An increasing number of Danish doctors are using medical cannabis on their patients. The drugs are mostly used to lessen pain in most terminally ill patients and to treat several sclerosis conditions.
At the moment, the only manufacturer of the product is Kristian Østergaard Nielsen from Glostrup Apotek located in the western suburb of Copenhagen. Nielsen is currently the supplier of the drug retailing in Denmark shops. This is despite the fact that medical cannabis is still illegal in Denmark.
The cannabis plants are mostly grown in Austria and shipped to Germany for processing. The active ingredients (THC and CBD) are then extracted and used by Nielsen to manufacture the final products. Since 2016, Nielsen has been producing the oils and pills that contain either THC or CBD substances that are the ingredients of marijuana. About 500 patients have already been treated with the drugs containing cannabis though; the state authorities and Danish Medicines Agency have not yet approved any doctor to use the cannabis for medical reasons.
A bottle of 30 ml of CBD or a 10 ml of THC retails for about 2,000 kroner on the market. It is alleged that most of the health insurance in Denmark covers the costs fully for the serious patients including the multiple sclerosis, AIDS, cancer and other related medical conditions. The medical cannabis is suitable for alleviating the excruciating pain in the terminally-ill patients.
The Health ministry of Denmark has laid plans to legalize the medicinal cannabis and the trials are expected to commence in 2018. According to Sophie Løhde, the health minister, the recommended bill will go through a four-year period that will ensure the cannabis is provided for patients suffering from serious ailments. In this case, the doctors will prescribe drugs to their patients who will be allowed to smoke, eat, or drink the drugs. The medical cannabis is known to have medicinal value for chronic pain, back injuries, multiple scleroris, cancer, and other serious illnesses.
By the beginning of this year, the use of marijuana for medical reasons have been legalized in several European countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, Germany, France, and Macedonia.