Frequently asked questions
about medical cannabis

Who uses medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis, which has a total THC content of 1% or more, is regulated in Switzerland by the Narcotic Drugs Act (see Narcotic Drugs Directory Ordinance, BetmVV-EDI, SR 812.121.11). To date, Swissmedic has only officially approved the drug Sativex for the symptomatic treatment of moderate to severe spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, there are also special prescription medicines prescribed by physicians that are manufactured by pharmacies and do not require regulatory approval. Products containing other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) - Epidyolex, for example - where the total THC content is less than 1% are not covered by the Narcotics Act and are therefore not affected by recent regulatory changes. Medical cannabis is most commonly used for the following medical indications: - Persistent, chronic pain, such as that associated with a cancer diagnosis - Pain that is due to nerve damage (neuropathic pain) - Spastic conditions caused by multiple sclerosis or other neurological disorders - Nausea and lack of appetite, for example, in HIV patients or during cancer chemotherapy

What does medical cannabis cost in Switzerland?

The cost of medical cannabis in Switzerland varies depending on the provider, dosage and form of administration. Reimbursement via the basic insurance is therefore only possible within the framework of individual case reimbursement (Art. 71a ff. of the Health Insurance Ordinance of 27 June 1995 (KVV), i.e. a cost approval by the health insurance company is required. In case of corresponding coverage, a supplementary insurance may be liable to pay benefits.

Are cannabinoids effective painkillers?

In medical practice, cannabinoids are mainly used in the form of medical cannabis. This contains about 70 different cannabinoids and up to 400 additional active constituents. Among these, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most thoroughly researched substances. THC is most valued for its analgesic properties, while CBD is better known for its anxiety-relieving and sedative effects. It is important to note that cannabinoids generally have a less potent effect than opioids. About one-third of patients treated with cannabis do not experience any symptom relief at all. These patients are referred to as "non-responders."

Is the use of medical cannabis legal in Switzerland?

Yes, the use of medical cannabis is legal in Switzerland under certain medical conditions.

What are the requirements to be prescribed medical cannabis?

In order to be prescribed medical cannabis, certain conditions must be met, such as a medical indication and the failure of conventional treatment methods.

What forms of medical cannabis are available in Switzerland?

Various forms of medical cannabis are available in Switzerland, including dried flowers, oils, extracts, and capsules.

How is the dosage of medical cannabis determined?

The dosage of medical cannabis is individualized and determined by a physician according to the patient's disease, symptomatology, and tolerance.

Are there any interactions of medical cannabis with other medications?

Medical cannabis may interact with other medications. It is important to inform the treating physician of all medications taken.

Are there differences between THC and CBD?

Yes, THC and CBD are two different cannabinoids. THC has psychoactive properties, while CBD is not psychoactive and can have various therapeutic properties.

Can medical cannabis affect driving ability?

Yes, medical cannabis can impair driving ability and should be avoided while driving or engaging in other dangerous activities.

Please note that these questions and answers contain general information and do not constitute individual medical advice. It is important to consult qualified physicians or healthcare professionals for specific questions and concerns.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.