Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2023-12-22

A nationwide check on cannabis prescriptions in Germany

A nationwide check on cannabis prescriptions in Germany

Germany allowed medical cannabis in 2017, enabling physicians to provide prescriptions to individuals with specific conditions. But a new, exclusive poll from Cantourage—a publicly traded company that specialises in medical cannabis—reveals how different German doctors’ opinions are about recommending this complementary therapy. The findings, which were only available to IPPEN.MEDIA, show that attitudes and behaviours vary across the country.

Medical cannabis environment

As of right now, the Narcotics Act governs medical cannabis. Doctors can prescribe it only when they expect positive symptom improvement and in cases where there is no other treatment option.

Only “seriously ill people experiencing severe pain” are able to get medical cannabis, according to the Federal Ministry of Health. This includes patients with chronic illnesses or chemotherapy patients. But what constitutes “severe pain” is up to the treating physician. It means there are differing opinions on whether or not to prescribe cannabis for ailments like migraines or insomnia.

Cantourage survey

Cantourage collected feedback on a fictional case in the 20 biggest German cities. The survey involved case of a patient with sleep difficulties and results come from 400 general practitioners. The findings demonstrated the resistance of many medical professionals, as only 27 practices out of 400 indicated that they were willing to talk about cannabis therapy. Notably, responses vary greatly between cities, therefore the study is not representative.

Düsseldorf and Münster were the cities that responded to cannabis prescriptions the most out of all the cities surveyed. The majority of positive comments came from doctors in these cities, who were more willing to accept cannabis therapy for the sleep problems case that was provided.

Nevertheless, the poll also revealed inequalities, with the greatest number of rejections going to cities like Hannover, Bochum, and Dresden. The notion that cannabis is not an effective treatment for sleep disorders was a recurring theme throughout the many different explanations given for the refusals. Florian Wesemann of Cantourage disputed this viewpoint. He was pointing out that cannabis can be useful in treating a variety of ailments, including depression, ADHD, migraines, chronic pain, and sleep issues.

Prospects for the future

With a growing discussion surrounding cannabis therapy, some sort of change could be approaching. By April 1, the German government hopes to have legalised cannabis by removing it from the Narcotics Act. January 1st was the original goal date. However, the procedure was delayed due to political factors, especially those from the SPD. Cannabis legalisation is in danger as the coalition government’s time is running out.

An overview of Germany’s present medical cannabis scene can be found in the Cantourage study. The differences in opinions among physicians highlight the need for more precise recommendations and instruction. The medical community may see a change in attitudes and procedures regarding the prescription of cannabis as a treatment option as legalisation approaches.

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