, it is advisable to contact Cannabis Clinic Cardiff to discuss options. A further appointment may be necessary, however it is at the clinician's discretion to prescribe a suitable replacement without the need for a follow-up, as required.
  • What should I do if I am unhappy with my prescribed medication?
    The Cannabis-Based Medicinal Product(s) agreed in the Specialist Appointment will have been assessed as appropriate for your condition. Cannabis Clinic Cardiff (CCC) recognise that every patient is an individual and will have different needs from a biological and psycho-social perspective. In other words – not all medications will suit all patients and predicting individual response is not always possible. If this is the case, please inform CCC and we can give advice. A follow-up appointment may help clarify any issues and/or establish an alternative treatment plan. Different strains and different brands have different profiles with different effects. Prescription Cannabis as a therapy remains in its infancy and greater knowledge, skills and experience will develop within the specialty with time.
  • What should I do if my prescribed medication is not of the expected quality?
    On receipt of your Cannabis-Based Medicinal Product(s) (CBMPs), please check the medication carefully to ensure that any problems are rapidly identified and can be addressed. Please inform both the dispensing pharmacy and Cannabis Clinic Cardiff of any problems as soon as you can. Most CBMPs are imported into the U.K. from international producers and shipped in sealed containers (although there are exceptions where the raw materials are imported and processed/packaged in U.K. facilities). The pharmacies will not typically inspect sealed containers, to reduce the chance of contamination and preserve the quality of the medicine. This means that the first person to inspect the CBMP since its packaging will be the patient. Imported CBMPs (in flower form) are typically dried to a very high degree and frequently irradiated. This minimises the chance of fungal/bacterial growth on the product during transport. It is advised that patients check their product for any signs of mould as this has been reported via some online forums. Inform your pharmacy and CCC if concerned. There are mechanisms in place to highlight potential contamination, with recall of potentially affected CBMPs, if needed. This is one of the advantages of a legal, regulated CBMP market – to protect patients. It should also be noted that this process of drying/irradiating may impact the smell of the CBMP flower, with this being less ‘floral’ than expected for patients used to ‘black market’ products. This is as a result of the process reducing the aromatic ‘terpines’. Some patients use a humidity sachet (optimal at 62% according to some patient forums) to ‘revive’ some of these characteristics. The reduced odour will not have a major impact on the use of the product and different CBMP flowers will have different aromas. Rest assured that the quality and consistency of prescribed CBMPs is as much a priority for clinicians, pharmacies and producers as it is for patients. Rigorous testing is completed to ensure that the CBMPs are free from visible and invisible contaminates (such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, excessive/inappropriate fertilisers, bacterial and fungal contamination, pests and pathogens). ‘Black market’ cannabis does not come with these legal and regulatory safeguards.
  • Can I still use ‘black market’ cannabis?
    Cannabis obtained outside of a Specialist Prescription continues to be illegal, even if you are also having prescribed Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs). The quality, safety and consistency of these products is undetermined and may complicate titration and monitoring during your appointments. Cannabis Clinic Cardiff would always wish to preserve the doctor-patient relationship and advise that all medical cannabis use is disclosed, irrespective of the source.
  • What should I do if I have concerns or questions about my treatment?
    It is advisable to write down any questions you have in regard to Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) to bring along to Cannabis Clinic Cardiff, when you have your appointment. Questions can also be sent in advance of an appointment and may be answered directly. You may also find answers to your questions by linking in with a Prescription Cannabis support group in your area (or online).
  • How do I get repeat prescriptions?
    Repeat prescriptions are to be requested from Cannabis Clinic Cardiff on a monthly basis, with follow up appointments booked in at a minimum of quarterly. Prescriptions cannot be changed without an appointment with a Specialist Clinician, so the repeat will need to be exactly the same as the previous prescription (subject to stock issues). The prescription will be forwarded to the agreed pharmacy for you to purchase your Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs). It is advisable to request a repeat prescription at least 1-2 weeks prior to your medication running out to ensure a consistent supply.
  • How do I get informed of my follow up appointments?
    Follow up appointments are typically booked with Cannabis Clinic Cardiff in the month leading up to the review date. Should the date need to be changed by either party, this will be by mutual agreement. Repeat prescriptions will not be supplied where follow-up appointments have not been organised within a reasonable time-frame. As unlicensed, 'specials' medications, Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) require regular monitoring.
  • Will I still get my prescription if I am unable to attend my follow-up appointment?
