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The cannabis conundrum

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There is no doubt that the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is controversial. While there are few licensed products, there are plenty of chronic pain patients and parents of children with treatment resistant epilepsy who are convinced that cannabis derivatives help these conditions. These sufferers often source the product outside the law at huge expense and lobby politicians and senior decision-makers to fight for increased availability. Pharmacists will be aware that many substances can be extracted from the cannabis plants, but two important ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is one of the psychoactive components.

Until late 2018, WHO took the view that cannabis and its derivatives had no medicinal value and were seen …

Correspondence to Professor Philip Wiffen, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; pwiffen{at}

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