Therapeutic cannabis: the drug agency wants an experiment before the end of 2019


Several routes of administration are under study ( cannabis ) : sprays, inhalation, capsules, drops …

The Agence du Medecine (ANSM) hopes that an experimentation of therapeutic cannabis could be put in place before the end of 2019, under conditions to be defined, she announced Thursday, December 27.

The ANSM made this announcement two weeks after the positive opinion of a committee of experts it had set up.

On December 13th, this committee considered it “pertinent to authorize the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes […] in certain clinical situations and in case of insufficient relief or poor tolerance” of existing treatments. In a statement, she said: “The ANSM subscribes to the first conclusions of the group of independent experts.”

The questions of experimentation

It considers that “access to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes should initially be the subject of an experiment”, according to modalities to be defined by the group of experts.

For this, five expert committee meetings are scheduled to take place between January 30 and June 2019.

“The idea would be that the committee of experts define the general conditions before the summer to, ideally, launch the experiment by the end of 2019”, told AFP the general director of the ANSM, Dominique Martin .

The purpose of this experiment would be to “test the expert committee’s proposals in concrete terms: where will the therapeutic cannabis be produced, will it be imported or not, what distribution channel, what delivery mode (pharmacy, etc.)? ”

According to him, “experimentation, modality regularly used for the implementation of public policies, would save time”, because it would be in a legal framework “lighter” that an immediate generalization.


Sprays, inhalation, capsules, drops

The therapeutic cannabis as envisaged by the ANSM does not concern the smoked forms, of which the joint: the committee of experts has discarded this mode of administration because of the harmful effects of the combustion for the health.

It is rather preparations made directly from the cannabis plant, with several routes of administration to study: sprays, inhalation, capsules, drops, suppositories, oils, sublingual route, patch …

French patients who are relieved by therapeutic cannabis have so far been forced to provide themselves on the illegal market, without any guarantee on the quality of products, or to go to countries where medical cannabis is allowed, such as Switzerland.

Thirty countries in the world allow therapeutic cannabis: many American states, Canada, 21 European Union countries as well as Switzerland, Norway, Israel and Turkey.

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