Survey: High-THC Flower Yields Few Serious Side Effects in Patients

in Culture

Findings published in the journal Pharmacopsychiatry, based on an online survey conducted in Germany between June 2020 and August 2020 with more than 1,000 patients, debunked the claim that high-THC cannabis poses unique health risks.

“Patients were allowed to participate only if they received a cannabis-based treatment from pharmacies in the form of cannabis flowers prescribed by a physician,” the researchers explained. 

“Overall, the mean patient-reported effectiveness was 80.1% (range, 0–100%). A regression model revealed no association between the patient-reported effectiveness and the variety. Furthermore, no influence of the disease on the choice of the [medical cannabis] strain was detected. On average, 2.1 side effects were reported (most commonly dry mouth (19.5%), increased appetite (17.1%), and tiredness (13.0%)). However, 29% of participants did not report any side effects. Only 398 participants (38.7%) indicated that costs for [medical cannabis] were covered by their health insurance,” they continued. 

The researchers said that patients “self-reported very good efficacy and tolerability” of medical cannabis, and that there “was no evidence suggesting that specific [medical cannabis] strains are superior depending on the disease to be treated.”

The findings are notable given that in Europe “pharmaceutical-grade cannabis flower…contain THC levels of 20 percent or greater,” according to NORML.

NORML said that the survey’s findings “push back against claims that cannabis strains higher in THC pose unique risks to health or that there is an absence of research supporting the efficacy of medical cannabis chemovars above 10 percent THC.”

The researchers behind the survey said that they were driven to examine the matter due to the lack of research containing high-potency medical cannabis. Their findings, they said, represent “the first large study exploring the effectiveness and tolerability of different cannabis strains prescribed by physicians in Germany.”

“There is increasing evidence that cannabis-based medicine (CBM) is efficacious in many different indications, mainly chronic pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, and palliative …

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Author: Thomas Edward / High Times

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