Cannabis for therapeutic use, when it is used and when it can be prescribed

The discussion on the light cannabis inevitably leads us to think about what is happening in terms of the therapeutic use of active substances of plant origin based on cannabis.
Because if on the one hand in 2023 there was a decline in total imports and distribution by the Military Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant of Florence for the first time, on the other it is sales in pharmacies increased.
This is reported by the data released by the Ministry of Health which for 2023 indicates a total consumption of 1,453 kilograms compared to 1,560 in 2022. In the meantime, always remembering that we are talking about indications for medical uselet’s try to see when and how the active substances contained in cannabis can be useful in therapy.

Since when has cannabis been used for medical purposes

Regardless of the specialties produced by the Florence site and considering the global use of cannabis for medical use on the national territory, it is essentially the prescription has been free for just over ten years.
In fact, only in January 2013 was the ministerial decree given the green light authorized the prescription of cannabis-based products by doctors and veterinarians. This does not mean that uniformity has already been achieved across the territory, given that, albeit increasingly rarely, problems related to supply shortage which are repeated, in addition to one different management of the problem by the various Regions.
Attention, let us remember that since the second half of the first decade of the new century the doctor has been given the opportunity to prescribe masterful preparations containing active ingredients or herbal substances based on cannabis. Later, real drugs were also added.

When can cannabis be prescribed for medical use?

Resuming what is reported on the institutional sites, to have a possible list of indications for cannabis for medical use in Italy we can refer to the Ministerial Decree on the subject of November 2015. Here are some indications that derive from it.

Substantially the therapeutic use of the active ingredients contained in cannabis is linked to chronic pain treatmentalso associated with multiple sclerosis it’s at spinal cord injuries. Likewise, in extremely selected cases, it can also be used in particularly serious forms of pain related to rheumatological diseases. In certain cases there may also be an indication for use for the control of uncontrollable nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy and radiotherapyas well as for other chronic diseases.
Again for this type of subject, if the doctor deems it useful, the treatment can help stimulate appetite and counteract anorexia.

Finally, there are specific indications for a possible approach with cannabis and derivatives in the glaucomaan ocular pathology which, if not discovered in time, can lead to progressively “stealing” sight, due to the action of decreasing intraocular pressure linked to cannabis.
The anti-muscle spasm action appears to be the basis of the possible use of cannabis derivatives in the most serious forms of Gilles de la Tourette syndromecharacterized by multiple tics and movements (especially of the face) that are often uncontrollable.

Let’s be clear: prescribing approaches of this type is indicated when conventional or standard therapies are considered ineffective.

How to take it and what are the possible side effects

The intake is indicated by the doctor, both for dosage and for posology and method of administration. Generally you can proceed with the oral administration or through inhalation through vaporizers. The indications point out the importance of always start with low dosages because it is necessary to evaluate how much and how the patient responds to the therapy.
Not only. In addition to prescribing the route of administration, the doctor will have to offer a series of indications on how to prepare the decoction and the water needed to prepare it best.

On the front of the side effects, the doctor-patient relationship is essential to best manage the situation, also because adherence to therapy and indications is essential to be able to truly evaluate its effects. All this, without forgetting the possible side effects of care, which must always be prevented and monitored, even and above all in those with particular psychological components of fragility.