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Question about bringing medicinals to Spain

Storyteller Matt

Storyteller Matt
Past OR future Camino
2021
Good morning, everyone.

To the point, I have glaucoma.

I have managed it well for over three years now with latanaprost drops. However, these drops have to be refrigerated, which is not easy on the Camino. When I walked the Camino in 2018, it was only from Sarria to SDC, and it was late October and much cooler, so I didn't have much of a problem with the drops. This year, however, I'm starting in Pamplona in September.

A friend of mine suggested visiting a medical marijuana specialist, since marijuana has been known to reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. If I did this, I would ask to only be prescribed edibles, and because I am in recovery for alcoholism, I would only take them as prescribed like any other medicine.

I have not made a decision yet, but if I were to consider this option, would there be an issue bringing edibles into Spain if I had a medical marijuana card? I am unfamiliar with the rules of the country, and if this could create hassles, I have a fallback of a waterproof refrigerated micropack that I could put ice in for transport of my prescription latanoprost.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
A friend of mine suggested visiting a medical marijuana specialist, since marijuana has been known to reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma.
I hope you will consult with your ophthalmologist regarding such a change in treatment.

Maybe others will have more up-to-date information, but here are two forum threads that address the issue:


 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.

Good morning, everyone.

To the point, I have glaucoma.

I have managed it well for over three years now with latanaprost drops. However, these drops have to be refrigerated, which is not easy on the Camino. When I walked the Camino in 2018, it was only from Sarria to SDC, and it was late October and much cooler, so I didn't have much of a problem with the drops. This year, however, I'm starting in Pamplona in September.

A friend of mine suggested visiting a medical marijuana specialist, since marijuana has been known to reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. If I did this, I would ask to only be prescribed edibles, and because I am in recovery for alcoholism, I would only take them as prescribed like any other medicine.

I have not made a decision yet, but if I were to consider this option, would there be an issue bringing edibles into Spain if I had a medical marijuana card? I am unfamiliar with the rules of the country, and if this could create hassles, I have a fallback of a waterproof refrigerated micropack that I could put ice in for transport of my prescription latanoprost.


I'm a bit apprehensive to write about medical issues here on the forum but do read the " manual " of the drops please. Lots of people in my family have glaucoma and take drops, also the ones you are being prescribed. Only when still closed the bottle needs to be in the fridge,when opened it can be kept at room temperature.
Please do consult your doctor.Severe glaucoma can not be treated with medicinal marijuana.Be careful.
Buen Camino.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I did a quick Google search for international travel to Spain and looked at marijuana information sites that are pro-marijuana sites for specific information dated after 2020. It seems the straight up answer to packing either edibles and loose is no. There is apparently no distinction made between the 'form' of the marijuana.

It appears that tourists can legally buy and use marijuana while in Spain, although is did not look at the specifics of how a tourist can so.

From the 'Spain Weed Guide"

"Spain has a relatively lax attitude towards marijuana. However, it is essential to be cautious when travelling with weed in Spain.

Can you fly with weed in Spain? Flying with weed in Spain is illegal, which may lead to a three-year sentence or more severe penalties depending on the amount of weed involved. However, private and recreational use of marijuana in the country is tolerated.

Spain has a bit more complicated laws regarding cannabis. In addition, the laws keep changing. Therefore, you should understand the current legal statutes regarding the use of cannabis in Spain, what you need to do when travelling with weed in Spain, and the consequences or repercussions of trafficking weed in the country.
"Travelling with weed in Spain is considered drug trafficking. In addition, selling marijuana in the country is regarded as a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison, depending on the amount of weed involved.

People travelling in Spain with high quantities of weed may face steeper penalties and fines. In addition, past offenders are likely to receive harsher punishments.

That said, private cultivation and smoking of weed for personal use are considered legal in Spain. It is permissible to consume marijuana in the privacy of your home or any other private location.

Weed users are also allowed to buy and even sell weed and hemp paraphernalia. In addition, weed-grown on private property should not be visible to the public.

