Nico Wagener developed an ACDC strain of high CBD and low, low THC with a team of pioneers
Luxembourg may have just only just legalised cannabis-based medication but CBD treatments have been accessible in the grand duchy for years.
Nico Wagener, founder of Eveil Santé, a Luxembourg company producing high CBD/low THC cannabis strains, explains why and what the new law means for patient care.
Jess Bauldry: Luxembourg voted a law on 28 June legalising the prescription of cannabis-based medication for certain health conditions. What do you see as the most important impacts of this law on patient care?
Nico Wagener: Cannabis is medicine. It helps patients with various medical conditions improve the quality of their lives, to say the least. This law is very important because now patients will have access to this plant through the hands of professionals. Patients will be able to get proper prescriptions from doctors. In the future I see doctors prescribing specific cannabinoids in various ratios according to the specific condition and symptoms of each individual patient.
JB: How could doctors be encouraged to learn more about and prescribe such medicines?
NW: For now I think it is necessary for more doctors to educate themselves in the field of cannabinoids as medicine. There are various worldwide conferences several times a year, with medical cannabis pioneers and world-renowned cannabis experts. There are also online courses available as well as online diplomas. Having a look at the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine would be helpful.
I work with several dozen doctors in various EU countries that prescribe our products to patients, and there are numerous success stories. This can be a starting point for many Luxembourgish doctors, as well as other interested EU doctors who want to advance in this field.
What I personally would love to see is that we begin researching cannabinoids as medicine in Luxembourg and offering courses at the university of Luxembourg? I hope that this new law motivates more doctors to learn more. I am also always open to giving lectures and sharing my knowledge.
JB: What other steps need to be taken in your opinion in relation to cannabis-related medicines in Luxembourg?
NW: My dream is to see the day when cannabinoid medical products are reimbursed by the healthcare system throughout Europe and the world.
Photo: Delano. Nico Wagener, pictured, grows his ACDC in two sites in Luxembourg and in two other EU countries
JB: You were among the pioneers of cannabis-based medicines. Tell us why you chose this a business?
NW: Simple, after helping myself recover from a traumatic event and my severe ADHD and helping my son Eloi overcome his ASD and fully integrate into society, I wanted to help more people. Therefore, I went to California to study and work with Dr William Courtney, and with a team of pioneers we developed this ACDC strain of high CBD and low low THC that I now represent in EU under the name ACDC Optimus registered with European CVPO.
JB: What conditions can cannabis-based medication be used to treat and why is it so effective?
NW: The enormous body of research on cannabis as medicine points to the following top five conditions that are successfully treated with cannabinoids. In short they are: cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease and ADHD. Some of this research even points to the premise that most human beings living in the world today are cannabinoid deficient. Therefore, the intake of cannabinoids is going to have a positive effect on most human beings. When I was working with Dr Courtney in California, who had researched over 8,000 patients, we confirmed that for most conditions registered in the DSM5 [the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders], there can be a positive effect with the intake of cannabinoids (with the exception of THC) by helping their own endocannabinoid system to improve their mental health.
JB: You use the ACDC strain of the cannabis plant. What makes this strain so special?
NW: This is simple. It is a special plant containing a lot of CBD, and it has the composition of terpenes and other cannabinoids necessary for the human body like no other. Most importantly cannabis strains like our high CBD strain ACDC Optimus can be considered as a plant with a homeostatic effect on the body. Therefore, due to its content of extremely low THC (<0.199%) it can be taken by anybody as a prophylactic food supplement or to boost the immune system at any time, without any side effects.
JB: Where do you grow the plants?
NW: We grow in two sites in Luxembourg, in the Ardennes. The same plants are being grown in two other EU countries where there’s more sun. Our plants are always grown outdoors and organic, and therefore we have one harvest annually.