Portugal regulates use of marijuana for medicinal purposes

In Portugal, medical consumption or cultivation for scientific purposes of marijuana gained legal status on February 1st.

Now, consumers and companies interested in having access to the plant have rules for cultivation, trade, use and distribution.

With approval on July 18, 2018, the law determines that the use of prepared drugs will only be authorized for cases in which conventional treatments have no effect or when they cause severe side effects for the patient.

Activities with cannabis can only be done after a request for market authorization, requested by the National Authority for Medicines and Health Products (Infarmed).

In addition, all processes will be monitored and regulated by the Portuguese State, which aims to ensure legality and respect for established rules, reducing risks to patients as well.

In Brazil, the bill that decriminalizes the scientific and medicinal use of marijuana is still in progress.

In November, the project was approved by the Social Affairs Commission (CAS), but it has a long way to go before going to the Chamber of Deputies.

How can marijuana help with treatments?

The benefits it brings to medicine are important because, through the plant, it is possible to extract two important substances, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The 2 extractions have important effects for the treatment of several diseases, as they can have appetite stimulating, sedative, analgesic and anticonvulsant actions.

The first (CBD), acts on diseases such as epilepsy , multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia , Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain. THC extract can be used to treat asthma , glaucoma and Tourette’s syndrome.

An example of how the plant helps in treatment happened here in Brazil, in 2013: a family that needed cannabidiol to treat a child who suffered from severe epilepsy ended up in court.

Only in 2016, 3 years after the process began, did the family receive the right to import cannabidiol for the treatment of the girl.

With the arrival of the medication, the child had his crises reduced by less than half, a result that, compared to the use of the other medications, was extremely effective.

Because it contains substances that act on the central nervous system, marijuana has great potential to be combined with medical treatment.

Access to new law medications can be a hope for patients who do not respond well to standard treatments.