Medical cannabis has been used in medicine for millennia, but it was not until 1964 that D9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its major psychoactive component, was isolated in pure form and its structure was elucidated. Emerging evidence supports a role of the endocannabinoid system in a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. THC exerts a wide variety of biological effects by mimicking endogenous substances, i.e., the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which activate specific cannabinoid receptors (CB1, particularly abundant in the central and peripheral nervous system, and CB2, mainly expressed in the immune system).
Consequently, medical cannabis and its derivatives promise an almost infinite array of cannabis-based drug therapies. The accomplishment of an increasing number of controlled clinical trials makes it possible to affirm that THC exhibits an interesting therapeutic potential as anti-emetic, appetite stimulant in debilitating diseases (cancer and AIDS), analgesic, as well as in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and several neurological syndromes. Also, THC and other cannabis plant constituents exhibit interesting neuroprotective properties. However, further clinical trials, well-designed, carefully executed, and powered for efficacy, are essential to clearly define the role of THC-based medicines in all these pathologies.
In Greece, the in so far approved cannabis indications are the following:
1. Prevention and management of nausea and/or vomiting induced from chemotherapy
2. Neuropathic pain, cancer pain, sustaining for more than 3 months and non-responsive to other treatments, or other treatments are non-tolerated or contraindicated
3. Spasticity and pain in patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis
Under law 4801/2021 (Government Gazette 83/Α’/24-05-2021) the production, export, and distribution of finished medical cannabis products of the Cannabis Sativa L plant species with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of more than 0.2% is allowed.
The Cannabis Sativa L plant is categorized into three different sub-species:
Hybrid cannabis varieties consist a fourth category. Hybrid varieties are created by growers to gather desirable properties from more sub-species.
Tikun owns unique, IP protected, medical cannabis strains. The effectiveness of Tikun strains has been tested in the clinical field. These strains are the basis for the – under development – Tikun medical cannabis products, which will be marketed in Greece, after receiving the relevant approvals.