Medical cannabis: treatments available from 2025 according to the drug agency

Medical cannabis: treatments available from 2025 according to the drug agency

Treatments based on medical cannabis, particularly used for pain, will be available in Europe in 2025, the medicines agency assured Tuesday, while an experiment on the subject has been underway for several years.

The end of experimentation and the availability of cannabis-based medicines by 2025 are being prepared“, announced the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) in a press release.

Therapeutic cannabis: extreme French caution

Several European countries, as well as Israel and certain American states, already allow doctors the possibility of prescribing cannabis-based products, a therapeutic avenue which is the subject of controversy in the medical world. The therapeutic value of cannabis, especially considered against pain and anxiety, is indeed subject to debate. In the current state of knowledge, studies tend to confirm certain benefits, but which remain limited.

Europe has been considering legalizing medical cannabis for several years and has, to this end, launched an experiment involving a few thousand patients since 2021. A very “cautious” strategy… In September 2023, a forum of 17 associations demanding legalization from 2024 recalled Europe’s delay on this issue. Questioned by TipsForWomens, Dr Pascal Douek, a former general practitioner, suffering from multiple sclerosis and participating in this experiment, declared: “We are one of the last countries in Europe to launch into medical cannabis. We also entered it through the back door, that of experimentation to start in a framework which does not change anything on the legal level. And when everything is ready, we face only political reluctance.”

Treatments available in 2025 in Europe

At the end of 2023, the government, after having procrastinated on the subject for a long time, opened the way to the authorization of therapeutic cannabis, giving it a special status via the annual Social Security financing law.

This status gives the ANSM the possibility of authorizing cannabis-based products for five years, without waiting for possible authorization at the level of the European Union (EU).

With a view to authorization next year, “these medicines must have obtained authorization issued by the ANSM no later than December 31, 2024“, underlined the agency.

Extension of the current experiment

She also announced the extension of the current experiment. In fact, this was due to end at the end of March, which would have prevented participants from receiving their treatment for several months before possible authorization next year.

Eventually, “patients included before March 27, 2024 will be able to continue their treatment with medical cannabis as part of the follow-up set up with their doctor“, explained the agency, specifying that on the other hand, it would no longer be possible to integrate new patients after this deadline.

In total, just over 3,000 patients will have participated in the experiment.

End of “Power Flower”: cannabis flowers removed from experimentation

The ANSM, on the other hand, announced that medicines in the form of cannabis flowers (to be inhaled) would be withdrawn from the experiment in the coming weeks. The doctors concerned are therefore called upon to gradually stop prescribing them.

The other form of these cannabis-based medications is to swallow: oil or tablet.

In February 2022, a scientific committee was set up by the medicines safety agency for the creation of a French cannabis cultivation and treatment development sector. Indeed, at present, therapeutic cannabis used by patients in Europe is imported from several countries (Canada, Australia and Portugal).