From GreenState​


If you’ve got the travel bug but are reluctant to leave your pot behind, here are three things you should know:

1. Don’t try bringing cannabis into or out of the U.S. (even if it’s medicinal)

Even though recreational cannabis is becoming legal in states all over the country, medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis are both still fully illegal at the federal level in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) abides by federal U.S. law, not state law – so, even if you’re leaving the country from California, a state where recreational marijuana is fully legal, attempting to enter another country with cannabis will be considered drug trafficking and a federal offense"

2. Transporting medical cannabis from one country to another while in the E.U. is doable, but you have to put in the work

Though the laws on cannabis transit to and from the U.S. are extremely rigid, things are ever-so-slightly more flexible for those already across the pond who want to bring cannabis to another country in the E.U.

Medical cannabis is legal in many European countries, so it’s possible to apply for a permit to bring medicinal cannabis into countries where it is legal once you are already in Europe.
 
Last edited:

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I did not take my tiny bottle of medical marijuana with me to Spain – and do you know what? – I didn’t even miss it . . . so I stopped taking it altogether when I got back home.

CBD oil perhaps helps with relaxation, but it wasn’t helping with the physical symptoms.

Be careful!
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Good morning, everyone.

To the point, I have glaucoma.

I have managed it well for over three years now with latanaprost drops. However, these drops have to be refrigerated, which is not easy on the Camino. When I walked the Camino in 2018, it was only from Sarria to SDC, and it was late October and much cooler, so I didn't have much of a problem with the drops. This year, however, I'm starting in Pamplona in September.

A friend of mine suggested visiting a medical marijuana specialist, since marijuana has been known to reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. If I did this, I would ask to only be prescribed edibles, and because I am in recovery for alcoholism, I would only take them as prescribed like any other medicine.

I have not made a decision yet, but if I were to consider this option, would there be an issue bringing edibles into Spain if I had a medical marijuana card? I am unfamiliar with the rules of the country, and if this could create hassles, I have a fallback of a waterproof refrigerated micropack that I could put ice in for transport of my prescription latanoprost.

In Spain you can grow it, inconspicuously, for your own use for medicinal or, indeed recreational purposes.

you can‘t import or export or sell or buy marijuana. An accreditation from another jurisdiction is not automatically recognised elsewhere and I certainly wouldn’t suggest you try flying in with any - regardless of your certification.

Simulating refrigeration for your original medication’s not exactly impossible. Any large village will have ice in the bar; frozen peas in the shop, a ‘fridge in the kitchen; or minibar in the hotel room if you set your sights high enough.
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2012
Good morning, everyone.

To the point, I have glaucoma.

I have managed it well for over three years now with latanaprost drops. However, these drops have to be refrigerated, which is not easy on the Camino. When I walked the Camino in 2018, it was only from Sarria to SDC, and it was late October and much cooler, so I didn't have much of a problem with the drops. This year, however, I'm starting in Pamplona in September.

A friend of mine suggested visiting a medical marijuana specialist, since marijuana has been known to reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. If I did this, I would ask to only be prescribed edibles, and because I am in recovery for alcoholism, I would only take them as prescribed like any other medicine.

I have not made a decision yet, but if I were to consider this option, would there be an issue bringing edibles into Spain if I had a medical marijuana card? I am unfamiliar with the rules of the country, and if this could create hassles, I have a fallback of a waterproof refrigerated micropack that I could put ice in for transport of my prescription latanoprost.
Go with your fallback! Your alternative solution is fraught with difficulty. Are you sure that was a friend that gave you that advice?
Additionally look at carrying a certified prescription for your medication and a letter from your medical advisor explaining your condition. Spanish pharmacists are an amazing bunch. I ran out of one of my heart meds one Camino. A pharmacist accepted a text from my GP to supply.
Remember your 3 years in a Spanish jail starts from sentencing. The 3 years waiting for trial don’t count 😉
 

Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
In the USA, can you get your Latanoprost drops in single use containers? Because then they don't need to be refrigerated, just kept under 25C (77F), and unless you encounter a heatwave you should be fine.

