Are you a resident of the United Kingdom or someone who’s planning to visit? Are you also wondering if you can smoke up some weed wherever and whenever you want? Even if you have an idea about the legal status along with the terms and conditions associated with Cannabis in the UK, today, you’re going to feel like a Cannabis scholar. We’re going to tell you everything from laws related to Cannabis and Medical Cannabis in the UK to its uses and future possibilities. Everyone wants to be aware of the repercussions of their actions, and when it comes to Cannabis, you don’t want to miss out on important information! 

Is Cannabis legal in the UK?

Here comes the Million Dollar question, can you smoke weed in a carefree mode legally? The answer is no, and you can’t. Cannabis used for recreational purposes is illegal in the UK and is classified as a Class B Drug. While on the other hand, medical Cannabis in the UK has been legalized since November 2018 pertaining to specific medical terms and conditions that we will discuss later on. Even though cannabis is illegal in the UK, with medical Cannabis in the UK being limited, the UK is still one of the largest exporters of Cannabis. 

What are the Cannabis Laws in the UK ?

Possession of Cannabis in the UK is illegal, and if someone is caught with a small amount, they are likely to receive a warning or an on-spot fine of 90 Euros. If the offender is under 18, the police have a right to inform the offender’s parents or legal guardians. The maximum penalty one can get for possessing Cannabis in the UK is a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. The actual penalty depends upon the quantity of Cannabis found, the location, personal history, and other extenuating circumstances.

Selling Cannabis in the UK is considered a more severe offense where the offender can get up to 14 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. When it comes to reality, these penalties are rarely imposed and depend upon the nature of trafficking, an individual’s history, the quantity of Cannabis, and where they planned on selling it. Within the UK’s Drug Trafficking Act (1994), trafficking is defined not only as selling but also the intention to sell as well, including transporting, importing/exporting, and storing it. Growing or producing Cannabis privately is illegal as well and can result in 14 years in jail with an unlimited fine.

Medical Cannabis in the UK

Medical use of Cannabis to treat adverse medical conditions was legalized in November 2018. This decision was welcomed by most of the UK’s population but was condemned by some saying that the laws restricted the use to just a few patients. Following are the few conditions for which Cannabis is permitted legally for patients:

  • Children and adults who have rare, severe forms of epilepsy
  • Adults who have vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
  • Anyone with muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) 

Currently, only 3 products made from Cannabis are available to patients. These include:

  • Nabilone: it is only prescribed to treat side-effects associated with chemotherapy
  • Sativex: should only be used by MS patients
  • Epidiolex: should only be used by children and adults who have epilepsy

After you ingest medical cannabis, there is a possibility for some side effects of developing within your body. Following are the possible side effects, so if you experience any of them instantly report to your medical team:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling sick
  • Enhanced weakness
  • Experiencing mood changes
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Feeling high
  • Hallucinations
  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts

Only a specialist hospital doctor can prescribe the legal use of medical Cannabis in the UK for a patient. He is likely to do so if other medications aren’t useful or were not suitable, and only when medical cannabis feels like the best possible option. 

Some fun facts:

  1. More males use Cannabis than females, almost double the number.
  2. According to a police report, out of all the Cannabis grown in the UK, most of it is home-grown, roughly 70-80%

Currently, the UK government has no intentions whatsoever of easing recreational or medical cannabis laws in the UK. They remain as per their penalties and fines prescribed above until there are any changes in the future.