1.4 million adults in the UK are using illegally-obtained cannabis to treat a chronic condition, according to a new poll by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC). This does not include recreational cannabis users and CBD users.
Previous estimates that suggested between 50,000 and 1.1 million people in the UK were using cannabis for medical purposes now seems a big underestimation.
From the largest ever polling sample, the number of people who claimed to be using street-bought cannabis for a diagnosed medical problem amongst the general population is approximately 2.8% of the adult population.
Of those, 56% use cannabis daily to treat symptoms. A further 23% use it weekly. 9% spent nothing on cannabis (implying self-grown use), 44% spent up to £99 per month, and 21% spend between £100 and £199.
Further information regarding which diagnoses cannabis was used for, in addition to which social, age and geographical groups used cannabis in this was collected and will be published in a forthcoming report.
Ann Keen, Chair of Cannabis Advocacy and Support Services (CASS) and Fellow of Queen’s Nursing Institute, said: “These figures demonstrate the vast number of patients in the UK with chronic and debilitating diagnosed conditions who feel they have no choice but to expose themselves to all the risks of accessing a medicine that works from the criminal market.
“Controlled, safe but innovative solutions must be explored as soon as possible”