THE MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS HAS AN EXTREMELY LONG HISTORY, DATING BACK SEVERAL MILLENNIA.
There is increasing acceptance within the medical profession of the use of cannabis and cannabis derivatives for medicinal purposes.
Based on a review of the research literature, the most established uses of medicinal herbal cannabis in places where it is most widely available such as the Netherlands include:
- The relief of pain and muscle spasms or cramps associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord damage
- Chronic neuropathic pain (mainly pain associated with the nervous system, e.g. caused by a damaged nerve, phantom pain, facial neuralgia or chronic pain which remains after the recovery from shingles)
- Nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss and debilitation due to cancer or AIDS
- Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy used in the treatment of cancer, hepatitis C or HIV infection and AIDS
- Gilles de la Tourette syndrome
- Therapy-resistant glaucoma
There are also increasing indications of the use of CBD (a key ingredient of cannabis) to treat epilepsy, and to alleviate mental health conditions including social anxiety disorder and PTSD.
Source: Professor Val Curran, Professor of Psychopharmacology, UCL
Other countries regulate the medical use of cannabis and cannabis derivatives.
The UK is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world. Canada, Israel, Mexico, Uruguay and 29 US States regulate cannabis for medical use. Australia is also in the process of doing so. In Europe, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Romania, and Switzerland all allow some degree of medical access.
If you want to find out more please download the APPG report here
For a more comprehensive review of the quality of evidence regarding the therapeutic effects of cannabis, read Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally’s report here.