Frequently Asked Questions
No. These products are only available as a granulate.
Yes, all Bedrocan products are gamma-irradiated by an external irradiation firm. This method sterilises products and gives them a longer shelf life.
Cannabis naturally contains a number of micro-organisms that can cause dangerous infections in people with a poor state of health. Irradiation with gamma rays destroys these micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi.
Irradiation does not adversely affect the quality of the product or people’s health. Nor is the product made radioactive, as is sometimes thought.
Following each harvest the cannabis is tested by an independent laboratory for the presence of undesirable substances such as heavy metals, pesticides and contamination with other pathogens.
The products are also tested for substances such as THC and CBD. Bedrocan’s products always have the same composition and therefore always contain the same quantity of active substances. This is government controlled.
Batches of medicinal cannabis are not released until they have been fully approved.
Cannabis and alcohol may strengthen the effect of one another. Patients should take note of this.
There have been virtually no studies into interactions with other medicines. THC is broken down by the liver enzymes CYP2C9 and CYP3A4. There is a theoretical chance that interactions may occur with medicines that strengthen or weaken these enzymes.
No. Bedrocan’s employees are not healthcare professionals and are unable to answer any medical questions. Nor is this legally permissible, and we consider it to be unethical. For medical questions you should contact your GP or treating specialist.
The Dutch Office for Medical Cannabis (OMC) exports medicinal cannabis to various countries on request. This can also be done for individual patients. Follow the procedure given on the OMC website.
Please note: Medicinal cannabis oil is not exported from the Netherlands.
No, Bedrocan does not sell seeds.
No, Bedrocan does not sell vaporizers. Bedrocan is however currently working on the development of its own vaporizer: the Bedromedic®. This vaporizer will be sold in the future as a medical appliance. Until that time, Bedrocan recommends using the following vaporizers:
I AM A PATIENT
No, you cannot order medicinal cannabis from Bedrocan. Bedrocan’s products are available exclusively on prescription. Your GP or treating specialist can prescribe Bedrocan’s medicinal cannabis. Provided that your government issues medicinal cannabis in your country, you can take the prescription to your own pharmacy.
You can also collect Bedrocan products in the Netherlands with a valid European doctor’s prescription. You can take this prescription to any Dutch pharmacy. It is however advisable to check whether the pharmacy stocks medicinal cannabis.
Medicinal cannabis oil made of cannabis produced by Bedrocan is exclusively available on prescription from a number of Dutch pharmacies. Please check our contact page for the latest list.
Bear in mind that you can only take medicinal cannabis back to your own country with an import licence. You should therefore always start by contacting the authorities in your own country. The Dutch Office for Medicinal Cannabis issues the export licence once the import licence has been issued.
Please note: Medicinal cannabis oil cannot be exported from the Netherlands.
I AM A COMPANY
Bedrocan produces medicinal cannabis as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Bedrocan does not produce cannabis oil.
Orders for cannabis flos can be placed directly with the Dutch Office for Medicinal Cannabis (OMC). This government agency is responsible for distribution and export. Follow the procedure given on the OMC website. For advice you can always contact us directly.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that medicinal cannabis has any effect on the growth of tumours. It is however known that medicinal cannabis has an effect on treatment side-effects, such as nausea. Medicinal cannabis can also stimulate the appetite.
Various sources underline the importance of standardised medicinal cannabis for serious conditions such as cancer; this cannabis always has the same composition and is not contaminated.
Cannabis may intensify mental disorders. The doctor who prescribes medicinal cannabis must therefore be aware of any mental disorders. Cannabis should be prescribed with caution and under close supervision in these cases. The use of a variety with CBD is preferable if the patient benefits from cannabis.
Cannabis may delay reflexes and reduce concentration. This is important to driving vehicles and operating machinery, but also to activities such as walking up and down stairs.
No, Bedrocan does not use any pesticides. During the cultivation process Bedrocan only uses biological crop protectors to repel harmful insects. Also, Bedrocan only grows cannabis indoors, so that there are no external factors that can cause contamination. Strict hygiene measures prevent contamination with germs.
Irradiating cannabis does not make it carcinogenic. Carcinogens are only caused in very small quantities when food containing a lot of fat, such as meat and eggs, is irradiated. Cannabis does not contain any fat, and this process therefore does not occur.
Vaporizing is a method that involves heating cannabis to a precise temperature without the material burning. The vapour is trapped or inhaled directly using a vaporizer.
The prices of each product differ between countries. The price in the Netherlands is set by the Office of Medicinal Cannabis.
Medicinal cannabis should always be kept out of the sight and reach of children. Please store in a cool, dry place. Medicinal cannabis should be kept in its original packaging. Do not rinse medicines down the sink or the toilet or throw them in the bin.
It is advisable to start with a low dose and gradually increase it. Patients are advised to take cannabis for the first time in a safe environment, such as at home. It is also better to have somebody else present. Cannabis may affect different people in different ways.
We are unable to comment on the composition of the oil of other producers because we do not know which substances they contain. However, recent tests have shown that more than half of the studied CBD oils contain the carcinogen polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). The substances listed on the packaging do not correspond to the actual content.
The Bedrocan International website has a separate page for vacancies and internships. Here you can check whether there are any suitable positions. Unsolicited job applications are not accepted.
Bedrocan’s medicinal cannabis is being made available in more and more countries. Our site contains a list of countries where Bedrocan is available.
There are various ways of administering cannabis. Smoking is the best known method, but is advised against for health reasons.
Other forms of administration include: inhalation with a vaporizer, drinking cannabis tea, via foods, or by taking concentrated extracts or oils.
Some health insurers cover vaporizers provided that they have been prescribed by a doctor. Bear in mind that only a registered medical appliance will be covered.
