Cansativa Expert Dialogue: An Interview with Melanie Dolfen, Pharmacist and Pioneer in Medicinal Cannabis

You are both a pharmacist and an entrepreneur. What motivates you?

For one thing, I’m often under pressure, yet I try to remain as relaxed as possible. I am somewhat traditional in my view that a pharmacist should act more like a family doctor than a merchant. In the same way as a family doctor, we serve as the local pharmacy for many. We advise and consult; people know and trust us, especially in areas where we have specialized like #kinkgesund and medizinal.com. Meanwhile, I am fully in the startup mindset. We are working to reinvent the pharmacy. As an entrepreneur, I am passionate about personalized medicine, which I hope will emerge soon. Personalized pharmacy fascinates me! In this area, I consider myself an activist, highly critical of Big Pharma and the industrial approach to people’s health. Things need to change.

 

One of your main focuses is providing medicinal cannabis. What have been the greatest challenges for you as both a pharmacist and entrepreneur in recent years?

Medicinal cannabis still has not fully established itself, which presents daily challenges for me. The greatest difficulties stem from our role as a pharmacy, including resistance from insurance companies, misinformation from associations, and biased Pharma PR. There’s a prevailing belief that only therapies involving finished pharmaceutical products are viable, leading to a subtle distrust towards patients who are supposedly only meant to receive standardized industrial products. This undermines our pharmacological expertise, despite our deep understanding of how these treatments work and their benefits to patients. It appears that the Joint Federal Committee (German: Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss, G-BA) and the Federal Ministry of Health are undermining our efforts to integrate cannabis flower therapy. Moreover, the lack of research on medicinal cannabis further complicates the situation.


What, in your opinion, is the biggest misconception about medicinal cannabis?

We still face the same old prejudices. A major misconception is that cannabis that can be smoked cannot be medicinal. Many think that prescriptions for cannabis flowers are merely for pleasure. But that’s incorrect. The “failed legalization”, as I see it, is worrying because I fear that insurance companies will eventually succeed, and the funding for the flowers will be cut off. (We managed to prevent this once in 2023). This would be detrimental for patients with severe illnesses who genuinely benefit from it.


What has changed for you since the enactment of the cannabis law?

The chaos in pharmacies has increased. We struggle to distinguish between genuine patients and recreational consumers. The influx of inferior goods and the rise of dubious online platforms (and I don’t want to generalize) complicate our work further. Unfortunately, we missed establishing a clear separation here. It is not the pharmacy’s role to decide whether someone is truly a patient or whether the prescribing doctor is legitimate.

Doctors may find it easier now to address the issue and make prescriptions. However, despite legalization, public perception hasn’t shifted much. The topic has gained societal acceptance, yes, but whether more commitment is seen from already-known doctors or whether new doctors are getting involved is hard to tell.


Why do you consider the legalization to have failed?

The announcement that Germany would legalize cannabis prompted manufacturers to ramp up capacities for a market that doesn’t exist. The second pillar of legalization1, which would address commercialization, is missing. What was supposed to reach cannabis shops is now being pushed into pharmacies. This has resulted in a dubious online infrastructure that declares consumers as patients. The second pillar is clearly lacking. I advocate for medicinal cannabis as a serious medicine, not for serving recreational consumers indirectly. I aim to establish a robust second pillar to then discuss where recreational consumers can purchase their cannabis in the future.

 

What would you like from the federal government to sustainably strengthen and further develop the provision of medicinal cannabis?

The legalization has pressured medicinal cannabis because the government failed to clearly differentiate it from recreational cannabis. This urgently needs to be addressed! In my opinion, we need more government quality controls and significantly more research. We must work towards establishing binding indications. Additionally, better recognition and funding of patient-specific pharmacy work are essential. We have developed our expertise through self-motivation, given that medicinal cannabis is not covered in our formal education. This subject should undoubtedly be included in the curricula for doctors and pharmacists.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Summer Highlights: Our Recommendations for Cannabis Events to Attend

The German Cannabis Event Summer 2024

We kick off with the largest hemp fair – Mary Jane, which will be held for the first time at its new venue, Messe Berlin, from June 14 to 16. There’s truly something for everyone, with 400 different companies from the industry showcasing their products and expertise about the hemp plant to an anticipated 40,000 attendees. The accompanying conference will offer in-depth content through expert talks, panel discussions, and keynote speeches, including contributions from Bundestag members. A dedicated festival will enhance the ambiance, with a variety of live acts performing throughout the three days.

