MAY 09, 2024 8:20 AM PDT

Medical Cannabis Patients Report Improvements Using High THC Products

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

Medical cannabis patients attribute the use of high-potency tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products to health improvements, according to a study published in Pharmacopsychiatry. Most German pharmaceutical-grade cannabis flower has a potency of 20% or higher, but this study challenges claims that cannabis strains with higher THC levels pose significant health risks. This study showed that patients believe high THC products are safe and effective. 

Roughly 1,028 German medical cannabis patients completed surveys between June 2020 and August 2020 as part of the study. The participants were required to purchase lab-tested cannabis flower from regional pharmacies. The most frequently used chemovar or strain had a 22% potency

The participants described no significant differences between chemovars and reported that they tolerated cannabis effects well. The mean for patient-reported effectiveness was 80%. 29% of participants reported no side effects. Participants who did experience side effects reported dry mouth (19.5%), drowsiness (13%), and increased appetite (17.1%). 

Many participants (58%) reported cannabis consumption for more than a year, and they used an average of 5.9 different strains. Physicians most frequently prescribed cannabis to the participants for the following conditions: different pain disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, psychiatric disorders, and neurological diseases. 

Participants evaluated the price-performance ratio as medium (23%), poor (20%), or very poor (21%). Roughly 30% of participants (30%) were satisfied with the price-performance ratio.

Only 398 participants (38.7%) had health insurance policies that included full or partial coverage of medical cannabis costs. Approximately 27% of participants claimed that their insurance verification request was under review, and 34.3% did not submit an application for health insurance coverage.

Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2017 and adult-use cannabis on April 1, 2024. German cannabis law allows for responsible personal cannabis cultivation and consumption, and the German cannabis industry is projected to grow exponentially.  

Source: NORML, Pharmacopsychiatry


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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