Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Belgium

Updated on December 28, 2018.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

While Belgium’s medical marijuana program differs in its approach, it does follow the decision of other countries to set requirements for qualifying for medical marijuana. Whether you or a loved one are considering adding medical weed to your treatment plan, it’s essential to understand how may be eligible for this natural and effective medicine.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Belgium

Due to Belgium’s legalization of cannabis-based medicines, qualifying for medical marijuana depends on what conditions and symptoms these medications are approved to treat. As a result, you’re limited in how you may use medical cannabis.

Approved cannabis-based medications include:

  • Sativex: This prescription drug, also known as Nabiximols, features tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and is delivered via an oral spray. It’s approved to treat spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuropathic pain.
  • Cesamet: Nabilone or Cesamet is an oral medication. It uses synthetic THC to relieve severe nausea. It’s also been applied to MS and fibromyalgia
  • Marinol: Referred to as Dronabinol or Marinol, this prescription drug also features synthetic THC. It’s prescribed to treat nausea, as well as appetite loss caused by cancer treatments or HIV.

As a result, Belgium limits its qualifying conditions for medical cannabis to MS, cancer, fibromyalgia and HIV.

How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Belgium

Becoming a medical marijuana patient in Belgium is a hassle-free process. One reason is because the country only permits the use of licensed medications with a cannabis base, so these medicines undergo extensive testing. To begin using one of these prescription drugs, you need to visit the specialist overseeing your condition. Depending on your past treatments and symptoms, they may prescribe one of these medications.

How to Access Medical Marijuana in Belgium

If you receive a prescription for a drug like Sativex, Cesamet or Marinol, the process for accessing your order is like purchasing other medicine. You’ll visit your pharmacy, provide your prescription and pick up your medication. Your pharmacist will then review any dosage or usage instructions.

For acquiring medical marijuana, you can either join a cannabis club or cultivate a single plant at home. Marijuana plants, however, must not have a THC content above 0.2 percent. As a member of a non-profit cannabis club, it’s critical to understand the organization occupies a legal gray area and could be subject to criminal penalties.

How Medical Marijuana Laws in Belgium Protect Patients

Belgium’s laws for medical marijuana aim to protect patients. By ensuring physicians only prescribe licensed, tested and regulated medicine, the government iis making sure the medication you or a loved one receives is safe. The country’s choice to prevent the recommendation of medical weed, however, can leave patients vulnerable.

Prescription drugs like Sativex, Cesamet and Marinol all include a range of side effects, too. In some cases, Cesamet can make symptoms worse, such as the pain caused by fibromyalgia. Medical cannabis does not pose these kinds of risks, yet the country’s medical marijuana program places patients at risk by not providing the necessary resources for accessing medical cannabis.

Though Belgium does offer protections, its program could do more when it comes to protecting patients’ health.

Learn More About Accessing Medical Marijuana in Belgium

At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we specialize in helping patients and their families learn about medical cannabis, as well as connect with a kind, knowledgeable and licensed physician who can alleviate your pain, so you can get back to enjoying life.

To find out more about accessing medical marijuana in Belgium, check out our blog or resource library!

Resources for Medical Marijuana Patients in Belgium