About two months later, on August 2 and 3, the HAMCAN in Hamburg in Hamburg provides many learning opportunities under the open sky. At the conference, over 40 experts from sectors such as medicinal cannabis, industry, marketing, cultivation, and politics will discuss their experiences and insights. Visitors can get an early look at the latest industry products at an exhibition held in the former main customs office at the Hamburg Port.

If traveling to the north seems too far, the Cannafair from August 23 to 25 at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf will cover the latest developments in the industry. While the fair focuses on exhibitors and networking, the “Canference” provides a platform for guests to engage with cannabis experts from across Germany.

For Industry Insiders

Those involved in the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries can network at the Cannabis Business Europe on June 4 and 5 in Frankfurt am Main. As the sector’s largest trade show, it offers numerous opportunities to connect with other companies involved in cultivation, technology, distribution, and research. Workshops and presentations will cover sustainable cultivation, innovations, and legal frameworks.

The Cannabis Business Expo, taking place from September 19 to 21 in Dortmund, brings together experts from the entire supply chain—from cultivation to distribution. Highlights this year include discussions on the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Germany and other European countries, as well as emerging trends and challenges in medicinal cannabis.

Exploring Green Developments in Europe

The German cannabis summer impresses with numerous events but exploring beyond our borders can be equally rewarding. For researchers in the field of cannabis, the International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium from June 30 to July 5 in Salamanca, Spain, is a must-visit. Participants will share and debate their latest research through over 50 lectures and more than 200 poster presentations.

For those considering a trip to the British Isles: Cannabis Europa, taking place on June 25 and 26 in London, offers entrepreneurs and enthusiasts insights into the opportunities and challenges of the global cannabis industry, with over 50 exhibitors from more than 37 countries.

For those seeking a large-scale event, Cannafest in Prague from November 1 to 3 is the place to be. As one of the world’s largest fair for recreational and medicinal cannabis, it’s an ideal venue to observe firsthand the evolving cannabis landscape, especially following the Czech government’s recent moves towards decriminalization.

We are thrilled about the ongoing developments in the cannabis world and the dynamic changes spurred by Germany’s cannabis legislation. We look forward to seeing where the industry’s journey takes us in the upcoming months and hope to meet some of you at these events. Until then—see you there!

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Unpacking the Cannabis Act: Realities and its Limits

A Law – With Diverse Expectations and Preconditions

Across the federal states, experiences in drug policy vary significantly. Decision-makers face electorates with diverse cultural backgrounds, influencing the varied political landscapes. As states implement the Cannabis Consumption Act differently, local politicians anticipate influencing consumption habits within their jurisdictions. The varying expectations of the states regarding implementation significantly impact the law’s success. The extent to which differing interpretations will affect outcomes remains to be seen.

The CanG integrates proven regulatory elements with new strategies, deliberately leaving implementation to the states. As a result, the actual practices remain unclear at the state level.

Limited Impact of Partial Legalization on Societal Perspectives

The partial legalization introduced by the CanG highlights the need for a societal dialogue on consumption habits, addiction prevention, and illegal market dynamics. However, the law alone can only slightly modify societal perspectives on cannabis over time. A more enlightened approach to cannabis requires a broad societal discussion, free from prejudices, about the risks and opportunities presented by our new regulatory framework. A sustainable drug policy demands a mutual understanding of both the problems and the measures available to address them.

Like any political reform, the work does not end with the law’s enactment; rather, it is just beginning. Shaping the societal approach to cannabis necessitates collaboration across all sectors of society. Culture, education, and law must unite to foster an environment where responsible use is feasible and problematic consumption patterns are effectively prevented.

Ultimately, the success of cannabis’s partial legalization will hinge on achieving a societal consensus on its management. This will take time, patience, and, most importantly, a willingness from all stakeholders to engage and learn from one another. Only through such efforts can we cultivate a society where cannabis is destigmatized and integrated as a responsible and commonplace aspect of life.

Effects on the Illicit Market and Accessibility yet to be Determined

The Cannabis Act aims to curtail the shadow economy of the cannabis trade, thereby protecting consumers from tainted substances. Previously, controlling the quality of cannabis products on the illicit market was nearly impossible, posing significant health risks. Planned regulations have been phased, with the commercial distribution of cannabis deferred to a later stage and not yet addressed by the Cannabis Act.

Given this phased approach, the extent to which the new law will be able to reduce the illicit market remains uncertain. Experts believe that only scientifically supported pilot projects can reliably assess this. Such projects would allow for the evaluation of the legislative changes’ impact on the illegal cannabis trade and substance availability under controlled conditions.

