Most frequent questions and answers
CPASS & The Nurses Arm is an eclectic mix of professionals aimed at supporting Registered Nurses supporting patients considering cannabis treatments within the patient care pathway. We are a multi-disciplinary, cross-sector collaboration with patients, frontline healthcare providers, educators, institutions, health organisations, NGO’s & licensed producers to provide support, advocacy and education to patients and healthcare professionals.
Providing a support network for nursing queries relating to CBMPs and a patient care pathway. We proudly introduce our Nurses Arm of Cannabis Patient Advocacy & Support Services (CPASS) co-founded with Ann Keen RN, former Health Minister, at The Royal College of Nursing, November 2019.
Amongst the group, the team has built trusted relationships with many stakeholder organisations, regulators and authorities and nurses and midwives across the globe to work collectively to transform global health and care for everyone, everywhere. We are excited to put the voice of nurses at the heart of health policy and contribute to the World Health Organisation’s work in the Year of the Nurse.
CBMPs are cannabis-based medicinal products. Most CBMPs are unlicensed, meaning that they have not been through the full tests and evaluations, like other medicines provided by the NHS, and can only be prescribed in exceptional circumstances to patients where other licensed medicines have been tried or are unsuitable. Unlicensed medicines, such as cannabis, are classified as ‘specials’.
Recent YouGov polls indicate that over 1.4 million patients in the UK are currently consuming cannabis to help manage their diagnosed medical conditions with a further 6.7 million adult patients who would like to discuss cannabis-based treatment options with their healthcare teams.
That’s a significantly large number of patients, with existing compromised immune systems, who are accessing an unregulated market without clear and professional medical guidance.
We have never before introduced a new medicine into our healthcare systems that thousands of patients have already been consuming as a medicine for many decades.
There is significant anecdotal evidence that cannabis can be highly efficacious for a wide range of conditions, namely due to the chemical compounds found within the plant which are called (Phyto) cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are the main active ingredients in cannabis and more than 160 have been identified by scientists. They can be produced by the human body, found in plants and manufactured in a laboratory under clinical conditions for use in certain prescription medications.
Changes to UK law in November 2018 allow specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) under certain circumstances. Although the number of actual prescriptions being issued does not meet the demand. As CBMPs are classified as ‘Specials’ they are primarily accessible via the private sector. As such, the price is prohibitive for majority of patients, whom are already economically disadvantaged, and the range of available CBMP range is limited. For a break down of how to navigate the private sector, our knowledge network has provided a guide, for your support, to be found in our News section.
The use of CBMPs are only currently recommended by the National Institute of Health are Care Excellence (NICE) for
spasticity in multiple sclerosis,
chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
as well as severe and intractable epilepsy in children.
CPASS will support patients and their medical teams by providing educational resources and advocacy for those considering CBMPs.
CPASS also works to destigmatise the consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes for the benefit of patients and their families who are currently consuming cannabis or are considering it.
Our initiatives are focused on scale-up and roll out nationwide focus groups with Clinical Nurse Specialists working collaboratively with our Global Counsel of Nurses & Midwives from countries where access to CBMPs is more developed to develop & deliver resources and training.