Corine Ekhart, S.J. Vos-de Schipper, M.J. van de Velde, L. Rolfes, and A. Kant


November 21,  2023


Background: In 2003, patients in the Netherlands gained legal access to medicinal cannabis due to legislative measures by the Dutch government. Studies on patient experiences related to medicinal cannabis usage are necessary to complement the data obtained from randomized controlled trials.

Aim: To gain insight into patient’s experiences with the use of medicinal cannabis in the Netherlands.

Methods: We conducted an observational longitudinal cohort event monitoring study. Data were collected through online questionnaires. From March 2021 to March 2022, patients were included. After registration, par- ticipants received four online questionnaires over a 12-month period. Descriptive statistics were used to present the included variables using MS Excel 2022.

Results: A total of 251 participants were included in this study at baseline. The mean age of the participants was 55 – 15 years. A total of 140 participants (56%) were female. Oil was the most commonly used dosage form (52%), followed by flos (35%) and granular form (13%). Medicinal cannabis was prescribed by a general practitioner (51%) or by a specialist doctor (47%). The most prevalent indications for use were chronic pain (n = 151, 60%), followed by ADHD (n = 18, 7%), cancer (n = 18, 7%), and multiple sclerosis (n = 17, 7%). A total of 53 participants (21%) reported one or more adverse drug reactions (ADRs), of which 19 participants were new users. In total, 85 ADRs were reported. The most commonly reported ADRs were dizziness (n = 10, 4%), somnolence (n = 5, 2%), dry mouth (n = 5, 2%), headache (n = 4, 2%), and increased appetite (n = 4, 2%). Most participants indicated that their quality of life had improved since the start of medicinal cannabis.

Conclusions: Our research offers insights into patient experiences with the use of medicinal cannabis in daily practice. The participants experienced positive effects on their quality of life, as medicinal cannabis was well tol- erated. This can help to inform clinical practice.

DOI: 10.1089/imr.2023.0036


Ekhart, C., Vos-de Schipper, S. J., van de Velde, M. J., Rolfes, L., & Kant, A. (2023). Patient Experiences with the Use of Medicinal Cannabis in the Netherlands: A Cohort-Event Monitoring Study. Integrative Medicine Reports, 2(1), 138-146.