Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and is now approved as medicine in many countries. In Germany, the use of medicinal cannabis has been legal since 2017. The medicine is prescribed in various forms such as flowers or extracts and can be prescribed by any medical specialist or general doctor.
The use of cannabis in medicine is based on the body's endogenous cannabinoid system, which consists of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD act on this system and can relieve a variety of symptoms.
About cannabis flowers
Cannabis flowers are the dried and crushed flowers of the female hemp plant, which contain a high concentration of active ingredients such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). They can be taken orally, smoked or vaporized from them, further processed the flowers can be used in the form of oils, capsules or tinctures.
What are cannabis extracts
Cannabis extracts are substances extracted from the cannabis flowers and usually contain a higher concentration of active ingredients such as THC and CBD. There are different types of extracts such as oils, tinctures, resins and waxes. These extracts can be taken orally, by inhalation, or through the skin. They are usually administered to treat certain symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other.
Medical cannabis in Germany
Since March 2017, medical cannabis has been legal in Germany and can be prescribed for certain conditions. The number of patients receiving cannabis as a medicine has steadily increased in Germany since then. Medical cannabis is most commonly used in Germany for chronic pain and spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. However, it can also be prescribed for other conditions, such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, migraine, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy, and many more.
Studies have shown that medical cannabis can be an effective treatment option for many patients, especially when other treatment options are not sufficiently effective. For example, a 2020 study from the University of Frankfurt in Germany showed that cannabis flower treatment can significantly improve pain intensity and quality of life in patients with chronic pain.
Cannabis is known for its pain-relieving properties and is often used for chronic pain. Studies suggest that medical cannabis can lead to significant pain relief in patients with chronic pain. There is also evidence that a combination of THC and CBD may be more effective than THC alone in treating pain.
Cannabis is also used to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS). A 2019 systematic review shows that medical cannabis can significantly reduce spasticity in MS patients . In addition, cannabis can also help with other symptoms of MS, such as pain, bladder dysfunction, and depression.
Another promising use of cannabis is in the treatment of epilepsy. A 2018 clinical trial shows that cannabidiol (CBD) can be effective in treating children with severe epilepsy . In Germany, the drug Epidyolex is approved to treat two rare forms of epilepsy.
However, patients should always consult with a physician before taking cannabis as medicine. The effect and dosage of the drug must be individually tailored to the patient to achieve optimal efficacy.
Overall, medical cannabis is being used more and more frequently as an alternative treatment method in Germany and is gaining importance in medical care. The legal regulations for the use of medical cannabis in Germany are continuously being developed and adapted to meet the needs of patients.
1.Salmaggi, A., Currà, A., Pozzilli, C., & Sancesario, G. (2019). Multimodal approaches for pain management in multiple sclerosis: the role of cannabinoids. Journal of pain research, 12, 1561-1570.
2.Study from 2018: Devinsky, O., Patel, A. D., Thiele, E. A., Wong, M. H., Appleton, R., Harden, C. L. & Friedman, D. (2018). Randomized, dose-ranging safety trial of cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome.
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