We must wait to see if the gradual implementation of the Cannabis Act will yield the anticipated impact on the shadow economy. To effectively assess the law’s effectiveness, timely pilot projects must be conducted and evaluated in Germany.

In the months ahead, preparations must be made to ensure that the first Cannabis Act can achieve its full potential—combating the illicit market, enhancing youth and consumer protection, promoting effective prevention, and fostering a society where education and responsibility are intertwined.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Cannabis as a “Fair Weather” Topic – Properly Framing Drug Policy

Challenges Facing Good Drug and Health Policy

Recent months have illustrated that drug policy experts often face significant opposition. The discourse frequently becomes emotional, making it difficult to maintain objectivity. Accusations of serving special interest groups, which supposedly represent only the consumers’ interests, are common. But there’s a broader, underlying criticism: a prevalent misunderstanding that cannabis should only make the political agenda when the climate is free from urgent issues. This gives the false impression that cannabis policy is a peripheral issue that shouldn’t be prioritized during crises, suggesting it’s less serious and should defer to more grave matters – “Schönwetterthema” as we call it in Germany.

Moreover, this criticism is emotionally charged and perpetuates the stigma surrounding cannabis as a political issue. The prejudices and stereotypes linked to cannabis use hinder an unbiased discussion. Deep-seated stigmas, ignorance, and personal experiences with substance use fuel this dismissive stance toward drug policy. Many hold entrenched views based on partial knowledge and biases, which are not conducive to a rational debate or a constructive engagement with cannabis policy.

Cannabis Law as a Moment of Professionalization

The discourse surrounding the Cannabis Law appears to have instigated a modest shift: there is now more focus on substantive content, thanks to the foundation laid by the law itself. The tone of discussion among drug policymakers from all parties has become more reasoned and less polarized. The debate has deepened, suggesting a growing professionalism among stakeholders. This shift shows a recognition of the topic’s complexity beyond superficial discussions.

Today, discussions about dynamics related to the Narcotic Drugs Act or reducing barriers to medicinal cannabis therapy are not limited to specialist policymakers. Towards the end of the legislative process, a critical debate emerged that considered both the challenges and potential solutions, with polemics playing less of a role in these more inclusive discussions.

What Effective Cannabis Policy Achieves

This represents a nascent hope in a policy area long plagued by oversimplifications. Cannabis policy is crucial to drug and health policy and significantly impacts our national well-being. No one would want to revert to the days before 2017 when cannabis therapy in Germany lacked a formal legal framework. Looking forward, it’s vital for cannabis policy to foster collaborative efforts to devise precise strategies. Success in these areas will determine if, for instance, casual users can safely engage in driving, if minors are protected from drug abuse if lasting harms from use are prevented, and if the black market can be effectively curtailed. The Cannabis Law was crucial in promoting a substantial, policy-driven debate. Now, it’s essential to continue drug policy reforms with the same commitment to policy-driven approaches.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Cansativa Expert Dialogue: Growth and Regulation in Germany's Medical Cannabis Industry

Many of you are already familiar with Roland. Roland Schneller, our Managing Director and COO, was interviewed for our Cannabis Briefing almost two years ago when he served as COO and Prokurist, focusing on logistics. Since then, much has changed —not only for you in your role at Cansativa (congrats!) but also in terms of regulations, societal perceptions, medical advancements, and, of course, within the industry. Cansativa Group has been operating for 7 years now, since 2017, when the path for medical cannabis in Germany was first paved.
Roland, you’ve been with us for five years. Could you reflect on your time at Cansativa? Which strategies proved successful, and which perhaps not? And could you share a learning experience from significant setbacks?

One of the key factors for our success is certainly the ability to react flexibly to changes in a highly dynamic market environment. Another crucial step was the early introduction of a modern ERP system. This technological foundation allows us to track and trace every product that passes through our facilities seamlessly. Through careful documentation of all product movements, we have achieved a high level of transparency and efficiency.

Furthermore, our customer-centric approach has proven successful and has led to long-term, trusting relationships. Understanding the needs of pharmacies and anticipating them in our offerings has significantly contributed to an optimized service portfolio.

Challenges, of course, arose. Initially, we grappled with supply chain fluctuations. From this, we learned to develop more robust risk mitigation strategies, like utilizing multiple sources of supply. This diversification not only stabilized our supply chain but also reinforced our reputation as a reliable partner.

What does it take to pioneer new business models in the medical cannabis market?

