That’s it, it’s finally happening in France … legally. the therapeutic cannabis will be tested after the vote of the National Assembly in October 2019. Here are seven key points what you need to know.
When will therapeutic cannabis be released in France?
About thirty countries have already authorized the use of cannabis for therapeutic use, some for twenty years. France has (too?) Long preferred to debate it. It was in October 2019 that the Assembly finally voted for the opening of experiments which will begin in the first half of 2020. They will last two years, after which the authorities will take stock.
Which patients will be able to try medical cannabis?
Pathologies that give rise to a right to cannabis treatment are still very limited. It is a bit the principle of experimentation elsewhere. Some patients with specific illnesses will be able to join the program. Serious forms of epilepsy in treatment failure are concerned, neuropathic pain refractory, side effects of chemotherapy, or muscle contractions uncontrolled multiple sclerosis. Finally, palliative care patients will also be allowed to test treatments based on cannabis.
How many patients will be affected by medical cannabis in 2020?
Obviously, by limiting to this point the pathologies that will have access to it, the beginnings will be discreet. Many patients with chronic debilitating diseases on a daily basis had their hopes cannabis legalization in a medical setting. They have already complained about being excluded. It is estimated that 3,000 patients may be prescribed cannabis to assess the effect it will have on their state of health.
How will the health journey for treatments based on cannabis derivatives unfold?
Here again, we advance cautiously. It is almost an obstacle course that has been concocted. A volunteer specialist trained on the subject of therapeutic cannabis (a neurologist for example, or a pain doctor) sees the patient in a referral hospital for the pathologies concerned. If he considers the case justified, he will issue an order. The treatment must be collected from a hospital pharmacy. Subsequently, town pharmacies can take over. Regarding the route of administration, the patient can choose his cannabis in the form of oil, dried flowers, or even herbal teas.
What do patients abroad who treat themselves with medical cannabis say?
Overall, patients say a lot about the cannabis for therapeutic use. Doctors have also confirmed that they have clearly seen the condition of their patients improve. Where conventional painkillers or anti-epileptics failed, cannabis could provide tremendous relief.
We know full well that many French citizens suffering from various pathologies did not wait for the approval of our deputies. Self-medication relying on benefits of cannabis is well documented on the French-speaking net. To put it simply, the testimonials are positive and signal an improvement in the quality of life. The WHO for its part recommended changing the classification of cannabis, to allow faster progress in the implementation of effective therapeutic protocols.
Can we hope for an extension of the list of pathologies giving rise to the right to medical cannabis?
Everything will depend on the results of the experiment. If the returns are convincing in 2022, there is no reason to extend the use of medical cannabis to other patients. It will be up to the government to decide the degree of generalization. It is in any case interesting to note that the cannabis gradually changes image. Public opinion admits more that it can be intended for something other than high, and that it can constitute a drug capable of relieving people in suffering, who have tried everything elsewhere. The current government is in any case rather favorable to this kind of treatment.
And the cannabidiol (CBD) that we find in stores, what is it worth?
Therapeutic cannabis is mainly based on dosages between two active molecules: the THC and the CBD. THC has psychoactive effects. the CBD he tends to relax. The goal with medical cannabis will be to see which ratio is best for each patient.
CBD can be found easily on the Internet (the “real”, not the darknet). It is considered a dietary supplement. It is often found in the form of oil. The problem is that there are all kinds of concentrations depending on the brand, and products with unequal qualities. And a lot of marketing that isn’t always very thin, to be honest. No wonder then that we hear everything and its opposite. Other than trying it out yourself if you really want to see it, it is difficult to decide on this subject. One thing is certain, the CBD-based products that can be found on the net are still quite expensive and unfortunately not within the reach of all budgets. All the more reason to move forward intelligently on the legalization and regulation of derivatives of cannabis to improve the quality of life of chronically ill people.
Read also: When CBD helps with THC weaning