Medicinal cannabis is usually prescribed in low doses, which greatly reduces the chance of people becoming addicted to cannabis. Furthermore, medicinal cannabis is prescribed by a doctor or specialist who is closely involved in the patient’s health issues.
There is a chance of addiction if cannabis is taken in high (or higher) doses. Patients who abruptly stop using cannabis may suffer withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, insomnia and nausea.
The most familiar constituents of cannabis are also referred to as cannabinoids. The best known of these are THC and CBD. There are also less familiar substances – such as terpenes – that can contribute to the effect of cannabis. Other cannabinoids include CBG and THCV.
Terpenes are aromas and flavourings that occur in virtually all plants, including cannabis. The cannabis plant has over 120 different types, which are responsible for the characteristic aroma and flavour. Terpenes in cannabis are thought to have a medicinal interaction with cannabinoids. They can increase the uptake of cannabinoids in the intestines and affect the body’s receptor binding mechanisms and metabolism.
Some terpenes have a medicinal effect of their own as an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic or analgesic (painkiller).
As with many other medicines, medicinal cannabis may have side effects. In some cases taking medicinal cannabis can cause anxiety, panic and confusion. These effects are generally associated with the dose being too high. Side effects including restlessness, insomnia (sleeplessness) and hallucinations have also been reported.
Other possible side effects include: rapid pulse, dizziness, headache, hot or cold hands and feet, red, inflamed eyes, muscle weakness, dry mouth and memory loss. These side effects are usually temporary.
CBD is a constituent of cannabis that is also known as cannabidiol. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that occurs in the cannabis plant. Studies have shown that it can be effective for people with symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, anxiety disorders and antibiotic-resistant infections.
Depending on the dosage and the time of being administered, CBD can neutralise some undesirable psychoactive effects of THC.
Bedrocan’s products are produced under the strictest pharmaceutical guidelines. This is also referred to as GMP, which stands for good manufacturing practice. Our entire production process, from cultivation to processing and storage, takes place under current European GMP rules.
Medicinal cannabis oil is oil made of pharmaceutical quality standardised medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis oil is made using the products Bedrocan®, Bediol®, Bedrolite® and Bedica®.
This oil may contain THC, depending on which materials have been used. These oils are produced in a pharmaceutical setting. The active substances are listed on the packaging. This is the only controlled cannabis oil.
Cannabis can have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. It can also be used as a painkiller, as an anti-inflammatory, and to prevent weight loss, nausea and vomiting. In some cases cannabis promotes sleep and appetite.
There is sufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate that cannabis is effective for the treatment of:
- Pain, muscle cramps and convulsions caused by MS and spinal damage
- Nausea, diminished appetite, emaciation and weakness caused by cancer and AIDS
- Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy to treat cancer, hepatitis C and HIV infections and AIDS
- Chronic pain – especially if caused by the nervous system. Examples include damaged nerve bundles, phantom pain, facial neuralgia and chronic pain that remains following recovery from shingles
- Gilles de la Tourette syndrome
- Therapy-resistant glaucoma
Also, more and more information and positive feedback is being received from patients and doctors concerning the efficacy of cannabis for other disorders. However, this is has not yet been sufficiently scientifically demonstrated. Examples include Crohn’s disease, colitis ulcerosa, epilepsy, pruritus (itching), migraine, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD and brain trauma.
See also www.cannabis-med.org.
Medicinal cannabis is cannabis that is dispensed exclusively by pharmacies and is used as a medicine. Bedrocan’s medicinal cannabis is of pharmaceutical quality and meets the highest standards. As with ordinary medicines, the composition of the active substances in our cannabis is always the same.
Bedrocan’s products are also guaranteed to be free of pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria and fungi. Each batch is tested for this by an independent laboratory.
THC is a constituent of cannabis that is also known as dronabinol. THC is the best known of all the cannabis constituents. It is what creates the ‘high’ from using cannabis, but also has medicinal effects. It is known, for example, that THC contributes to improving sleep and appetite and also suppresses muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting.
That CBD oil is made of industrial hemp fibre and mainly contains CBD, with little or no THC. These oils are sold as a nutritional supplement online and in shops. All of the active substances listed in the label are by no means actually contained in the oil. Also, the origin of the materials is often unclear.* In most countries the production of these oils is not government controlled.
Flos is the dried cannabis bud that is ground up by the patient. This is done by Bedrocan for the granulated version. The granulated material has precisely the same effect as the flos. Granulate is easier to dose and therefore makes it easier for the patient to use. It makes no difference whether flos or granulate cannabis is used for a vaporizer or to make tea.
The active constituents of cannabis, the cannabinoids, control receptors in the human body. These receptors then stimulate cells to perform certain functions. Up to now, two receptors that respond to cannabis have been identified: CB-1 and CB-2. The CB-1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). CB-2 receptors are found mainly in cells of the immune system.
The human body also produces its own substances that can bind to the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. The interaction between these substances and the receptors is also referred to as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system was not discovered until the nineteen-nineties.
It is a matter for the doctor to decide which conditions and which situations are suitable for treatment with medicinal cannabis. The doctor is not bound by a list of conditions, but does prescribe medicinal cannabis mainly if the usual treatments and medicines do not help enough or cause excessive side effects.
Smoking cannabis is advised against for health reasons. Smoking cannabis releases toxic substances such as tar, ammonia and carbon monoxide.
No rights can be derived from these FAQs. The information has been obtained from sources including our website, brochures of the Office for Medicinal Cannabis (OMC) and the publication An Introduction to Medicinal Cannabis (2015) by Dr Arno Hazekamp.
Where mention is made of medicinal cannabis, this refers to the products Bedrocan®, Bedrobinol®, Bediol®, Bedrolite® and Bedica®.