There are several factors that I believe are crucial to our ongoing success. Firstly, we have the courage and ability to develop business models from scratch and shape new markets. This pioneering spirit positions us at the forefront of industry development and enables us not only to participate in new developments but also to actively drive them forward.

Secondly, despite our size, we remain highly adaptable and can quickly respond to changing requirements. This agility is crucial in such a dynamic industry as ours. It allows us to seize opportunities and overcome challenges as they arise.

Another key factor is the comprehensive industry knowledge of our team. Many of our employees have been with Cansativa since its inception and possess a wealth of experience and deep insights into our operations. This collective knowledge is invaluable and underpins our strategic decisions and innovations.

Finally, we have a very lean and cost-effective structure that enables us to operate profitably. This financial stability gives us the freedom to invest in growth and improvement while remaining resilient to market fluctuations.

What’s necessary for medical cannabis to gain more attention as an industry and therapy?

First and foremost, understandable and clearly formulated regulatory processes are crucial to enable faster product approval and market entry. Lengthy and complex regulatory procedures can currently hinder innovation and delay access to therapies.

Another important aspect is the introduction of uniform regulation for the handling of medical cannabis in all federal states. Possible discrepancies in regional regulations lead to operational challenges and discrepancies in patient access. Harmonizing regulations would streamline operations and ensure a more consistent supply.

Furthermore, enhanced collaboration between government agencies and private companies in the cannabis industry is essential. Such partnerships could facilitate the development of innovative solutions that streamline processes, improve product quality, and enhance patient care. They would also contribute to more informed regulatory decisions and ensure that the industry’s growth is sustainable and responsible, in line with public health goals.

By addressing these key factors, we can create an environment that not only promotes the growth of the entire industry but also establishes medical cannabis therapies as recognized and effective treatment options that garner attention and acceptance in society and among medical professionals. This is an exciting time for the industry, and much is at stake to shape the future of medical cannabis in Germany positively.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Medical Cannabis in Germany: What Changes, what Stays the Same?

The 1st of April of this year marks an important milestone in German drug and health policy. With the implementation of the new Cannabis Act, a new chapter has opened in the provision of medicinal cannabis, bringing significant improvements for both patients and healthcare professionals alike. In today’s briefing, we want to take the opportunity to outline the key changes for patients.
Facilitations in Prescription Practices

With the reclassification, meaning the removal from the Narcotics Act, medicinal cannabis becomes a “regular” prescription drug. This comes with a fundamental simplification of the prescription and dispensing process. The new regulation stipulates that prescriptions for medicinal cannabis are valid for up to 28 days for those covered by statutory health insurance, and up to three months as a private prescription. Previously, the narcotic prescription (BtM prescription) had to be presented within eight days. The new regulation provides patients with more flexibility in obtaining necessary medications, without the pressure to immediately visit a pharmacy.

The changes also bring relief for pharmacies: Longer redemption periods and the possibility to make minor adjustments or corrections to the prescription in emergencies contribute to a safe and uncomplicated supply. The option for doctors to issue cannabis as a regular (E-) prescription also facilitates access. It should be noted regarding prescriptions that existing narcotic prescriptions (BtM prescriptions) will likely no longer be reimbursed by statutory health insurance. Correction of the prescription by the treating physicians is necessary in this regard.

But not all changes are positive – and much remains the same.

It is important to realize that the new law does not solve all challenges in dealing with medical cannabis. The question of cost coverage by statutory health insurance remains unchanged for now. In the future, selected specialized doctors with specific qualifications may no longer require examination and approval by health insurance companies. The Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss, G-BA) is tasked with elaborating detailed provisions. Additionally, there continues to be a need for patients to prove legal possession of cannabis – especially in traffic and wherever a clear distinction from non-medical use might be necessary. This is still best achieved, for example, by presenting a prescription and ideally by documenting the prescription and application method by the treating physician.

The Cannabis Act also does not provide for a new regulation of the limits in road traffic. The recommendation for the THC limit for driving motor vehicles (3.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood serum) is so far only a much-discussed proposal. A timetable for the legal implementation of a new limit is still pending.

New is the uncertainty regarding the time and place of medicinal cannabis consumption. Unfortunately, it is currently unclear whether consumption restrictions in public spaces for recreational cannabis also apply to patients in cannabis therapy. Therefore, for the time being, it might be advisable for cannabis patients to adhere to these consumption restrictions to avoid misunderstandings.

Nevertheless, the Cannabis Act represents a significant step in cannabis therapy.

