NICE will not recommend medical cannabis for epilepsy and chronic pain

 

The Pharmaceutical Journal

Draft guidance says patients with chronic pain should not be offered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or mixtures of cannabidiol and THC unless the treatment is part of a clinical trial.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said it is currently unable to recommend cannabis-based medical products (CBMPs) for severe treatment-resistant epilepsy.

In draft guidance on the use of CBMPs, NICE said that more research into the use of CBMP for the treatment of a number of conditions was needed because “current research is limited and of low quality”, adding that clinical trials had shown a high level of adverse events.

The guidance said that patients with chronic pain should not be offered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or mixtures of cannabidiol (CBD) and THC unless the treatment is part of a clinical trial.

NICE also said there is no evidence that CBD in isolation is effective for chronic pain and that the potential benefits of CBPMs in all cases “were small compared with the high and ongoing costs, and the products were not an effective use of NHS resources”.

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