Here in EU they have name Monoprost (it's the same thing) and they come in small 50 ml, one use plastic vials, that you open, use and throw away (to a recycle bin hopefully). You can google Monoprost, I don't want to post any links of this kind here.

Myself, I was thinking about keeping those drops on the Camino in a very small thermos, not even with ice but with cold water (enough to keep the temperature under 25C) but finally just kept them in backpack. Hopefully a few degrees more didn't make them go bad.

I'm posting this here, not as a private message, because I thought maybe more people using these drops aren't aware of those single use containers which is actually perfect solution for the Camino.

They look kind of like this
rm5wka.jpg
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
In the USA, can you get your Latanoprost drops in single use containers? Because then they don't need to be refrigerated, just kept under 25C (77F), and unless you encounter a heatwave you should be fine.

Here in EU they have name Monoprost (it's the same thing) and they come in small 50 ml, one use plastic vials, that you open, use and throw away (to a recycle bin hopefully). You can google Monoprost, I don't want to post any links of this kind here.

Myself, I was thinking about keeping those drops on the Camino in a very small thermos, not even with ice but with cold water (enough to keep the temperature under 25C) but finally just kept them in backpack. Hopefully a few degrees more didn't make them go bad.

I'm posting this here, not as a private message, because I thought maybe more people using these drops aren't aware of those single use containers which is actually perfect solution for the Camino.

They look kind of like this
View attachment 106721
They are 0.2ml each, so you would get a fair number in a small vacuum flask.

The ‘50’ is the potency - 50 micro grams of active ingredient per ml of solution.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Good morning, everyone.

To the point, I have glaucoma.

I have managed it well for over three years now with latanaprost drops. However, these drops have to be refrigerated, which is not easy on the Camino.
My husband has been taking latanaprost drops for years now. I just checked again on the instructions. The drops must be refrigerated until opened, and then can be used for six weeks without refrigeration. He has been using them this way for years. The Mayo Clinic gives the same instructions.


And those little bottles last a long time, so you might make it through a camino without a need for a refill. But if you did, as others have mentioned, pharmacists in Spain use their professional judgment when a foreigner comes in and explains why he or she is out of a prescription medication. That just happened to me a month ago with thyroid medication in Spain. I had the prescription with me, but wasn’t carrying it around on a Sunday when I saw an open pharmacy. I had the drug and dosage on my phone and was able to buy it no problem. I would think latanaprost falls into the same category as far as likelihood that a pharmacist would sell it to you without a prescription. I’m not recommending this course of action but it is a possible fallback.

Good luck! Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I did a quick Google search for international travel to Spain and looked at marijuana information sites that are pro-marijuana sites for specific information dated after 2020. It seems the straight up answer to packing either edibles and loose is no. There is apparently no distinction made between the 'form' of the marijuana.

It appears that tourists can legally buy and use marijuana while in Spain, although is did not look at the specifics of how a tourist can so.

From the 'Spain Weed Guide"

"Spain has a relatively lax attitude towards marijuana. However, it is essential to be cautious when travelling with weed in Spain.

Can you fly with weed in Spain? Flying with weed in Spain is illegal, which may lead to a three-year sentence or more severe penalties depending on the amount of weed involved. However, private and recreational use of marijuana in the country is tolerated.

Spain has a bit more complicated laws regarding cannabis. In addition, the laws keep changing. Therefore, you should understand the current legal statutes regarding the use of cannabis in Spain, what you need to do when travelling with weed in Spain, and the consequences or repercussions of trafficking weed in the country.
"Travelling with weed in Spain is considered drug trafficking. In addition, selling marijuana in the country is regarded as a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison, depending on the amount of weed involved.

People travelling in Spain with high quantities of weed may face steeper penalties and fines. In addition, past offenders are likely to receive harsher punishments.

That said, private cultivation and smoking of weed for personal use are considered legal in Spain. It is permissible to consume marijuana in the privacy of your home or any other private location.

Weed users are also allowed to buy and even sell weed and hemp paraphernalia. In addition, weed-grown on private property should not be visible to the public.

