The International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) published a bulletin on January 29, 2023. It stated that French medical cannabis program has reported positive outcomes.
In order to give individuals with specific medical illnesses access to cannabis-based treatments, France’s medical cannabis program was launched. Cannabis is regarded as a prohibited substance and is forbidden for recreational use in France, as it is in many other nations. Yet, there is growing evidence that substances derived from cannabis, such THC and CBD, can be useful in treating a wide range of diseases such as chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-related nausea.
Why did France launch the program?
Before the start of the medical cannabis program, there were few options for French patients. Some patients had to go to nations with more liberal medical cannabis regulations, such as the Netherlands or Canada. Others, however, had to purchase cannabis products illegally. The French government saw the need for a medical cannabis program that was legal and regulated. It was in order to give patients safe and approved access to these medicines. As a result, the program went into effect in 2021.
Those with specific medical issues who have not received relief from standard therapies are the target market for the program. It gives these patients a method to get prescriptions from specialized doctors for cannabis-based treatments. Also, to buy those treatments’ goods from approved pharmacies. There is a strict regulation of the program. The reason is certainty that patients receive high-quality, standardized products. Also, that there is reduction of possibility of diversion or abuse. In general, the scheme was created to secure the quality of cannabis-based medical treatments. Anothe rreason was providing patients access to a legal and regulated framework for doing so.
What are the results of the medical cannabis program?
The program, which was launched in 2021, has made it possible for some individuals with particular conditions to get medical cannabis through a strict regulatory system. According to the IACM, over 3,000 patients received the prescriptions for medicinal marijuana since the program’s inception. The vast majority of them have reported significantly changed symptoms. Patients with neurological disorders including epilepsy and persistent pain have benefited most from the treatment. The French government has pledged to strengthen and expand the initiative, according to the IACM report.
The strict rules and constrained availability of France’s medical marijuana program have received some criticism. Patients must purchase their cannabis from a registered pharmacy with a prescription from a licensed doctor. Also, the THC level is restricted to 0.2% and just a few cannabis-derived goods are allowed. The program has been successful in treating individuals who have battled to find treatment through standard medicines, according to the IACM’s positive results reported.
This means that the French medicinal cannabis program is a step in the right way and that other countries wishing to build programs of a similar nature could use it as a model. The paper also highlights the need for more research into the therapeutic uses of cannabis and the development of more efficient delivery systems. Overall, the French medical cannabis program seems to be a good thing for people with specific illnesses, and it will be interesting to see how it develops more in the future. The French government will continue increasing and improving the program.