Home > Dail Eireann debates. Written answer 878 - Cannabis for medicinal use [15907/18].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debates. Written answer 878 - Cannabis for medicinal use [15907/18]. (17 Apr 2018)

878. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if cannabis based medicines will be made available to terminal lung cancer patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15907/18]


Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Misuse of Drugs Act an Irish-registered doctor may apply to me for a licence for access to Tetrahydrocannabinol-based (THC) products for medical purposes, for named patients, where this course of treatment has been endorsed by the patient’s consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time.


The main elements of an application submitted under the Misuse of Drugs legislation for a licence for THC-based cannabis for medical purposes must include:


  •  An outline of the treatment the patient has received to date and justification from the prescriber as to why it is appropriate in their patient’s specific circumstances to prescribe cannabis products.
  • Details of the cannabis product which it is proposed to prescribe and administer to the patient.
  • The source of the cannabis product.
  • The arrangements for the ongoing clinical monitoring and care of the patient once the cannabis-based treatment has commenced. 

  As the Deputy is aware it is the decision of the clinician, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe or not prescribe a particular treatment, including cannabis for medical use, for a patient under their care. As Minister for Health I have no role in this clinical decision-making process.


  For additional information on this matter, there are two active extracts of the cannabis plant that are of particular interest for medical use; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

  THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. As described above, under the Misuse of Drugs Act products containing THC are strictly controlled and possession is unlawful except under licence.


  CBD is derived from cannabis. However, since it does not have psychoactive properties it is not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Acts. CBD oil is sometimes marketed as a nutritional or dietary supplement, however it should be noted that it is not authorised as a medicinal product in Ireland.

Repository Staff Only: item control page