A DECISION to allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis products from November 1 will not have an immediate effect, according to the mother of a boy who could benefit.

Emma Smith thinks Home Secretary Sajid Javid's announcement will only be effective once neurologists have had the training required to prescribe the medicines.

And she also queried which products would be included in the list of allowable products.

Mrs Smith, of Swain House, has a five-year-old son Oscar who has myoclonic astatic epilepsy – also known as Doose syndrome – and has up to 300 seizures a day.

The family have tried many medications for Oscar, and are desperate for him to be given cannabis-based Epidiolex – a medication created specifically to treat forms of epilepsy.

But she said: "We'll have to wait and see but training needs to be what they're pushing for.

"There are no specialist doctors. They haven't been trained.

"Our hospital [the LGI] told our neurologist not to prescribe anything. I think the problem is neurologists don't have the training and knowledge and until you change that things won't change."

Mrs Smith also questioned whether the medication Oscar could try will be on the approved list: "They are not telling us what will be available.

"What do they mean by medicinal cannabis? Are they talking about [active ingredient] THC?

"I'll be happy when I see the first prescription written."

She said Oscar is not doing too well at the moment and has had to use a wheelchair.

Mr Javid has decided to reschedule the cannabis products, relaxing the rules about the circumstances in which they can be given to patients, after considering expert advice from a specially-commissioned review.

The new regulations follow several high-profile cases, including that of young epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, whose conditions appeared to be helped by cannabis oil.

The new law will not limit the types of conditions that can be considered for treatment and it means doctors will no longer need to seek approval from an expert panel in order for patients to access the medicines.

Mr Javid said: "Having been moved by heartbreaking cases involving sick children, it was important to me that we took swift action to help those who can benefit from medicinal cannabis.

"We have now delivered on our promise and specialist doctors will have the option to prescribe these products where there is a real need. I'm grateful to the expert panel - who have been considering cases in the interim - and to those who've worked hard to bring about this change at the earliest possible opportunity."

An initial review by chief medical adviser Dame Sally Davies concluded that there is evidence medicinal cannabis has therapeutic benefits.

The decision to prescribe the unlicensed medicines must still be made by a specialist doctor - not a GP. They can make decisions on prescribing cannabis-based products for medicinal use on a case-by-case basis, and only when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met by licensed products.