Plans for Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic in Aberdeen have been unveiled. Sapphire Medical Clinic says it will be the first clinic to prescribe medical cannabis for all conditions acknowledged to benefit. It is currently in the advanced stages of securing registration for the clinic, which is in the Bridge of Don area of the city. It could be open within 2 months.
Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018, allowing doctors to prescribe it in certain situations. However, NHS Grampian said it was concerning that a clinic using GP referrals could give treatments not available on the NHS. The Scottish government said it had no influence over prescribing and it was the decision of specialist clinicians to prescribe the drug.
Cannabis claimed to transform lives
Sapphire Medical Clinic’s Managing director Dr Mikael Sodergren said it had already been seen first-hand how medical cannabis was transforming lives.
“It means patients in Scotland will now have access to world-class experts in managing their condition, who also have expertise in medical cannabis. Medical cannabis is an exciting and rapidly developing field of medicine that could transform the lives of patients living with certain conditions”, said Dr Sodergren.
The clinic will provide an alternative for patients who are often in significant pain or with physical disabilities, and unable to travel long distances, he said.
NHS Grampian said in a statement that the use of medicinal cannabis products is currently restricted to conditions where there is evidence of benefit or accepted UK guidelines for use. In Scotland, this only includes complex intractable epilepsy, or nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy treatment.
“It is concerning that this private clinic operates on the mechanism of GP referrals, given the treatments used in the clinic would not be available nor recognised by the NHS. There is the risk of significant GP time being utilised to provide clients access to this private healthcare”, NHS Grampian said in its statement.
The cannabis-based medicines can come in the form of whole cannabis flowers, oils or capsules, or a single compound which can be isolated and extracted. At the end of 2019, two cannabis-based medicines, used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis were approved for use by the NHS following new guidelines from NICE. Both medicines were developed and grown in the UK. Meanwhile, controversy still surrounds the safety of cannabis-related products on sale at High Street stores and pharmacies.
AlphaBiolabs has a comprehensive range of cannabis drug testing methods including analysis of urine, saliva, hair samples and even nail clippings. All of these tests can be accessed at our Walk in Centre in the Glasgow Medical Rooms (211 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5QY).
An in-depth article on cannabis oil can be found on our Learning Centre.