Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial

Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial - Denmark Medical Cannabis
Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial - Denmark Medical Cannabis
Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial - Denmark Medical Cannabis - 1
Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial – Denmark Med. Cannabis – 1 Photo Credit
COPENHAGEN: The Danish government on Tuesday announced a four-year trial programme for medical cannabis use starting in 2018, saying it would target “some of the patients who self-medicate with illegal products.”
“Patients with a number of selected diseases and symptoms that have previously been treated with relevant, approved drugs, can be prescribed medical cannabis at the individual doctor’s responsibility,” the country’s health ministry said in a statement.

Denmark Medical Cannabis – An estimated 500 patients would be included when the programme starts in 2018, with the number rising to up to 1,500 in 2021, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, chronic pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting could become eligible for the programme, according to recommendations from the Danish Medicines Agency.

Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial - Denmark Medical Cannabis - 2
Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial – Denmark Med. Cannabis – 2 Photo Credit

The move was criticised by the chairman of the Danish Medical Association, Andreas Rudkjobing, who told daily Politiken that there was “not enough documentation” of “what happens with patients who use this for a long time.”

Several political parties in Denmark want to legalise recreational use of cannabis, but the three biggest parties — the Social Democrats, the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party and the ruling Venstre party — are against.

Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial - Denmark Medical Cannabis - 3
Denmark world’s happiest country, approves medical cannabis trial – Denmark Med. Cannabis – 3 Photo Credit

Medical cannabis has several potential beneficial effects. Evidence is moderate that it helps in chronic pain and muscle spasms. Lesser evidence supports its use for reducing nausea during chemotherapy, improving appetite in HIV/AIDS, improving sleep, and improving tics in Tourettes syndrome. When usual treatments are ineffective,cannabinoids have also been recommended for anorexia, arthritis, migraine, and glaucoma.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that “so far, researchers have not conducted enough large-scale clinical trials that show that the benefits of the marijuana plant (as opposed to its cannabinoid ingredients) outweigh its risks in patients it is meant to treat.”

In 2015 American Society of Addiction Medicine wrote that “legalization of cannabis in some states but not others provides a unique opportunity for a thorough investigation into the societal and public health impact of broader cannabis use” American Medical Association in 2015 stated that there is not enough large-scale studies on cannabis, while Office of National Drug Control Policy “opposes legalization of marijuana and other drugs because legalization would increase the availability and use of illicit drugs, and pose significant health and safety risks to all Americans, particularly young people.”

The FDA finds that cannabis does not meet the criteria for accepted medical use due to lack of evidence regarding safety and the high risk of abuse.

It is recommended that cannabis use be stopped in pregnancy.