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Switzerland: Most patients abandoned CBD treatment because it was too expensive



Reto Agosti, director of the Headache Center at the Hirslander Hospital in Zurich. Photo: Laura Ramos | cannareporter

In an observational study in which 117 people with migraines and headaches participated, 95 ended up giving up on the treatment because they could not afford it. Swiss neurologist Reto Agosti, founder and director of the Headache Center at the Hirslanden Hospital in Zurich, said today that the majority of patients who used CBD extracts to relieve headaches and migraines dropped out of treatment as it was too expensive. In Switzerland, most cannabis treatments are not funded by the government or health subsystems.

Reto Agosti spoke this afternoon at Cannabinoid Conference, the 12th Medical Cannabis Conference organized by the IACM (International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines), in partnership with SSCM (Swiss Society of Cannabis in Medicine). “Cannabis Medicinalis” takes place today and tomorrow at the Congress Center in Basel, Switzerland, and features more than 30 speakers to discuss and present the latest advances in cannabinoid science and medicine.

The Zurich neurologist presented the results of an observational study in which 117 patients used “cannabis oil” and/or “sativa oil”, two extracts from different cannabis strains with around 20% CBD and less than 1% THC. To Cannareporter, Agosti said that the remaining cannabinoids were not specified for this treatment, because in Switzerland, basically only CBD and THC are still being used.

Regarding the results of the study, Reto Agosti stated that a considerable part of the patients had a “remarkable improvement in their quality of life”, mainly because they started to sleep better and because the intensity of the headaches decreased. However, 95 of the 117 patients who started the study did not continue the treatment because it was too expensive. “As patients increased the dose of cannabis oil, the cost reached around €400 per month, which became unaffordable for most,” explained the doctor, who also noted that more clinical studies are needed to confirm the benefits of CBD for migraines and headaches.

“The cost of medical CBD is too high for most patients who need it. Cheaper products or greater support from insurers is needed,” she concluded.



[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]


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With a degree in Journalism from the University of Coimbra, Laura Ramos has a postgraduate degree in Photography and has been a Journalist since 1998. She was a correspondent for Jornal de Notícias in Rome, Italy, and Press Advisor at the Office of the Minister of Education. She has an international certification in Permaculture (PDC) and created the street-art photographic archive “What says Lisbon?” @saywhatlisbon. Laura is currently Editor of CannaReporter and CannaZine, as well as founder and program director of PTMC - Portugal Medical Cannabis. She directed the documentary “Pacientes” and was part of the steering group of the first Postgraduate in GxP's for Medicinal Cannabis in Portugal, in partnership with the Military Laboratory and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon.

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