The Patagonian region in Argentina is mobilizing serious efforts to combat the avalanche of false products that are being sold as legitimate, by creating four cannabis labs for analyzing product composition. People are reporting that olive oil is being sold as cannabis and sometimes, even if the product is real, the wrong dose could cause side effects in patients.
To avoid the consumption of medical cannabis in inappropriate concentrations or misleading labels, Patagonia is preparing to open four chemical analysis laboratories focusing on studying the composition of cannabis products.
These laboratories will allow the region to be certain about the content of the cannabis oils that people obtain by self-cultivation or by purchase.
Doctors acknowledge that they are seeing more patients who come to the office stating that they do not achieve the expected effect after using cannabis oil. It may happen that neither the variety of the plant nor the dose were adequate. Or that the alleged cannabis oil does not actually contain cannabis.
The concern of self-cultivators, organizations, doctors and individuals to know what they produce or consume led to public laboratories in Patagonia to begin evaluating the quality of cannabis-based products. These processes will begin once the coronavirus pandemic allows it, through chromatography, a method that is used to prepare substances and quantify them.
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False cannabis products are becoming an issue
“We have done tests with oils that people bought and some were olive. They didn’t even have cannabis. On the other hand, we have others where whoever self-cultivated the plant it knows that it is cannabis, but does not know the exact composition,” said Guillermina Bongiovanni, director of the Institute for Research and Development in Process Engineering, Biotechnology and Alternative Energies (Probien).
Another researcher said that they analyzed oils rich in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that were going to be given to patients with neurological problems when in reality, what they needed were oils rich in cannabidiol, as each pathology requires different active principles of the cannabis plant.
The specialists warned that the consumption of cannabis oil without control by doctors carries many risks, and today, many people buy or produce their own cannabis oil without knowing the chemical composition.
Argentina is becoming a beacon on cannabis research
Río Negro will focus on cannabis production for therapeutic purposes and research on 2 hectares of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) in Guerrico, near General Roca.
“We are about to obtain a license from the National Ministry of Health to process the importation of seeds. Senasa Colombia has already enabled us to import, and on the farm, we are removing the soil for when we insert the greenhouses. They have already installed a perimeter fence and cameras”.
There is scientific evidence regarding the benefit of the use of medical cannabis in refractory epilepsies, neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity. Also to calm pain, according to Daniel Barrio, a professor at the University of Río Negro and a pharmaceutical researcher at Conicet.
He pointed out that “it is used especially in patients with pain treated with morphine. In the face of a pain crisis it is preferable to use cannabis rather than increase the dose of morphine”.
He also mentioned that “although not so conclusive for sleep treatments, cancer (to improve appetite, for example), Tourette syndrome and other neurological problems. There is some scientific evidence linked to Parkinson’s and to treat nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. For skin treatments the evidence is somewhat weaker ”, acknowledged Barrio.
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First published in Rio Negro, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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