Despite the remaining questions, the new law is a great opportunity for the medical application of cannabis. It signals a paradigm shift not only in the administrative handling of this form of therapy but also in societal perception and acceptance. The simplified procedures and improved access to medical cannabis are an important step towards improving patient care.

This progress is the result of years of efforts by policymakers, healthcare stakeholders, as well as the Cansativa Group and the entire sector, all of whom have worked towards this reform. It is now crucial to closely observe how these drug policy reforms, especially the recreational cannabis regulations, interact with cannabis as medicine and what effects they will have on therapy conditions, patient care, and individual and societal approaches to therapy.

Even though the law is still viewed critically in parts, the transparency in both industry and medicine provides an important interface to break down existing prejudices and promote a thorough understanding of the importance of cannabis in medical therapy. Above all, the goal remains to promote the well-being of patients. We look optimistically towards the future and are convinced that the positive developments brought about by the new law will make a valuable contribution to improving medical care.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


The CanG in the Bundesrat

Why is everyone talking about the Bundesrat?

The Bundesrat is one of the five constitutional bodies of the Federal Republic of Germany and represents the interests of the 16 federal states at the federal level. Its members are not elected representatives, but members of the state governments. Its composition reflects the political majority within the states. The Bundesrat plays an important role in the legislative process, especially in laws concerning the states. This direct representation of state interests and its unique operational approach distinguishes it from the Bundestag.

Next Friday, the Bundesrat will vote on the Cannabis Act. Each federal state has one vote in the Bundesrat, weighted by population size. The decision is not made solely by the respective Prime Minister but depends on the collective vote within each state government. If a coalition government is divided, the state abstains from voting. The Cannabis Act is subject to objection, meaning it does not require consent. The distinction between laws that require consent and those that do not is vital, as it determines the extent to which the Bundesrat can block or merely delay a law. In the regular procedure, the Bundesrat can delay the Cannabis Act but not prevent it.

The Internal Structures of the Bundesrat

The Bundesrat has so-called committees. These are tasked with developing recommendations for the procedure in the chamber of states. These recommendations reveal the sentiment towards certain legislative initiatives and suggest possible amendments. The recommendations from committees focused on health policy, domestic policy, and legal matters are particularly relevant for the Cannabis Act. The recommendations can range from full support to significant amendment requests and are usually an important indicator for the Bundesrat’s further proceedings.

If the Bundesrat fails to reach a consensus, the Mediation Committee (in German: Vermittlungsausschuss) is convened upon request. This committee consists of members of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat and is tasked with mediating in case of disagreements between the two chambers. The committee can develop amendment proposals, which must then be voted on again in both chambers. The Mediation Committee is thus an important tool for finding consensus in the legislative process and is meant to enable a swift agreement. The Health Committee (G), the Committee on Internal Affairs (In), and the Legal Committee (R) demand the Bundesrat to convene the Mediation Committee. However, these committee recommendations are not binding.

On the Threshold of Decision

We are at a decisive moment where it’s vital for the industry to be well-prepared, maintain transparency, and strategically target the upcoming significant milestones in Germany’s cannabis reform.

The Cannabis Act not only establishes essential guidelines for non-commercial cultivation but also signifies a turning point in medicinal cannabis management in Germany. It heralds significant ease for medical professionals and patients alike. These advancements indicate that comprehensive cannabis reform is closer than ever – possibly leading to an increase in skeptical media voices anticipating the law’s failure.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Insights into Research: Cannabis as a Potential Factor in Endometriosis Therapy

Endometriosis: A chronic and currently incurable affliction

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that receives relatively little attention. It affects about 8 to 15 percent of all individuals with a uterus, making it one of the most common gynecological diseases. It is a systemic disease that affects the entire body without a single focus of inflammation. The condition involves the growth of uterine muscle layer tissue outside the uterus, such as in the abdominal and pelvic area, on the intestines, or on the ovaries. The consequences include chronic inflammation, scarring, and adhesions of the affected tissue, severe pain, and cramps that can radiate from the abdomen to the back and legs. Since the cause is not yet understood according to current scientific knowledge, there is no cure that addresses the root cause of endometriosis. Overall, about half of those affected require ongoing treatment [i].

Endometriosis can be treated in various ways: medicinally or surgically by removing the endometriosis foci. Other potential therapies may target hormone levels or dietary changes. Patients who receive medical therapy are typically prescribed painkillers to treat and alleviate their symptoms [ii]. However, this carries risks: prolonged and regular intake can lead to dependence and tolerance effects; painkillers can also cause permanent damage to organs like the liver or kidney. In recent years, treatment with medical cannabis is also being slowly researched as a potential option in the therapy of endometriosis.

