Oxfordshire GPs have given out dozens of medical cannabis prescriptions.

New figures released by the NHS OpenPrescribing service show GPs gave out dozens of medical cannabis prescriptions over the past five years.

Medicines made from cannabis are used to treat a range of conditions including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain.

The most common drug made from cannabis is a combination of dronabil and cannabinol and this is used to treat MS.

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This drug is commonly known by its brand name Sativex.

In the former NHS Oxfordshire CCG area over the last five years, 52 prescriptions were given out by GPs for cannabis medications.

The charity Epilepsy Action has said access to medical cannabis can make a “massive difference” in reducing seizures when other treatments are not working.

Epilepsy Action's senior policy and campaigns officer at the charity Daniel Jennings said: “While it may not be effective for some people with epilepsy, the impact on quality of life in successful cases is huge."

However, the 15 times cannabis medicines were prescribed in 2022 in Oxfordshire was down from 17 times in 2021.

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No prescriptions in Oxfordshire were given out for cannabidiol (CBD) in 2022, although only 23 GP prescriptions were made across England.

CBD can be found on UK high streets but just in varying strength and quality.

The drug is typically used for treatment resistant epilepsy.

Many people who suffer from epilepsy who find cannabis medicines helpful face large bills for buying them from private providers.

Between 2018 and 2019, there were almost 90,000 private prescriptions made for medical cannabis.

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The drug nabilone ,which contains synthetic cannabinoids and is used to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, was prescribed 371 times by GPs across England in 2022.

Across England, 2,953 prescriptions were given out by GPs for Sativex and similar drugs in 2022 and this is up 56 per cent from 1,893 the year before.