Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic pain… the therapeutic effects of cannabis making it the ideal plant for the treatment of a multitude of pains are numerous. Indeed, an increasing number of research studies by scientists around the world have studied its benefits.
However, some countries stand out for having become benchmarks by encouraging research on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, claims to legalize cannabis for recreational use this summer. But the Government has also decided to invest in 14 cannabis-related research projects with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Canada is another pioneering country in authorizing cannabis since the Government had initiated a project to facilitate access to medicinal cannabis in the late 1990s, although the legislation was only amended a few years ago to regulate the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic purposes and to simplify market entry for companies. As a result, some Canadian companies have become true giants in the research, production, and export of medicinal cannabis.
The Czech Republic
This Central European country regulated therapeutic cannabis in 2013 so that patients suffering from chronic pain or cancer could obtain cannabis under medical prescription. Although the high price of the drug remains an obstacle to its use, the country has a reference center for research on therapeutic cannabis: The International Institute on Cannabis and Cannabinoids (ICCI) in Prague.
Inaugurated at the end of 2015 with the support of American organizations and the Czech Ministry of Health, this multidisciplinary center offers its services to universities, technology companies and other entities around the world interested in advances in therapeutic cannabis. So,it is no coincidence that their objective is to “allow scientific examination of the relationship between cannabis compounds and the effect on the human body during the treatment of specific syndromes”.
Basically,Self-cultivation of cannabis is allowed in Spain if it is not intended for sale. However, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) may grant authorizations for the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic and research purposes. Indeed, it has already granted permits to five companies that in total own more than 20,000 hectares for legal cultivation.
Moreover, various research teams have made significant progress in recent years. For instance,at the Completeness University of Madrid, a group of scientists led by Dr. Guillermo Velasco has been studying the applications of cannabinoids for the treatment of certain diseases for more than 10 years.
In fact, in 2003, the Netherlands adopted a law allowing the purchase of medicinal cannabis in pharmacies in the country for certain patients. So,Cannabis research is allowed, although regulated since the Medical Cannabis Agency under the Ministry of Health is responsible for the production of cannabis for medicinal purposes, but it is also responsible for providing cannabis to universities, pharmacies, and research institutes.
However, Bedrocan is the only distributor of medicinal cannabis in the Netherlands. Also,this company carries out its studies and is associated with other plant research centers. For example, researchers at the University of Leiden Medical Centre are currently studying the effects of inhaled medicinal cannabis on the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Beyond these countries, others may well become major research centers in the coming years, and Uruguay is undoubtedly one of them. Besides,it is the first country in the world to fully legalize the production and marketing of cannabis throughout the country. Also, the export of medicinal cannabis is authorized.
The United States is therefore not yet the best country to conduct your cannabis research. Despite all this, it is likely that in the coming years more and more countries will allow their inhabitants to enjoy the benefits of medicinal cannabis.