PRAGUE, Dec 12 (CTK) - Czech patients may soon start using hemp (cannabis)-based medicines as the government plans to include them among legal medical products in an amendment to the law on addictive substances, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) reports today.
So far, the substances from cannabis, mainly its major active substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can be applied in research only on the basis of a permit issued by the Health Ministry. Theoretically, they can be used in a special medical treatment in selected cases, but the ministry says that no one has been treated with hemp extracts yet.
In a number of countries, cannabis-based medicines are commonly applied for instance to attenuate stomach troubles of patients after chemotherapy, or in the treatment of epilepsy, asthma and indigestion.
"With regard to the worldwide rising interest in a possible medical use of hemp, we consider it beneficial to list cannabis among the narcotics that can be used for therapeutical purposes," Vaclav Sebor from the Health Ministry's press section told the paper.
If the government-proposed bill is passed, cannabis-based medicines could be prescribed by doctors and their distribution and use would be registered to prevent any abuse.
Experts dealing with the prevention and treatment of drug addicts have welcomed the intention to use cannabis products.
"It is a positive step as cannabis healing effects have been known for some 1,000 years," Ivan Douda from Drop In centre for drug addicts told the daily.