Marijuana can help relieve the symptoms caused by plenty of conditions thanks to its active ingredients. However, the lack of regulation in plenty of countries around the world means that medical marijuana studies are way behind than they should be and that its potential isn’t being used properly for health reasons.
Although Spain is making small advancements towards cannabis regulation, there is no evidence suggesting that it is going to happen any time soon; despite the fact that it was successful in other countries, such as Portugal, Germany, Denmark or Greece.
Legal position of marijuana in Spain
Currently, medical marijuana is illegal in Spain, but isolated cannabidiol (CBD) is starting to be an active ingredient in creams, CBD oils and medicines suitable to treat innumerable disorders, such as eczema or the symptoms of several chronic illnesses, like for example muscle spasms or pain in multiple sclerosis patients, among others.
Hopefully, these treatments will become more common from now on thanks to the judgement made by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on November 19th, 2020. Such a verdict claims that CBD doesn’t explicitly appear in the international and European list of psychotropic substances. The argument becomes stronger when they declare that this cannabidiol “doesn’t cause harmful psychotropic effects for human health according to the available scientific studies”. Either way, prohibiting CBD wouldn’t influence the commercialization of synthetic CBD with similar characteristics.
During 2021, a political party proposed a new cannabis legislation that pretended to legalize cannabis possession, cultivation and consumption in privacy, in order to facilitate marijuana treatment for people with serious maladies. Likewise, self-cultivation and self-consumption would be regulated based on m3 of growth space and the daily consumption milligrams needed.
For the moment, medical marijuana is limited to some CBD-based products. Although the penal code doesn’t consider that cannabis possession, consumption and self-cultivation are criminal offenses, it is still reportable and can bring on fines of between 601€ and 30,000€.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Medical cannabis has to go through rigorous quality controls before using it for health purposes, according to CANNA. THC and CBD are the main interesting cannabinoids from a medical perspective. Both of them are effective against serious and chronic symptoms caused by certain ailments. However, THC’s psychotropic effects make it unsuitable for medical use, despite the fact that the rest of its effects make it as valid as CBD to treat many symptoms.
Medical marijuana has multiple therapeutic benefits that can help relieve plenty of diseases:
- Muscle relaxant
- Immune system regulator
- Appetite enhancer
- Prevents nausea and vomiting
- Anti-seizure and anti-spams
- Sleep inducer
- Protects and repairs the nervous system
The list of maladies for which medical cannabis is effective is as long as its benefits. Up until now, its effects have been studied for multiple sclerosis, it reduces muscle spasms and chronic pain; aids, it helps prevent the consumptive syndrome; glaucoma, helpful to reduce ocular pressure; epilepsy, improves seizure management; cancer, slows down tumor growth and improves chemotherapy induced nausea; or Alzheimer, slowing down the expansion of brain amyloid plaques created by sufferers.
These are the most researched illnesses; but most likely marijuana would also be useful to treat Lupus and other immune suppressor conditions, Crohn’s disease, post traumatic stress, schizophrenia, osteoporosis, autism, type I diabetes, as well as any type of chronic pain, anxiety or migraines.
Contraindications and secondary effects of medical marijuana
Despite all the benefits of medical marijuana, it also has some contraindications, just like any other drug. To start with, we want to state that you need to consult your physician before using cannabis to treat any afflictions; as it is possible that it isn’t compatible with other treatments. Furthermore, its consumption with other drugs can lower or enhance its effects.
Either way, doctors that think their patients could benefit from medical cannabis should prescribe it along the correct dose. CBD-based drugs, like Sativex, are already available, under prescription, in pharmacies.
If the therapeutic marijuana used contains THC, be wary that it can cause some of its most common effects; such as dizziness, sleepiness, slow response time or arrhythmia. Other mental secondary effects include confusion, anxiety, euphoria, short-term memory loss or lack of concentration.
Medical cannabis shouldn’t be mixed with sedatives, alcohol or other drugs. It is also contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with heart problems or those with a history of psychosis.
Therefore, although THC and CBD are both active ingredients with plenty of benefits to relieve many serious conditions and chronic pains; the lack of legalization means that, for the moment, medical CBD is the only one that has reached the market . It also means that further cannabis studies, which can prove even more beneficial effects on other maladies, are delaying.