Edition 1509
12 January 2019
Edition: 1509

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Health Minister in favour of medical marijuana, but not smoked

by TPN/Lusa, in News · 15-01-2018 08:32:00 · 3 Comments

The Portuguese health minister has expressed his support for medical marijuana/cannabis, provided that it is well regulated and strictly framed, but added he did not approve of it being smoked for medical purposes.

Health Minister in favour of medical marijuana, but not smoked

 

In an interview with radio station Antena 1, Adalberto Campos Fernandes said it would be possible to rigorously introduce cannabis as a treatment option now that bills put forward by the Left Bloc (BE) and PAN parties will be debated by the parliamentary Health Committee.

 

A day after the issue was discussed in parliament, the minister said he agreed with the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, but not in its smoked form, thus agreeing with the position put forward by the Portuguese Medical Association.

 

"I agree in that it should be regulated by the National Drug Authority, with a rigorous scientific framework and very powerful pharmacovigilance systems," he said.

 

On Thursday, the BE and PAN bills for the medical use of marijuana were sent to the parliamentary Health Committee, without being voted on.

 

The Medical Association has recognised that there is strong evidence of the effectiveness of marijuana, or cannabis, for some therapeutic uses, but warns that its prescription should be exclusively medical as a medicine and not in the smoked form.

 

An opinion from the National Council for Medicinal Product Policy allows for the potential use of cannabis in some cases, such as in relieving chronic pain in adults, to relieve nausea in cancer patients, for multiple sclerosis and anxiety.

 

The opinion nevertheless indicates that the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as a medicinal product for human use should be subject to approval by the health regulatory bodies, such as the National or European Medicinal Products Authority.

 

The Medical Association also warns that because of its potential toxicity, the prescription of cannabis should be exclusively medical and with specific regulation, as is the case with morphine derivatives, for example.

 

The opinion points to concrete challenges in the use of cannabis for medical purposes, especially in relation to direct consumption of the cannabis plant, noting that "no European country currently authorises cannabis that is smoked for medical purposes."

 

Concerning the safety of the use of cannabis, the opinion points to an association between its consumption and the development of addiction, schizophrenia and other psychoses, as well as aggravation of respiratory difficulties.

 

The Association said there is strong evidence for the effectivness of cannabis in treating chronic pain, as an anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) in cancer treatment, in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and for controlling anxiety.

 

There is also moderate evidence on the effective use of cannabis in improving sleep in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, anorexia caused by cancer, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

The report notes however, that there is no evidence to establish the effectiveness of cannabis in cancer treatment, irritable bowel symptoms, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease or schizophrenia, despite studies in these areas.

Comments

I was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) 15 months ago. At that time riluzole was prescribed. I found I could not tolerate it. did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of my primary physician, I would have died. There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. My ALS got significantly worse and unbearable because of my difficulty catching breath. Last year, i started on a natural ALS Herbal therapy from Green House Herbal Clinic, i read a lot of positive reviews from patients who used the treatment and i immediately started on it. I had great relief with this herbal treatment. I am doing very much better now, no case of shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing,, my ALS condition is totally reversed. Visit Green House Herbal Clinic website ww w.greenhouseherbalclinic .com. This treatment is a miracle!!
by Christina from UK on 08-02-2018 09:28:00
The fact that it is "one of the LEAST TOXIC" doesn't mean that it is NOT TOXIC!!!!
by Cristina Vignolo Córica from Other on 05-02-2018 06:37:00
"...because of its potential toxicity, the prescription of cannabis should be exclusively medical..."

Cannabis is one of the least toxic pharmacologically active substances known.
by Mikey from Beiras on 16-01-2018 01:07:00

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Edition 1509
12 January 2019
Edition: 1509

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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