Modified on: 03/05/2021
What is pharmaceutical hemp, which hemp-based medicament are legal in italy and what is the difference between medical marijuana and light marijuana?
The confusion about light marijuana in Italy is such that many people think it is cannabis for therapeutic use, born from common cannabis seeds and then processed to make pills, sprays for oral use, rolling papers for vaporization, herbal teas and decoctions and much more.
Actually, this is not the case: light hemp is a completely different product from medical marijuana. The two products differ from each other in the quantity of cannabinoids, uses, methods of production, processing and dosing.
During this in-depth study, we will talk to you about therapeutic hemp on sale in Italy and the deep differences with the light herb, so that you can have clear ideas about it.
Let’s start right now!
Therapeutic hemp: what is it?
In Italy, medical hemp is cannabis for all intents and purposes, born from regular marijuana seeds and containing high percentages of THC and other cannabinoids.
Actually, the cultivation of therapeutic hemp is allowed, in the Italian territory, exclusively at the Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Plant of Florence.
Being a narcotic substance, its cultivation is strictly forbidden: we remind you, in fact, that autoflowering cannabis seeds, feminized seeds and quick seeds can only be bought for collection purposes. Their cultivation is administratively or criminally punished according to the situation.
FM1 and FM2 varieties of medical marijuana grown in the Florence Plant are not enough to satisfy the demand of Italian patients. For this reason, this country imports additional qualities of medical cannabis from other states.
The inflorescences produced or imported in Italy are then supplied to galenic pharmacies authorized to produce cannabinoid-based medicaments.
The quantities of hemp flowers used to produce the medicines are very small, so much so that, in general, they do not have a narcotic effect, but they calm symptoms such as spasticity, inappetence, chronic pain and others.
Who can use these medications? Anyone who has a pathology recognized and certified by the medical-scientific bibliography and has a medical prescription compiled by a doctor. The doctors who prescribe cannabinoids can be both family doctors and specialists.
Let’s now see the differences between cannabis and light cannabis.
Cannabinoids in medical marijuana VS cannabinoids in light marijuana
Light marijuana is not a narcotic substance and contains high percentages of CBD (non-psychoactive cannabinoid) and very low percentages of THC. In Italy the maximum THC allowed is 0.2%, with tolerated percentages up to 0.6%. On the contrary, the amounts of THC found in medical cannabis are very high, while CBD is often low.
Here, below, all the details about both the FM1 and FM2 produced in Italy and about the varieties imported from other countries:
- FM1: THC 13-20% and CBD <1%
- FM2: THC 5-8% and CBD 7.5-12%
- Bedrocan: THC 22% and CBD <1%
- Bediol: THC 6% and CBD 8%
- Bedica: THC 14% and CBD <1%
- Bedrobinol: THC 12% and CBD <1%
- Bedrolite: THC <0.4% and CBD 9%
- Pedanios: THC 22% and CBD <1%
Let’s now see the possible uses of the two types of cannabis.
Uses of light cannabis and medical cannabis
According to law 242/2016, cannabis light can be used to obtain:
- food and cosmetics produced in compliance with the regulations of the respective sectors;
- material intended for phytoremediation for the remediation of polluted sites;
- crops dedicated to teaching, demonstration and research activities by public or private institutes;
- semi-finished products, such as fiber, sheaves, powders, wood chips, oils or fuels, for supplies to industries and craft activities in various sectors, including energy;
- material intended for the practice of green manure;
- organic material intended for bioengineering works or useful products for green building;
- crops intended for floriculture.
Instead, medical marijuana is used to calm the symptoms of patients suffering from the following diseases (in cases where the classic therapies do not have an effect):
- Multiple sclerosis and ALS
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Nausea and vomiting in HIV-infected patients
- Chronic pain (especially neuropathic pain)
Cannabinoid medications can also be used in pain therapy for cancer patients. However, generally these medicines are usable by anyone with a disease and in possession of a medical prescription. But be careful: we cannot speak of diseases that can be treated with cannabinoids, but we can talk about symptoms that can be placated thanks to the use of medical marijuana-based medications, such as Sativex, Bedrocan and others.
Differences in the production, distribution and administration of light cannabis and medical marijuana
As we have anticipated, medical marijuana can only be produced in authorized establishments (in Italy, the Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Plant of Florence) since it is cannabis with narcotic effects in all aspects. The plants then distribute the inflorescences, already shredded, to authorized galenic pharmacies. Pharmacies cannot distribute shredded hemp flowers to patients: they make galenic medications with small amounts of inflorescences and then sell them only with a prescription.
Light Cannabis, not being a narcotic substance, does not need special authorizations to be cultivated. Anyone can do it, always respecting the provisions and obligations imposed by law 242/2016. The products derived from industrial hemp are then processed and distributed in the form of inflorescences, creams, herbal teas, food products and much more.
Anyone can buy these products and use them in the way they are intended (beware of the light marijuana flowers that cannot be smoked but only collected, a bit like BSF Seeds).
Now you know all the differences between medical cannabis and light weed, the so-called legal cannabis.
Cannabis-based medications are distributed, with medical prescription, to people suffering from particular diseases, while light marijuana-based products can be purchased by anyone, except for flowers and CBD oil which can only be purchased from adults.
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