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Medicinal cannabis has opened a ‘Pandora’s box’ of patients who believe it is a miracle cure, chief medical officer warns

Legalising medicinal cannabis has led to people getting carried away with what they believe it could treat, England’s Chief Medical Officer has warned.

Dame Sally Davies spoke in Parliament yesterday to say she has concerns about the safety of cannabis-based medicines.

She called for more clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of the drugs, and said doctors mustn’t cut corners.

Cannabis-based medicine was legalised in the UK in November and is only available to a limited number of patients – mainly children with severe epilepsy.

But the previous illegality of the medicines means clinical trials haven’t been done in the past, so evidence of how well they work, and for what, is thin on the ground.

Dame Sally has been the Government’s chief medical adviser since 2011.

Speaking to the health select committee yesterday, she said doctors were rightly hesitant to dish out cannabis-based drugs without good evidence from clinical trials.

In the highest profile cases of the children who prompted the law change, they had already been taking the medication illegally before it was allowed.

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DylanThomas

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