Cannabis is something that brings many thoughts to the Indian mind. A subject of intense debate globally, with major developments abroad in terms of policy and society to accept medicinal cannabis, cannabis is gaining increasing acceptance in the medical community. With the use of cannabis for medical use in the Indian Ayurveda and Atharvaveda systems, it is high time that there is a consensus about its immense medicinal potential.
The legal access to medicinal cannabis products is now increasing. Growing community interest, commercialization of products, and strong patient demand for access have led many countries to ease their restrictions on cannabis. Most Australians support access to medicinal cannabis. This support is inspired by media stories from patients whose lives have been transformed by cannabis-based drugs.
What is medicinal cannabis?
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of bioactive molecules, most of which are still unknown. The two best-studied cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis due to its action on CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Despite the intoxicating effect at high doses, clinical trial evidence generally supports the efficacy of THC in the treatment of conditions such as chronic pain, convulsions in multiple sclerosis, anorexia and cachexia, Tourette’s syndrome, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. . Trials currently underway will help to better define THC’s role as a therapeutic in these and other conditions.
CBD has a wide range of pharmacological actions but no intoxicating effects. Preliminary evidence suggests therapeutic actions of CBD at relatively high doses (300–1500 mg) in the treatment of epilepsy, anxiety, and psychosis. Several clinical trials are underway for other conditions such as neuropathic pain, drug and alcohol dependence, and neurodegenerative disorders. In many countries, CBD is readily available in over-the-counter nutraceutical ‘wellness’ products. They contain very low doses (eg 5-25 mg) for which there is little evidence of health benefits. Over-the-counter access to CBD is not yet available in Australia, although the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is currently investigating the possibility of such simplified access.
Nabiximols (Sativex) is the only cannabis-based drug currently listed. It is an oromucosal spray containing THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio and approved for the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Another product, cannabidiol (Epidiolex), is a plant-derived oil-based formulation of CBD. It has recently been approved in the United States and Europe for the treatment of refractory childhood epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome.
All other medicinal cannabis products available in India are registered drugs. Most of these oral preparations are cannabis oil capsules or cannabis extract capsules, with only a small fraction containing plant material of the cannabis plant such as flowers (for evaporation). Products may contain THC only, CBD only, or different ratios of CBD to THC. About a third of the available products are CBD only. Trace levels of other cannabinoids and bioactive compounds (such as terpenes) may also be present.
Medical cannabis products are distributed by pharmacies. It is critically important that the dispensing pharmacist has an understanding of the product and has clear lines of communication with patients and physicians. Dose titration often occurs during the first weeks of treatment and needs to be clearly communicated with the patient.
It is recommended that physicians discuss the risks and benefits of medicinal cannabis with their patients so that the patient can provide informed consent for this therapeutic route. Patients should be informed about common and serious adverse effects.
To know more about medical cannabis products click here VEDI.
From the “I am sorry” team we collect all the information from the internet search. If we are not correct then sorry and email me for correction at [email protected]