In Israel, cannabis is allowed only for few specified medical usage. However, over the years there has been growing recognition of the plant’s medical properties and its positive effect on patients, and therefore its use is permitted for medical purposes based on predefined criteria from the Ministry of Health.
First stage – suitable diagnosis and compliance with threshold conditions
The list of approved therapeutic indications for a license is given in Ministry of Health Procedure 106. First, you must check whether your medical condition appears on this list. The medical fields included are as follows:
- Oncological – cancer
- Neurological – Parkinson’s, Tourette syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy: adults and minors.
- Pain control – neuropathic pain.
- Infectious diseases – AIDS.
- Gastroenterological – Crohn’s, colitis.
- Psychiatric – PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
- Palliative care – terminal patients.
Please note that there are exceptional cases in which the use of medical cannabis may be approved for people suffering from other conditions, following application for a special permit as specified in Procedure 106.
Once you have found a suitable indication on the list, you must check if you meet the criteria defined for that indication. The criteria mainly concern the requirement to first exhaust all conventional medication.
You have a suitable indication + meet the threshold conditions, great!
At this stage you are advised to seek specialist medical advice in the relevant field. The doctor can examine you and make a professional determination whether medical cannabis is suitable for you, and then we can proceed to the next stage.
Second stage – the application:
There are two possible routes for applying for a license:
1. An application to the MCU (Medical Cannabis Unit) of the Ministry of Health by the specialist involved. The MCU examines every application and decides whether to approve it.
2. An application to an issuing doctor: there is a list of doctors in Israel who have been trained and certified by the Ministry of Health for the function of cannabis doctor. They are authorized to issue cannabis licenses without involving the Ministry of Health. List of doctors.
Third stage – purchase the products:
Congratulations, you have received the license and the prescriptions! Now you can purchase the medical cannabis products. Which should you buy?
It is important to know that cannabis products are approved for use in the following forms:
- Cannabis flowers/ rolled cannabis flowers
- Extract (oil)
- Cookies (for children only)
The products are divided into categories and classified by the concentrations of the active ingredients THC and CBD they contain:
- THC-rich cannabis products
- Balanced cannabis products
- CBD-rich cannabis products.
In each group there are several categories with different concentrations.
The different concentrations of THC and CBD – the concentration of terpenes and belonging to the indica or sativa family – these are what provide the unique therapeutic effect of each product. However, it is important to stress that there are many other variables which we take into account, such as: method of use, dose, patient’s lifestyle, other medication and background conditions.
We think it is vital to receive personal training on correct use, and adaptation of the products for each patient according to their unique characteristics.
If you look at your license and prescription you will find the category of products approved for you. They are shown by T/C (THC and CBD) with a number indicating the concentration.
For example: the category 10 gram flower – T3C15 means 10 grams of the “Inflorescence” type of cannabis product in the CBD-rich group, with 3% THC and 15% CBD.
It is important to stress that you can only purchase products your approved category/ categories.