Recently, the Czech media has again begun to speak in reports on medical hemp. Czech pharmacies are full hemp, the whole system of electronic prescriptions is functional, but sales of medical hemp are still low. Why? Here we offer our point of view.
Here are a few basic facts. Medical hemp is available in the Czech Republic since 2013 and its distribution is currently regulated by regulation 235/2015 Sb (1). The Decree defines the maximum amount of cannabis for 1 person and a month for 180g, tthe prescription duty with eRecepts, and in the annexes you will find possible indications for prescription and the required specialization of physicians.
Annex 1 to this regulation also sets the content of active substances in hemp to 0.3% - 21% for THC and 0.1% - 19% for CBD.
High THC content and low content of CBD
According to the SAKL (state agency for medical cannabis) report of June 22, 2018, Czech hemp is currently available in the Czech Republic from Elkoplast Slušovice s.r.o. (2)
This medical hemp has an active ingredient content of 19% THC and 0.1% CBD! Which, in our opinion, is not ideal at all. The high THC content and low CBD content make hemp a highly psychoactive material that can surprise many experienced users with its powerful effects.
While CBD acts on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the tissues and the nervous system so as to prevent them from activation and thereby reduce the overall stress of the body, THC acts primarily in the brain, namely the hippocampus, cerebellum and basal ganglia, where it acts similarly to the neurotransmitter- nerve signal transducer and thereby activates these centres.
THC has undesirable side effects
The effects of THC in the brain are related to known side effects such as anxiety, fear, panic and paranoia (3) that have been encountered perhaps by every user of hemp.
And the high THC content in medical hemp easily leads to these conditions.
The SAKL in its manual to the use of medical hemp (4) states that "The rate of action is highly individual and depends on the patient's sensitivity." That is true of course, however, I can still imagine how, for example, a 60 year old man who received medical hemp prescribed for pain from his doctor, vaporizes for the first time medical hemp with 19% THC and 0.1% CBD.
Those conditions of panic and anxiety that will come after the first few minutes of intoxication will really be nothing pleasant. The psychoactive effects of hemp are simply undesirable for a large number of patients. This is more so when patients have no previous experience with hemp.
CBD minimizes the undesirable effects of THC
Long-term research and studies of hemp have shown that CBD has been shown to counteract these undesirable effects of THC (5) and therefore the CBD content of medical hemp is extremely important for therapeutic purposes.
THC and CBD support each other in their effects, and it confirm our practical experience. Ideally, the ratio of THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in medical hemp should be 1: 1. For example, 10% THC and 10% CBD. Unfortunately, in the currently available hemp, the ratio of THC and CBD is extremely unbalanced: 190: 1 - 19% THC and 0.1% CBD.
This is, in our opinion, a major problem for the wider availability of currently available medical hemp, as patients may experience very strong undesirable psychotic effects in use.
The solution is to supplement the CBD oil
A possible solution is to supplement the medical hemp with CBD oils that will deliver the missing CBD factor to therapy, which works just against the undesirable effects of THC on the psyche. In the future, expanding the supply of medical hemp to material with a more balanced ratio of THC and CBD.
Author: Ing. Ondřej Šťovíček, managing director of Cannadorra
Ondřej is a founder and CEO of Cannadorra. He is mainly taking care of strategic management and development of the international cooperation. His vision is to make hemp available for the medical and practical purposes to everybody.