    Repeat prescriptions will not be supplied where follow-up appointments have not been organised within a reasonable time-frame. As unlicensed, 'specials' medications, Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) require regular monitoring to be compliant with government regulations. Should there be any concerns or extenuating circumstances, we advise you to contact Cannabis Clinic Cardiff to discuss.
  • Do you have to inform my GP?
    Cannabis Clinic Cardiff (CCC) advise you to be open about your use of medications to all healthcare professionals involved with your treatment. We therefore strongly advise you to inform your GP and we will write official clinic letters detailing your Treatment Plan to your Primary Care Provider. Without this information, your GP (or Cannabis Clinic Cardiff) are unable to provide you with optimal care, avoiding risks, side-effects and interactions. Cannabis Clinic Cardiff will always respect your right to confidentiality (unless doing so would place you or others at risk of significant harm, as per medical ethics), however communication with your Gp Practice is a pre-requisite of joining the service.
  • What should I tell my Family?
    You are under no obligation to inform your family of your medication regime. The social stigma around illicit cannabis use can unfortunately transfer to Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs). This stigma remains, but is reducing and hopefully, with greater awareness and education of the potential medical uses, this will be further normalised in the coming years.
  • What should I tell my work?
    You are under no obligation to tell your work about your medical prescriptions, unless this is required due to your profession. Certain occupations or tasks require that employees do not take any medications that might interfere with their judgement or physical skills. It is therefore important to discuss your exact requirements with your prescribing clinician at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff. Some occupations also 'drug-test' for illegal substances. As a legal, prescribed medicine, Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) should be accepted as a mitigating factor. It is advisable to discuss this with your employer should this be the case and, if necessary, contact Cannabis Clinic Cardiff and/or Prescription Cannabis Support Groups (locally or online) for advice.
  • What happens if I am stopped by the police in possession of my prescription?
    As a legally prescribed medication, you are breaking no laws when in posession of the Cannabis-Based Medicinal Product (CBMP) or when using it as advised by your clinician. The difficulties that the police face when trying to distinguish a prescribed medical user from a non-prescribed user (medical or otherwise) is understandable. Cannabis Clinic Cardiff advise patience and collaboration with police when discussing your prescription. We advise that the CBMP is carried in the original packaging and a copy of the prescription is carried with you in order to easily identify yourself as a legal medical user. Without these items identifying you as a medical user, proving your use is legal will be more problematic.
  • What should I do if I lose my medicine or it is stolen?
    Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) remain controlled substances. Outside of their possession and directed use by the individual prescribed the medication, they remain illegal. Loss or theft of the CBMP should result in the police and Cannabis Clinic Cardiff being notified of the loss. Repeat prescriptions will not usually be issued.
  • Can I smoke or cook with my prescription?
    The prescribed Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) must only be used in accordance with the prescribing clinician's guidance for it to remain a legal medicine. Smoking (anything) is not advised due to the potential for harm from carcinogens. Cooking with CBMPs can have unpredictable effects and is also not advised, not to mention the potential for inadvertent ingestion by people other than the individual prescribed the product.
  • What should I do to dispose of residual product?
    As an used/unwanted medical product (e.g. vaped cannabis flower), which is classed as a Controlled Drug, Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) should be disposed of in accordance with existing regulations, via community pharmacies.
  • Where can I get more information on Medicinal Cannabis?
    There are many sources of information on medicinal cannabis online, however negotiating this vast volume can be daunting. 'Useful LINKS' has some starting points and guidance can also be had from your clinician at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff.
  • Are there any Medicinal Cannabis patient support groups?
    There are many medicinal cannabis support groups online and frequently in your locality. 'Useful LINKS' has some starting points and guidance can also be had from your clinician at Cannabis Clinic Cardiff.
  • What if I want to change to another cannabis clinic?
    You are entitled to change clinics without giving any reason why and Cannabis Clinic Cardiff is happy to transfer your medical record and treatment history over to your new clinic. Should you wish to discuss any reasons for your change with us please get in touch, we are always keen to take onboard criticism and improve our service!
  • What happens if Cannabis Clinic Cardiff is no longer able to see me?
    In the event that Cannabis Clinic Cardiff is unable to continue seeing you (for whatever reason - but please note our Zero-Tolerance Policy for abusive behaviour), we are happy to facilitate your transfer to another clinic, at your request.
  • What if I want to raise a concern or make a complaint?
    While Cannabis Clinic Cardiff will do their utmost to provide a professional, efficient service, there may be occasion where we have not performed at the expected standard. If you feel that this is the case, we would welcome contact with us directly to investigate and address any shortcomings. Should this prove unsatisfactory for you, details of the process to express a more serious concern or make a formal complaint are detailed in our Complaints Policy.
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