By / August 30, 2020

A cannabis compound could be the key against refractory epilepsy

Colombia has a medical and scientific consensus that endorsed the use of a cannabis compound to treat a disease such as refractory epilepsy (frequent attacks that limit the patient’s abilities), which impacts at least 50 million people in the world, according to the Colombian Association of Infant Neurology.

The compound is cannabidiol (CBD), which will be used to treat this disease that mainly affects minors. For this reason, the medical consensus was led by the Colombian Association of Infant Neurology, represented by eleven doctors and specialists linked to the organization.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce psychotropic effects and is used regularly for therapeutic purposes due to its properties as an anticonvulsant, antianxiety, antipsychotic, among others,” said the expert consensus.

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How the use of cannabis will benefits many epilepsy patients

Regarding what it means to achieve this, Juan David Roa, a neuro pediatrician and member of the Association that led it, explained that ”what was done was to take all the medical and scientific evidence that exists around the use of cannabidiol and, after analyzing it with specialists in epilepsy and pediatric neurologists, we gave recommendations on how cannabidiol should be used to treat refractory epilepsy.”

He also pointed out that in Colombia, the disease is suffered by at least 18.2 citizens per thousand inhabitants, according to the Association, so it is key that this consensus has been reached, since it allows new alternatives for medical treatment.

Likewise, Roa added that this derivative will allow “to reduce the amount of seizures that a patient with epilepsy has and can improve the effectiveness of other medications, which allows to improve the control of the seizure.”

Doctors will have the option to prescribe cannabis

Faced with what this fact represents, Joan Sepúlveda, a member of the National College of Pharmaceutical Chemists, pointed out that it is “important” in the sense that doctors will have the possibility of prescribing it and it can become a treatment option.

“That scientific associations recognize the effectiveness of cannabis allows its use to be demystified” and, furthermore, Sepúlveda added, “the development of products that do not have narcotic activity are a good option for use in pharmacological therapies for patients.”

Even last June, the Ministry of Justice put into operation the Information Mechanism for the Control of Cannabis (Micc), which can be accessed virtually, to speed up the procedures for licenses and permits that are required for the use of cannabis with a scientific and medicinal approach.

People should stop using non-medical cannabis or artisan products

The analysts consulted agreed that having achieved this consensus will give patients and their families greater peace of mind so that they can access cannabinoid-based drugs, but that they comply with the regulations in the country.

“Currently, there are pharmaceutical-type drugs on the market, but of an artisanal type. The recommendation is that people stop resorting to these products made without technical rigor and that they have access to medicines that comply with the standards and scientific rigor required by the norm in the country,” added Roa.

Sepúlveda stated that in the country “there is at a technical level the installed capacity to produce these drugs, which are also exported to countries with high quality indices such as the United States.”


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