When it comes to public perceptions and opinions on legitimate usage, it is fair to say that over the last few decades, cannabis has undergone more change than any other drug that has illegal status. What once was seen as a wholly bad and negative thing that was indulged in by rebellious youths and wayward adults, is now perfectly legal in many parts of the world and is being celebrated for its ability to ease the suffering and symptoms of many different ailments, both strictly medical and more on the psychological side.
From a 21st century perspective, cannabis is no longer seen by the masses as a classic gateway drug that leads to more substance abuse and addiction of more dangerous drugs, but rather a natural product that has so many positive properties than the ‘high’-inducing ones that it is so known for.
In many parts of the United States and other countries, any adult would be free to walk into a licensed cannabis store and buy any number of different products containing various elements of the drug, from foods to drinks to tablets to the simple plant extract itself. So what about the United Kingdom? Can the same be done here? Read on to discover the legal outlook of cannabis use and distribution currently is across the UK.
The truth is that cannabis law in the United Kingdom has not changed much in the last couple of decades. Believe it or not, the drug that is legal in so many parts of the world is classified in the UK as a Class B substance, which means that recreational use of it is entirely prohibited by law.
Things are slightly different on the medical side of things, however, as cannabis was approved for medical use in 2018. That being said, there are lots of regulations in place that determine the kinds of conditions it can be used for, and what kinds of options people who are approved to use it have.
Interestingly, as public opinion has begun to massively change over cannabis, many police forces across the country are starting to scale back their efforts to chase those who use cannabis for personal use. Attention is more on those who operate cannabis farms or are unlicenced distributors or dealers.
So, what are we talking about when we refer to medicinal cannabis that is approved for use in the United Kingdom? Since 2018, there are currently only two recognised conditions that have been approved for treatment with cannabis, and those are childhood epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. In order to be approved for such treatment, patients are required to go to a specialist GP and get a referral which grants them the usage of cannabis and cannabis products.
As an alternative that is more readily available to people in the UK via many online and in-store markets, there are plenty of products that do not contain the psychoactive elements of cannabis but extracts of the beneficial elements to aid health issues. CBD oil, for example, is something that might not be available on the NHS but is very easy to buy in the appropriate places. A company like Pure Hemp Farms, for example, offers a wide range of CBD products that can help with a number of different ailments from arthritis to anxiety to chronic pain and everything in between.
What Will Happen in the Future?
One thing is for certain, and that is the fact that cannabis is very firmly moving into the mainstream. Experts estimate that by 2025, the UK CBD market could be worth more than £1 billion a year, and with police attitudes towards personal cannabis usage relaxing at a fast rate, one can only expect that decriminalisation will follow soon, just as it has in so many places like the United States. There are currently 26 countries where cannabis is decriminalised – each county has its own level of legality.
Once upon a time, cannabis was simply seen as a bad drug that leads to even worse drugs, but the more scientific and enlightened minds of modern research have shown us that this natural product can be put to so many great uses that it would be impossible to continue to demonise it into the future.
Cannabis is currently not legal in the United Kingdom, but it may well soon be.