The war in Ukraine has understandably taken a backseat to news regarding cannabis. But in a country where the two cannabis preparations dronabinol and nabiximols have been approved since April last year, the population's desire for legalization of medical cannabis is growing. But first we would like to clarify the most important questions for you:
What is medicinal cannabis?
Medically used cannabinoids are now produced both naturally and synthetically on a large scale. The female flowers of the hemp plant or certain preparations thereof are referred to as medicinal THC or medicinal cannabis, provided they are used to alleviate or treat symptoms and symptoms of a disease and not just as a stimulant. Basically, any strain of cannabis that contains an effective amount of active cannabinoids (the active ingredient) can be considered medical marijuana, provided it is used for that purpose.
When it comes to the effects, positive effects are often reported on different groups of people through the use of cannabis. This includes people with chronic pain, painful muscle spasms, spasticity, or inflammation. But also in patients with cancer during chemotherapy or in asthma, AIDS, epilepsy or Crohn's disease patients who have noticed an alleviation of certain symptoms and side effects. An exciting effect, which often occurs, is an improved quality of life, which means that in addition to the reduction in symptoms, other effects can also be observed: more appetite, improved sleep and improved coping strategies. Relatives also report that those affected are more relaxed and only lose focus on the illness.
Now back to medical cannabis and the connection with Ukraine: On 07/06/22 the Ukrainian Minister of Health Viktor Liashko announced via Facebook that a draft law has been approved by the Cabinet, which will regulate cannabis plants to medical, scientific and industrial purposes. One understood the negative consequences of the war and the growing need for healing and alleviation of damaged clinical pictures.
implementation of the draft law
According to Liashko, the draft law, which is now to be submitted to the Ukrainian parliament as a result of cabinet approval, aims to create the conditions for easier access for patients to treatment for cancer and post-traumatic stress disorders as a result of the war. 226 votes would be needed for the project to become a reality. The draft law is said to be a revised version of a law that lawmakers failed to pass in the summer of 2021.
Liashko has already hinted that there will be more support for full legalization of medicinal cannabis this year. “We know about the negative consequences of war for mental health. We know the number of people who will require medical treatment as a result of these effects. And we know that we don't have time to wait," said the Minister of Health.
Own hemp industry should be developed
Liashko said that the draft law aims to ensure the "complete cycle of cannabis-based drug production in Ukraine." He stressed that Ukraine should gradually develop its own industry instead of relying solely on foreign imports. However, the Ukrainian government will tightly control the cultivation, production and sale of the drugs, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
Health Minister Liashko stressed that medicinal cannabis-based medicines should not be seen as competitors to narcotics or the like. Other measures would be taken to regulate trade in the natural medicines. He also hinted at the anti-cannabis campaigns that have been attempted in the past to undermine its medicinal properties.
What follows in further cannabis development?
Viktor Liashko stated that cannabis can be used to treat a variety of physical and mental ailments. This was also one of the reasons why the ban on cannabis for medical purposes was lifted from Swiss law in Switzerland on August 1, 2022. And then Sainfort also joined in the development of the production and cultivation of medical THC and cannabis.
Nevertheless, it cannot be said exactly or predicted when the use of medical cannabis would actually progress in Ukraine. It is also not yet clear whether the draft law could also be followed by legalization for recreational consumption. After all, it could not be precisely determined when the war with Russia would end and when a government would pursue these health goals. A new generation of Ukrainians would first have to grow up to achieve this goal. As a result, recreational cannabis will likely remain banned in Ukraine for the time being. In any case, we will keep you up to date and look forward to further positive information from the cannabis environment.