Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK since 2018, but it is not available on the NHS and is rarely prescribed. Project Twenty21 is taking steps to improve access to medical cannabis and one of the most common indications for medical cannabis is pain. One in 11 people in the UK suffer from chronic neuropathic pain but most doctors continue to prescribe drugs which can cause a significant reduction in quality of life due to negative side effects.
In this new paper, we report the results of a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) which found that medical cannabis is among the most effective treatments for people with long term, problematic neuropathic pain.
The MCDA compares medical cannabis with the nine drugs that are most commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain in the UK, and evaluates them across 17 criteria.
The benefit-safety profile of medical cannabis was higher than for other commonly used medications and that patients taking cannabis-based medications would be less likely to experience many of the side effects, such as dependency or overdose, associated with more established treatments.