Medical marijuana use jumps 45 pct. in Netherlands

Smoking weed
. Source: Flickr: When in Amsterdam.../ashton.

An increase of 45 percent has been recorded for the use of medical marijuana in the Netherlands compared to 2014. This is a much larger increase than in the last four years, which increased a steady 25 percent increase. Patients that are now medically qualify for the use of cannabis no longer have to rely on coffee shops, now they can get there medical marijuana, via prescription, at their local pharmacy, reported the Foundation for Pharmaceutical Studies (SFK).

The Office of Medical Cannabis (BMC) controls the production and supply of marijuana in the Netherlands as part of the Ministry of Health. Scientific studies conducted by the BMC have shown cannabis work for chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and decreased appetite and weight loss caused through AIDS and cancer. Though medical marijuana is not a registered medicine, and is only prescribed in cases where other drugs have failed or had too many side effects.

The use of medical marijuana is experiencing strong growth, and pharmacies are predicting some more than 4,000 users in 2015, the SFK website reporting more than 11,000 medical marijuana prescriptions from 2012.

The BMC currently has five varieties of medical marijuana on the market, ranging in composition and concerntration of the active substances THC (tetrahydrocannabinol or dronabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). In order of popularity: Bedrocan (65%), Bedoil (17%), Bedrobinol and Bedica (10%), and Bedrolite (1%).

The average amount provided is 16 grams. The BMC recommends use of medical marijuana via a tea or vaporizer, as they discourage the smoking of medical cannabis.

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