In an article published by the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, the specialist in Neurosurgery and founder of WeCann Academy, Dr. Patrícia Montagner, points out that the lack of information and a persistent stigma in relation to cannabis, with a lot of confusion between medicinal and recreational uses are currently the main hindrances to popularization of the benefits of Endocannabinoid Drugs in Brazil, proven in the care of cases ranging from neuropsychiatric diseases, chronic skin disorders to gastrointestinal disorders.
Read the full text on Folha’s website or below:
Brazil needs education to harness the potential of medicinal cannabis
Medicinal cannabis has enormous therapeutic potential and the medical community must lead the way in building a more favorable environment for use of the plant in the treatment of various diseases in Brazil. The benefits are proven in the care of cases ranging from neuropsychiatric diseases, chronic skin problems to gastrointestinal disorders. Studies still show good results in several new applications, including as an anti-inflammatory adjuvant in patients with Covid.
We have recently seen an important advance with the approval of Bill 399/15, by a special commission of the Chamber of Deputies, to legalize the cultivation and production of the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes in the country. The sale of drugs based on the plant has been authorized since 2017, when ANVISA registered Mevatyl®, a drug composed of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (the two main chemical elements of the plant) for treatment of spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis. These are promising steps, which demonstrate that Brazil is moving in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go to make treatments based on cannabis accessible, safe and effective.
The priority at the moment must be education. Lack of information and a persistent stigma in relation to cannabis, with a lot of confusion between medicinal and recreational uses, are today the main hindrances to popularizing the benefits of Endocannabinoid Drugs in Brazil. Our priority today is to fight ignorance on the subject.
In this sense, the medical community is the natural and correct leader in the efforts to clarify the society. But, in order to take it forward, it needs to be better prepared for it. For now, few professionals dominate the subject in Brazil and lack of knowledge is still the rule among the class. Most educational institutions, for example, ignore the existence of the Endocannabinoid System and the use of medicinal cannabis as a tool to modulate this system, despite the overwhelming scientific results published for decades. An astonishing omission, but the problem is even bigger.
Lack of interest is compounded by mistaken approaches. Passionate and extremist views – which regard cannabis as either a miracle drug or a dangerous poison – often dominate and contaminate the environment. Just as important as stimulating debate is ensuring the technical and impartial level of discussion.
Furthermore, we have reached the stage where a market of billions of proportions will be created and the economic relevance of the area is increasing every day. All the more reason, therefore, for the urgency of guaranteeing a process guided by scientific knowledge and ethics, which fulfills the main purpose of protecting and providing well-being to patients.
The time has come to encourage doctors and other healthcare professionals to study and prepare themselves. We have to train people with technical capacity to consolidate endocannabinoid therapy in Brazil. People who will develop this ecosystem, create standards, promote practices and insert qualified products in public and private healthcare networks, prevent setbacks, clarify and benefit the society. And, above all, professionals who will diagnose, prescribe, perform treatments with a transforming potential in the quality of life of thousands of patients with serious, refractory and disabling diseases.
We physicians have an obligation at all times to guarantee our patients the best care available and to incorporate therapeutic tools that have been proven to be safe and effective in our medical practice. And today, given the flurry of scientific articles published in the field and the robustness of results observed daily in the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients, it is clear that endocannabinoid therapy and medicinal cannabis prove to be an excellent alternative.
Patricia Montagner, Neurosurgery Specialist and Founder of WeCann Academy, Global Community and Study Center for Endocannabinoid Medicine
Source: Folha de S.Paulo
Date: 3 de agosto de 2021