Medicinal cannabis: where is the experiment in France?


  • 78% of the French are in favor of the legalization of medical cannabis.
  • The majority of the French (51%) are now also in favor of the decriminalization of recreational cannabis.

Seven months after the launch of the experimentation with cannabis for medical use by the Minister of Solidarity and Health Olivier Véran, 1,000 patients have already been included in the ANSM study and more than 1,000 health professionals are mobilized throughout France, despite from the pandemic context.

Interest of patients and healthcare professionals

For Christelle Ratignier-Carbonneil, general director of ANSM, “this mobilization demonstrates the interest of patients and health professionals for this new drug, particularly for patients with treatment failure. The inclusion of 1,000 patients is a first step, other stages await us before “. reaching the ultimate goal of generalization. ANSM teams are committed to this path. “

Among the 5 indications retained in the context of the experiment, the most represented in the included patients are refractory neuropathic pain, painful spasticity in multiple sclerosis and certain forms of drug-resistant epilepsy. “We know that medical cannabis will not be the solution for everyone, but if we can bring relief to several patients who so far have not achieved treatment, we will have won part of the fight,” says Mado Gilanton, member of the ANSM expert committee. and president of the Apaiser S&C association.

“Define the most effective and best tolerated dose possible”

Of the 1,000 patients included, 779 are currently being followed, some have dropped out of the experiment due, in particular, to adverse effects or ineffectiveness. “Defining the most effective and best-tolerated dose possible for patients is one of the clinical challenges of this experiment. For this reason, building a therapeutic alliance between the patient and the healthcare professional is essential. Medical treatment with cannabis could represent an opportunity real for certain patients who suffer intensely without effective treatment ”, explains Nicolas Authier, president of the temporary scientific committee for the follow-up of the ANSM experiment.

To continue patient access to this innovative treatment, the ANSM is gradually identifying and positioning the levers to facilitate new inclusions and improve patient care, in consultation with stakeholders.

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