The term 'Edibles' is the name given to ingestible products and foods that have been infused with cannabinoids, usually THC and/or CBD.

What is the difference between inhaling medical cannabis and edibles?


When you take medical cannabis in edible form, the active ingredients pass your digestive system and liver before entering your bloodstream. This leads to a delayed onset of effects, usually taking between 30 minutes and 2 hours for the effects to be fully felt. The effects do last much longer compared to inhaled cannabis, most often lasting 4 to 6 hours. 


Are edibles legal for medical use in the UK? 


In the UK, medical cannabis, including edibles, can be legally prescribed by a specialist for certain conditions. Currently, to be prescribed edibles, you will need to go through a private cannabis clinic, as the NHS does not offer them.

CBD edibles can be purchased without a prescription. 


What conditions can edibles be prescribed for in the UK? 


Through the NHS, only certain conditions, such as rare forms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, are approved for medical cannabis prescriptions.

Specialists who are registered with the GMC can work with private cannabis clinics and have the legal authority to prescribe cannabis-based medicines for almost any health condition they deem appropriate, but only after two conventional treatment options have failed.


What should I consider before using edibles for medical purposes?


The biggest considerations to take into account are the delayed onset of effects and the extended duration that the effects of edibles last in comparison to inhaling cannabis. Your prescribing specialist will help determine the appropriate dosage and monitor your progress to ensure you get the best possible treatment outcomes.

It is crucial that you follow the dosage requirements, as edibles can be more potent than inhaled cannabis. Never take edibles without a prescription or medical supervision.


Are there any side effects of using edibles for medical treatment?


Yes, side effects from taking edibles can include dry mouth, dizziness, altered perception, an increased heart rate, and (in some cases) anxiety or discomfort.

Reach out to your prescribing specialist or medical cannabis clinic immediately if you experience any negative side effects. They may need to adjust your dosage or recommend alternative treatment methods.

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If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.