From GreenState​


If you’ve got the travel bug but are reluctant to leave your pot behind, here are three things you should know:

1. Don’t try bringing cannabis into or out of the U.S. (even if it’s medicinal)

Even though recreational cannabis is becoming legal in states all over the country, medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis are both still fully illegal at the federal level in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) abides by federal U.S. law, not state law – so, even if you’re leaving the country from California, a state where recreational marijuana is fully legal, attempting to enter another country with cannabis will be considered drug trafficking and a federal offense"

2. Transporting medical cannabis from one country to another while in the E.U. is doable, but you have to put in the work

Though the laws on cannabis transit to and from the U.S. are extremely rigid, things are ever-so-slightly more flexible for those already across the pond who want to bring cannabis to another country in the E.U.

Medical cannabis is legal in many European countries, so it’s possible to apply for a permit to bring medicinal cannabis into countries where it is legal once you are already in Europe.
As usual, @davebugg, you provide lots of detailed, helpful information on most any subject you offer a reply.
 

stevelm1

Recovering Perigrino
Past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CP 2019, Jakobswege Germany 2022 or 23.
I walked the Camino in 2015 and had to take insulin with me. I found a product that when kept wet would provide cooling for the insulin, that may work for your drops as well. Just did a quick search and found this product, there are others. https://www.frioinsulincoolingcase.com/ I used something very similar to this, from the same company, and had no problems with keeping my insulin's temp down. I walked in Sept/Oct.

I suspect you may be able to find edibles while in Spain these days, but only in the larger cities. Personally, I would not want to add that hassle and worry to my walk. You definitely do not want to carry any going over or coming home. Buen Camino!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
In the USA, can you get your Latanoprost drops in single use containers? Because then they don't need to be refrigerated, just kept under 25C (77F), and unless you encounter a heatwave you should be fine.

Here in EU they have name Monoprost (it's the same thing) and they come in small 50 ml, one use plastic vials, that you open, use and throw away (to a recycle bin hopefully). You can google Monoprost, I don't want to post any links of this kind here.

Myself, I was thinking about keeping those drops on the Camino in a very small thermos, not even with ice but with cold water (enough to keep the temperature under 25C) but finally just kept them in backpack. Hopefully a few degrees more didn't make them go bad.

I'm posting this here, not as a private message, because I thought maybe more people using these drops aren't aware of those single use containers which is actually perfect solution for the Camino.

They look kind of like this
View attachment 106721

If you must bring the variety that requires refrigeration, explore the small nylon fabric coolers made for persons who must transport insulin. Also, many of these folks will ask to use a refrigerator at an albergue, hostal or hotel.

This said, I would avoid bringing any sort of cannabis or cannabis-derived substance *e.g. CBD) into Spain, or all of Europe for that matter.

In a pinch, the local police station or fire station will certainly have a refrigerator in their break room or kitchen. ALSO, don't forget that cafes and bars have ice. They will be happy to provide some for your cooler.

I have walked with several Type I - insulin dependent diabetics in the past. They report success with any of these approaches. If an albergue has a kitchen, they will have a refrigerator.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Good morning, everyone.

To the point, I have glaucoma.

I have managed it well for over three years now with latanaprost drops. However, these drops have to be refrigerated, which is not easy on the Camino. When I walked the Camino in 2018, it was only from Sarria to SDC, and it was late October and much cooler, so I didn't have much of a problem with the drops. This year, however, I'm starting in Pamplona in September.

A friend of mine suggested visiting a medical marijuana specialist, since marijuana has been known to reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. If I did this, I would ask to only be prescribed edibles, and because I am in recovery for alcoholism, I would only take them as prescribed like any other medicine.

I have not made a decision yet, but if I were to consider this option, would there be an issue bringing edibles into Spain if I had a medical marijuana card? I am unfamiliar with the rules of the country, and if this could create hassles, I have a fallback of a waterproof refrigerated micropack that I could put ice in for transport of my prescription latanoprost.
Could you transport the drops in a small thermos?
 
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