Intended for healthcare professionals


Medicinal cannabis should not be used ahead of approved drugs, says German review

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 24 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2326

Linked Editorial

Medical cannabis: it is time to provide legal access, the UK must not get left behind

  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg

The increasing number of German doctors prescribing cannabis is being fuelled in part by “hype,” concludes a review that contends that in most cases “tried and tested” drugs are better options.

The review says that research into the use of cannabis for medical treatment has been limited, in comparison with the intensive research process before traditional drugs receive regulatory approval. What limited research there is does not support the claims made by proponents medicinal cannabis, it says.

“Cannabis is not a miracle drug,” said the study coauthor Gerd Glaeske, an expert in healthcare economics and policy at the University of Bremen.

The 90 page cannabis report was commissioned by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK),1 one of Germany’s largest public sector health insurers, which regularly commissions studies …

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