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FMA UK Statement on Medicinal Cannabis

From our posts, you should be aware that we are eager to support research looking into all treatment options that could potentially help people living with fibromyalgia. We are registered stakeholders in various consultations by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, who provide national guidance on the use of medicines. Our involvement includes participation in their guidance on the use of medicinal cannabis. We have also linked up with other lobbying or research groups in this area too. Further research is required to better understand the benefits (and consequences) of alternative therapies for fibromyalgia, including medicinal cannabis.

Firstly, we would like to clarify some definitions. According to the NHS website ( https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/medical-cannabis/ ):

"Medical cannabis" is a broad term for any sort of cannabis-based medicine used to relieve symptoms. Many cannabis-based products are available to buy online, but their quality and content is not known. They may be illegal and potentially dangerous.

Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as "CBD oil" or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there's no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.

And some cannabis-based products are available on prescription as medicinal cannabis. These are only likely to benefit a very small number of patients.

CBD oil is a product that comes up in conversation frequently and we have been approached by quite a few suppliers and other groups asking if we will promote the use of specific products. While we will do what we can to advocate for those who are affected by our fibromyalgia, it would be inappropriate for us to advertise specific products which do not have sufficient clinical evidence behind them. We are aware of the current legislation from the European Commission that CBD oil is governed by and its status as a Novel Food. The suppliers are required to prove it is a safe product and are not allowed to market it with claims about its ability to treat conditions such as fibromyalgia. It is not to be marketed as a medicine.

Unfortunately, we have found that there are a number of suppliers entering the market in the UK and not following the rules or bending them in ways to increase sales. We are not a regulator, but we do feel that there are some that are putting their sales before ethical and moral duties. Testimonials, false claims, and insinuating brands within a disease community seems to be some of the methods currently used. We are not saying that all suppliers are doing this, as they are not and there are some that share common goals advocating for further research to see if certain products help people with fibromyalgia, doing so in a rigorous and evidence-based manner. Some companies are self-regulating and looking to follow a set of agreed guidelines to improve processes, which is reassuring.

Given some of the practices that FMA UK have seen recently, the charity felt it was right to publish this article which states that at this time, we are not supporting any CBD suppliers or sellers with referrals or affiliates, and any that claim that a portion of their sales comes to the charity is incorrect. If you see anything that suggests this, please get in touch with FMA UK directly. You can take a look at our online platforms below so that you are familiar with our branding and contact details. The information that we provide is impartial, unbiased and based on good quality evidence, adhering to the Information Standard.

Please check sources of information and what websites or social media platforms are saying so that you are sure the information receive is factual and unbiased. Only the sites via the links below are managed by FMA UK. Any others that sound similar are not.

https://www.facebook.com/ukfibro/ (FACEBOOK)

https://twitter.com/fmauk (TWITTER)

https://www.instagram.com/fma_uk/ (INSTAGRAM)

https://healthunlocked.com/fibromyalgia-action-uk (HEALTH UNLOCKED)

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