Today, medicinal cannabis is a catch-all term for anything from dried cannabis flowers, cannabis oils, capsules, tablets, oromucosal spray and etc. But common to all these product types is that they contain either parts of the cannabis plant, active substances from the plant or synthetic cannabinoids, and that they are used to alleviate illness.
Medicinal cannabis can, in some cases, be an alternative to authorised medicines. The treatment with medicinal cannabis is something a doctor can prescribe only if the patient has been treated with relevant authorised medicine with an insufficient result.
At the moment (2022) there are two authorised cannabis-based medicines in Denmark: Sativex® and Epidyolex®. These two products have undergone clinical trials and are registered as pharmaceuticals just as any other prescription medicine.
If a doctor wants to prescribe a non-authorised medicine to specific patients, he or she can apply for a compassionate use permit from the Danish Medicines Agency even though the medicines in question are not approved in Denmark.
Doctors can also prescribe magistral preparations of cannabis-based products. A magistral preparation is made by a pharmacy for a specific patient according to the doctor's instructions.
The pilot programme means that doctors are allowed to prescribe products that are neither authorised medicines nor magistral preparations of medicines. The products comprised by the pilot programme are called medicinal cannabis.
Dr. Lester Grinspoon
Associate professor Emeritus of Psychiatry
Medicinal cannabis is made from resin extracted from the cannabis plant flower and most commonly contains the active ingredients THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which are the most well-known and researched cannabinoids in the plant. The most common form of medicinal cannabis is an oil, where the resin from the cannabis plant is mixed with oil and taken by mouth and swallowed. The duration of action of oral cannabis is typically between six and eight hours.
Yes, provided you have a prescription from your doctor and the products are dispensed by a pharmacy.
Patients taking medicinal cannabis products with THC are advised not to drive. Please discuss with your prescriber if you have any questions or concerns.
All doctors can prescribe the products in the medicinal cannabis pilot programme, but they have no obligation to do so.
All doctors can prescribe magistral preparations of cannabis, but they have no obligation to do so.
Only neurologists are allowed to prescribe Sativex.
In case a doctor applies for a compassionate use permit for Marinol or Nabilone, the Danish Medicines Agency will make a decision for each specific application.
A political agreement has made cannabis products in the pilot programme eligible for reimbursement from 1 January 2019.
Under the agreement, terminally ill patients will be reimbursed at 100% when buying cannabis products in the pilot programme whereas other patients will be reimbursed at 50% up to an annual reimbursement amount of DKK 10,000. The parties have agreed that the reimbursement will be retroactive, allowing for reimbursement of cannabis products bought in 2018. The reimbursement will be paid on a current basis to terminally ill patients from 1 September 2018 and to other patients from the 1st quarter of 2019.
The endocannabinoid system was only recently discovered by modern medicine in the 1990’s.
Many things are still unknown about how system imbalance effects human well-being.
The CB1 receptors target things such as motor activity, thinking, motor co-ordina-
tion, appetite, short term memory, pain perception, immune cells.
CB2 receptors are much broader than CB1 and influence most of the body.
This includes among others the gut, kidneys, pancreas, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, bone health, eyes, tumours, reproductive system, immune system, respiratory tract, skin health, CNS, cardiovascular system and liver.
The first written references to medicinal use of cannabis in China.
Cannabis is regulated by the UN Drug Convention.
California opens up for medical use of cannabis as the first US state.
Norway opens for treatment with medicinal cannabis.
The value of the US legal cannabis market exceeds USD 10 billion. Denmark starts pilot program for medicinal cannabis.
WHO calls on UN to re-evaluate the classification of cannabis in the Drug Convention in the light of modern research.
The UN is voting for a reclassification of cannabis in the Drug Convention.
The pilot program for medicinal cannabis in Denmark is continued.