Medical Cannabis as an Effective Component of Endometriosis Therapy

Medical cannabis has proven to be a promising component in the treatment of endometriosis [iii]. In recent years, researchers have examined medical cannabis as a treatment for endometriosis, particularly focusing on the interaction of cannabinoids with the body’s own endocannabinoid system and the gut. Their findings suggest that cannabis has the potential to alleviate a range of symptoms associated with endometriosis [iv].

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in pain regulation. These compounds can alleviate neuropathic pain, which is common in endometriosis, and reduce inflammation, leading to more effective pain relief. Known interactions with the endocannabinoid system involve two endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor, found in large numbers in the uterus and on nerve cells, produces a pain-blocking effect when interacting with cannabis. The CB2 receptor, located in the immune system, inhibits inflammatory responses when cannabis is used [v].

Research findings indicate that medicinal cannabis, with its broad spectrum of therapeutic effects, may have the capacity to simultaneously address multiple symptoms. Investigations are exploring the extent to which medical cannabis can not only mitigate pain but also positively influence associated symptoms like cramps, nausea, sleep disturbances, and anxiety, commonly linked with endometriosis. Testimonials from women who have used cannabis for their condition suggest notable improvements in sleep quality and a decrease in nausea and vomiting. These observations hint at the potential for a more comprehensive treatment approach, potentially enhancing the life quality of those impacted.

Treatment with medical cannabis usually involves the intake of oils or capsules and the use of vaporizers. This allows for individual dosing as determined in consultation with the treating physician, giving patients better control over their symptoms and the ability to tailor their therapy to their needs. Additionally, this therapy is gentler on patients: there are indications that medical cannabis has fewer and milder side effects and is better tolerated [vi].

More Research Needed to Improve Therapy Options

Despite initial promising (research) results and growing acceptance of medical cannabis as a treatment option for endometriosis, we are still at the beginning of understanding this treatment method’s full potential. Further comprehensive clinical studies and research are needed to fully grasp the capabilities of medical cannabis and its active ingredients in treating endometriosis and other conditions.

Therefore, increased commitment to research and development of medical cannabis is essential to advance innovative and effective therapies that meet patients’ needs. Promoting research in the medical cannabis field is crucial for this purpose. Only through continuous investment in research and development can we further improve healthcare for individuals with endometriosis and other pain patients, ultimately enhancing their quality of life sustainably.

Anything else?

Do you have specific questions or suggestions for the Cannabis Briefing? Then send us an email to briefing@cansativa.de. If you are interested in revolutionising the cannabis industry with us, then stay tuned and follow our briefings!

We wish you a good read!

With legalising greetings,

Jakob Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa

Benedikt Sons

Founder & Managing Director Cansativa


Sources:

[i] Endometriose-Vereinigung Deutschland e.V.. (2023). Was ist Endometriose. Endometriose-Vereinigung Deutschland e.V.. https://www.endometriose-vereinigung.de/was-ist-endometriose/
[i] Frauenärzte im Netz. (14.12.2021). Endometriose: Therapie. Frauenärzte im Netz. https://www.frauenaerzte-im-netz.de/erkrankungen/endometriose/therapie/
[ii] Frauenärzte im Netz. (14.12.2021). Endometriose: Therapie. Frauenärzte im Netz. https://www.frauenaerzte-im-netz.de/erkrankungen/endometriose/therapie/
[iii] Sinclair, J., Collett, L., Abbott, J., Pate, D. W., Sarris, J., & Armour, M. (2021). Effects of cannabis ingestion on endometriosis-associated pelvic pain and related symptoms. PloS One, 16(10), e0258940. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258940
[iv] Sinclair, J., Collett, L., Abbott, J., Pate, D. W., Sarris, J., & Armour, M. (2021). Effects of cannabis ingestion on endometriosis-associated pelvic pain and related symptoms. PloS One, 16(10), e0258940. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258940
[v] de Souza, H. F. (14.11.2023). Cannabis shows promise in easing endometriosis pain, new research suggests. News Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20231114/Cannabis-shows-promise-in-easing-endometriosis-pain-new-research-suggests.aspx
[vi] de Souza, H. F. (14.11.2023). Cannabis shows promise in easing endometriosis pain, new research suggests. News Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20231114/Cannabis-shows-promise-in-easing-endometriosis-pain-new-research-suggests.aspx