Medical Cannabis and Legal Cannabis
To start, let’s take a look at the latest news. The Spanish government has voted to establish a subcommittee that will investigate the impact of regulated medical cannabis systems. Also, in neighboring France steps are being taken to legalise cannabis. These are just two recent instances of European countries exploring the potential of medical cannabis and taking steps towards its legalisation. In fact, there is worldwide interest in the medical and legal use of cannabis. So in this article, we will explore the various benefits of medical and legal cannabis use for both individuals and governments around the world.
The use of medical cannabis
Medical cannabis is a name for derivatives of the cannabis sativa plant that are used to relieve serious and chronic diseases and disorders. What’s the difference between cannabis and marijuana? Many people are confused by this question, so we’d like to clarify it once and for all. Generally speaking, cannabis is the genus while marijuana is the species. Marijuana is just one of about 700 cannabis strains.
Medical marijuana is rich in THC. However, when prescribed by a physician, it may also be available in other forms (capsules, oils, edibles, etc.) with lower psychoactive potential to comply with local legislation.
What is medical cannabis generally used for? The following is a list of its main applications:
- chemotherapy-induced nausea;
- chronic pain;
- neurological conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and complex motor disorders;
- psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, insomnia and schizophrenia.
Cannabis use in Switzerland
Nowadays, Switzerland has become Europe’s capital for the production and export of legal weed and cannabis. The Swiss THC threshold (1.0%) is also the highest in Europe. In this article, you can learn more about why the country is considered the CBD hub of Europe.
Possession of small quantities of THC-rich marijuana is not considered a criminal offence but can lead to fines. Under the current regulations, patients can get permission and a prescription for medical cannabis use directly from a doctor, whereas just last year it was obligatory to get additional authorisation from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
Cannabis use in Europe
Most European countries permit CBD products with extremely low to zero THC content. As for medical cannabis, there are several countries on the continent that have legalised it, including Switzerland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Finland, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia and the Czech Republic. Some countries such as Slovenia, Belgium and Austria have legalised cannabis-derived drugs. However, in some European countries such as Albania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia and Serbia, medical cannabis is illegal.
The legal status of medical cannabis varies widely across Europe. We are though seeing encouraging news from different countries every week about clinical studies and legal initiatives for the wider use of medical cannabis or marijuana and its decriminalisation. Experts believe that these decisions can not only provide countries with economic and investment opportunities but also help to combat the black market and create new jobs.