German medical marijuana patients
German medical marijuana patients

The Guys Who Make Your Mercedes and BMWs Love Medical Marijuana, Too! - Germans Give MMJ High Marks Compared to Pharma Drugs

German cannabis patients are more satisifed with the plant than the lab-made alternatives!

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Monday Jan 29, 2024

germans like medial marijuana

It is widely known that cannabis can serve as a viable alternative to traditional medicinal options for alleviating and addressing pain and associated symptoms. Numerous studies have already verified the effectiveness of cannabis and its compounds in pain management. However, a recent study suggests that patients perceive it to be potentially more effective than conventional treatments.


A recent survey conducted among German patients and published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine delved into the experiences with cannabis products, capturing insights from over 200 anonymous participants. Similar to previous research findings, participants commonly reported experiencing reductions in their daily pain following the initiation of cannabis therapy, along with other positive outcomes.


Of significance, participants expressed "greater satisfaction" with cannabis, deeming it "more effective" than their previous treatment regimens.


Exploring the Use of Prescription Cannabis for Pain Management in Germany


Researchers emphasize that a key objective of their study is to investigate the perspectives of patients whose experiences have not been sufficiently documented until now.


Employing a web-based survey targeting individuals prescribed cannabinoids, the research was conducted anonymously from May 31, 2021, to June 2022, to minimize the influence of treatment providers and reduce stigma. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires regarding their cannabis therapy twice during the same session – once for the survey period and again for the period preceding their cannabis treatment.


The survey asked Germans questions that included inquiries about daily pain levels, the intricacies of the cannabinoid prescription process (specifically challenges encountered in obtaining the medication), and participants' overall attitudes toward cannabis.


Among the surveyed individuals, chronic pain emerged as the most prevalent diagnosis, with 72% of participants citing pain relief as the primary motivation for their prescriptions.


While Germany is gaining attention on the global stage for its anticipated legalization of recreational cannabis, the country legalized plant cannabis and cannabinoid treatments for prescription use in 2017. Authorization for cannabis medication is typically granted when patients do not respond to traditional treatment options.


Researchers highlight a notable trend from 2017 to 2022, indicating that the most common reason for cannabinoid prescriptions in Germany was pain management.


Despite barriers to access, a cross-sectional study reveals that the majority of outpatients using prescription cannabinoids in Germany subjectively report health benefits and symptom reduction associated with these therapies, as stated in the researchers' discussion.


Across all medical diagnoses and symptom categories, the authors note that participants consistently expressed positive impacts on physical functioning, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. Furthermore, they reported a reduction in challenges related to fulfilling their social roles, and their pain symptoms were perceived to have a diminished impact on their daily lives. Participant satisfaction was assessed based on perceived effectiveness, side effects, and overall contentment.


Researchers propose that the stress-reducing effects of cannabis drugs could serve as a "significant mediating factor." This is in contrast to opioids, which may have "more ambivalent effects on stress regulation" due to the activation of the kappa opioid receptor signaling pathway by stress stimuli, leading to both aversion and dysphoria in humans and other animal species.


Before undergoing cannabis therapy, participants generally held a neutral to slightly positive attitude toward cannabis, which evolved into a "predominantly positive" outlook during therapy.


While most issues during the prescription process did not stem from physicians, reimbursement problems with health insurance providers were a notable challenge. Approximately 25% of participants with statutory health insurance coverage reported paying out of pocket.


Researchers attribute this phenomenon to the intricate legal landscape in Germany, where the prescription of cannabinoid medications involves significant complexity and administrative hurdles. These challenges are comparable to those encountered when prescribing off-label drugs, posing obstacles for both patients and practitioners.


Foundations for Future Research Directions


The study highlights the scarcity of comparable research where German patients are directly queried about cannabinoid therapy, as most surveys primarily focus on questioning physicians. Similar investigations have consistently identified pain as the primary reason for cannabis prescriptions.


Diverging from much of the current regional research, researchers acknowledge the risk of selection bias, recognizing that participants may have been more inclined to join the study if they experienced successful treatments. Additionally, they highlight the potential influence of "expectation bias," given the high access barriers for cannabinoid therapies in Germany, leading eligible patients to harbor elevated expectations, potentially influencing a more favorable assessment of such therapies, among other conceivable limitations.


Despite these considerations, the researchers assert that this observational study provides initial insights for further exploration. It offers a foundation for discussions related to planning clinical cannabinoid trials and formulating pertinent research questions, particularly by incorporating patients' perspectives into the dialogue.


Implications for Healthcare Policy and Patient-Centric Approaches


In light of the notable patient satisfaction and positive outcomes reported in the study, there are crucial implications for shaping healthcare policies and adopting patient-centric approaches in pain management. The findings underscore the need for policymakers to consider the growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of medical cannabis. As Germany navigates its evolving stance on cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, policymakers should take into account the perspectives and experiences of patients, particularly those seeking relief from chronic pain. By acknowledging the benefits observed in this study, there is an opportunity to refine and expand existing frameworks to better accommodate patient needs.


A patient-centric approach, rooted in understanding individual experiences and preferences, is paramount in optimizing healthcare interventions. The study's emphasis on incorporating patient perspectives in future research and clinical trials is a pivotal step toward developing more personalized and effective treatment strategies. Integrating patient voices into the discourse not only ensures a comprehensive understanding of the therapeutic landscape but also fosters a healthcare environment that values the well-being and preferences of those seeking relief through medical cannabis. This patient-centric paradigm shift can influence pain management protocols and broader healthcare policies, fostering a more responsive and inclusive healthcare system in Germany and beyond.


Bottom Line


The study illuminates a significant shift in patient satisfaction and positive outcomes with medical cannabis, particularly in pain management, compared to conventional treatments. As Germany stands on the brink of potential recreational cannabis legalization, policymakers must heed the call to integrate patient perspectives into healthcare policies. This patient-centric approach, rooted in understanding individual experiences and preferences, holds the promise of optimizing treatment strategies and fostering a more responsive and inclusive healthcare system. The findings not only underscore the efficacy of medical cannabis but also pave the way for a nuanced and informed discourse that could shape the future landscape of cannabis-related healthcare policies in Germany and beyond.





What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: