Doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from November 1.
The new rules apply to England, Wales and Scotland, Sajid Javid said in a written statement.
It follows several high-profile cases, including young epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, whose conditions appeared to be helped by cannabis oil.
Alfie's mother, Hannah Deacon, said: “Today is a momentous day for every patient and family with a suffering child who wish to access medicinal cannabis.
“We urge the medical world to get behind these reforms so they can help the tens of thousands of people who are in urgent need of help.
“I have personally seen how my son's life has changed due to the medical cannabis he is now prescribed.
“As a family we were facing his death. Now we are facing his life, full of joy and hope, which is something I wish for each and every person in this country who could benefit from this medicine.”
Charities have welcomed the offer, saying the change in law could help patient’s in situations where other medication hasn’t helped.
Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS Society, said: “This is a landmark moment as the UK comes closer to joining countries around the world to offer access to cannabis for medicinal use.
“Multiple sclerosis is often painful and exhausting, and this change in the law could have a huge impact for up to 10,000 people with the condition to relieve their pain and muscle spasms.
“It’s crucial that specialist doctors can prescribe it in a fair and timely way on the NHS for everyone who could benefit, and we welcome robust guidance being put in place to help them make their decisions.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main ingredients in medical marijuana.
It's different to smoking marijuana as it contains low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance that makes people high.
It is also used in cannabis oil to treat a range of issues including mental health, sleep problems, low appetite, epilepsy, Alzheimer's and palliative care.
CBD is also said to help prevent the signs of ageing and protect against eczema and psoriasis.
Last year the World Health Organisation declared CBD safe to use with no risk of addition.
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