Hundreds of Scottish patients have accessed medical cannabis treatment since the country’s first clinic opened last month.
Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic says it welcomed more than 500 new patients in its first week of operations.
Sapphire Medical Clinics received Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) registration to safely prescribe medical cannabis to patients across the country earlier this year.
It is currently the only regulated clinic to prescribe medical cannabis in Scotland, with over 500 new patients enrolling via remote telemedicine consultations after opening on Monday, 22 March.
Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, Sapphire Medical will also offer Scottish patient’s face-to-face appointments at its facility at One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinic based in the city of Stirling.
The clinic has received support from Scottish politicians, including Stirling MP Alyn Smith, who commented: “I am delighted to welcome Sapphire Medical Clinics to Scotland as the first and only registered clinic to prescribe medical cannabis. The Stirling-based clinic, which is accessible from the surrounding areas, provides patients who suffer from conditions, such as chronic pain and anxiety, the opportunity to access this treatment.
“Growing the evidence base is vital to further improve patient access to medical cannabis and having met the team at Sapphire, I am pleased to see that Scottish patients will now be contributing to their comprehensive national registry database. I am confident that together we can bring about greater access to medical cannabis and really change lives.”
New patients, such as Andrew, 42, from Edinburgh, said the process has been “smooth” so far.
“I am grateful to now have the opportunity to access medical cannabis via Sapphire Medical Clinics for my persistent pain condition,” said Andrew.
“The service has been very smooth and I have been kept informed throughout the process. I hope to be able to use less of the opioid medication I have been stuck with for many years.”
Earlier this year, Sapphire Medical commissioned a YouGov poll around the UK population’s understanding of CBD.
Over two years after the legalisation of medical cannabis, 23 percent or 1.26 million of the Scottish population said the main barrier to medical cannabis access is the lack of certainty if it is legal
Nine percent of the population is said to be taking over the counter or prescribed CBD products, while a staggering 85 percent (4.64 million) said they didn’t know that medical cannabis can be less expensive than over the counter wellness CBD products.
In reaction to the poll, Dr Mikael Sodergren, managing director and academic lead at Sapphire Medical, commented: “The statistics clearly highlight the need for further education around medical cannabis, illustrated by the fact that almost a quarter of the population are still unaware that medical cannabis is legal.
Scottish patient data will be included in the clinic’s UK Medical Cannabis Registry which aims to accurately grow the evidence base for medical cannabis prescribing.
Dr Sodergren added: “To bridge this education chasm, Sapphire Medical established the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, which is a comprehensive, prospective registry designed to collate outcomes of medical cannabis therapy. The aim of the registry is to expand our understanding of medical cannabis as a treatment in the UK, by collecting and analysing clinical data, and I am thrilled that Scottish patients will be contributing to the advancement of this.”
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