Cannabis has been around for decades; however, there still seem to be concerns about its use for medical purposes.
A new report has revealed that social stigma is a huge issue, with one in six respondents admitting that being labelled a ‘stoner’ would deter them from receiving an alternative prescription.
Unsurprisingly, 34% of respondents are discouraged from medicinal cannabis as they’re worried it would be mistaken for illegal, despite it being legal since 2018.
Sadly, one in six (16.86%) worry that family and friends would disapprove of their prescription. However, surprisingly 85% would be supportive if a loved one required a cannabis prescription – showing that social stigmas are the issue regarding medicinal cannabis.
This report has been released by Releaf, the UK’s first all-in-one medicinal cannabis e-clinic, campaigning to spread awareness and reduce the social stigma with the findings from a survey of 4,210 people, the largest ever study into attitudes towards medicinal cannabis in the UK.
Approximately 29.6 million people (50.2%) in the UK could be entitled to a medicinal cannabis prescription, yet just 0.48% of the population has been prescribed it.
Releaf’s report also asked respondents about their conditions’ impact on them, with 32.83% admitting their condition had limited their ability to work or study. As well as this, one in four (25.15%) said they were worried about their future health.
And while 83.7% of respondents knew cannabis could relieve a range of health conditions, more than half (58.5%) were unsure of its legal status in the UK.
Mason Soiza, founder and CEO at Releaf says: “Since medicinal cannabis prescriptions were legalised in 2018, we have seen a lack of prescriptions being issued. Our report reveals two factors that could be at least partially contributing to this; that people are unaware it is now legally available via a prescription and that people still attach a negative stigma to it.
“However, findings from the report further show that more than two-thirds (67.67%) of people would consider using it as a treatment. With so many potential benefits available to users, we all must work to separate the beliefs that cannabis, when prescribed through legal means, can be a positive drug with life-altering effects – and that isn’t something we should label as bad or withhold from patients who clinically need the help it can provide.”
Dr Stephen D’Souza, medicinal director at Releaf says: “Studies have shown for years the power of cannabis as a medicine to treat symptoms such as depression, migraines, gut health and more.
“While it has been legal since 2018, we know the perceptions of medicinal cannabis are still closely associated with the effects you see from recreational users of cannabis. Long-term, our goal is to bring further research into the UK on the efficacy of medicinal cannabis to help spread more awareness, and we hope this report will be a big step in trying to change these perceptions.”
Releaf is the UK’s first all-in-one medicinal cannabis e-clinic, offering a wholly online, discreet service for those who want to be assessed for prescription medicinal cannabis.
As part of its campaign, Releaf will also be launching the UK’s first all-in-one medicinal cannabis e-clinic later this summer, offering a wholly online, discreet service for those who would like to be assessed for prescription medicinal cannabis.
Unlike all other companies in the UK, Releaf completes the entire patient journey in one online platform. Firstly, prospective patients have a video consultation with a leading cannabis specialist doctor and, if approved, are offered a selection of strains along with a recommended dosage and then subscribe to receive the medicinal cannabis.