Portugal Clears a Big Hurdle in the Path Toward Legal Marijuana-Based Medicines

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portugal goes medical marijuana

Cannabis has been used in treating medical ailments for thousands of years by varying cultures all over the world. Modern research has also put in work to test out these healing properties of cannabis and it has been proven to be effective in treating a wide range of ailments. Nevertheless, the majority of the countries of the world still criminalize and also penalize citizens caught using the drug regardless  of the reason. Luckily, the government of Portugal has seen the light!

The nation has gradually been following in the footsteps of other countries that have decriminalized the use of cannabis and also now has an active domestic market for these products— with the right steps, they’ll hopefully go further.

In the early 2000s, Portugal decriminalized drugs and since then has gone on to further relax the drug laws in the country. In the last five years, the Portuguese government has legalized the use of cannabis for medical reasons(in 2018) and the government has also established a method that would be used to cultivate and mass-produce refined cannabis products(in 2020), a highly welcome development!

As you can see Portugal has been proactive for a while when it comes to cannabis, and they’re are at it again. In this article, I will be enlightening you about the cannabis-based medicine that was recently approved by the government of Portugal and the major compound present in it.

 

Although Portugal passed the medical cannabis bill in 2018, a lot of Portuguese citizens doubted that the government would go all the way to approve a cannabis-based medicine. Hence why this milestone is worth celebrating. This drug is the first-ever in the country and for now, the only approved and legal cannabis-based drug. However, indications show that with time, the government would begin to approve more of these drugs for increased stability in the health sector.

Whether or not the government would approve the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is still unclear at this point. However, Portugal has gradually been easing the drug laws in the country, but this approval is the most important. With this drug, several patients can have access to medical cannabis to find relief for their medical problems where traditional and conventional methods may have failed.

The country’s health body, ‘The National Authority for Medicine and Health Products’ has also endorsed the product for a series of medical ailments where the normal drugs do not seem to be effectively reducing the symptoms of the ailment.

It has been reported that Tilray— one of the leaders in the cultivation, production, distribution, and research of cannabis plants globally— plans to distribute these cannabis-based medical products around the country. The company is well renowned for making quality cannabis-based medicines available in fifteen other countries.

The director of the company’s office in Portugal, Barata, has assured the country that plans are being put in place to quicken the approval of other medical cannabis products. This way medical practitioners would be able to choose which is best for individual patients.

In the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, the cannabis market is quite porous. These nations have large-scale, medium, and small-scale companies working very hard to create original and distinct cannabis-based products for both medical and recreational purposes.

Unsurprisingly, these companies are now testing out the different chemical and volatile constituents in the cannabis plant. For example, the terpenes, flavonoids, CDs present in each cannabis strain are being researched to find out their usefulness in the products being created.

Not only will this help users to know if there’s an allergic composition present in the plant, but it will also help these companies create products with better synergies that will further improve the famous ‘entourage effect’ felt by experienced weed users.

Unlike the UK that approves drugs with equal amounts of THC and CBD— Sativex, Portugal plans to make use of drugs that have THC as its major constituents.

THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol – is the principal constituent of a cannabis drug that induces the ‘high’ when it binds with the receptors in the brain. Researchers have discovered that THC can also be used medically in high amounts.

Some of the health conditions that THC optimized cannabis-based medication is suitable for includes:

Pain (chronic pain in diseases like cancer)

Glaucoma

Spasticity

Nausea

Vomiting

Chemotherapy reactions

Insomnia

Low appetite etc.

The government of Portugal plans to leverage this to use the psychoactive compound in varying levels to create cannabis-based drugs— making their product original, authentic and modern.

Not only this, plans are in place to have a production plant within the country. The country plans to produce units of this medicine within the borders of the country in the nearest future.

This is a commendable feat. And when it becomes a success, the country would make a lot of financial gains from the product’s export.

The cannabis-based medical bill is one of the best innovations in Portugal right now. However, if the distribution of this product cannot be controlled, it might lead to a surge in illicit drug use, overdose, death, accidents due to driving under influence, as well as an increase in crime rates.

For instance, when the drug laws were initially relaxed in 2001 there were a lot of problems that arose including the above points. Hopefully, the country has also foreseen this trajectory and put plans in place to ensure only patients with a prescription have access to the drug— This could be the reason growing cannabis strains at home is still prohibited in Portugal. There should also be penalties for citizens that try to work their way around the laws.

With all these plans put in place, Portugal can now be grouped among the drug-lenient countries in Europe and also the world. The relaxed stance and legalization of cannabis-based medicine would improve the country’s health sector. It will make the country appealing to tourists and also boost the economy of the nation when the drugs are produced and ready for export— hopefully, other countries would have signed their cannabis medical bill into law by then.

It is commendable that the country already has a manifestation of the 2018 cannabis medical bill.

 

MORE ON LEGALIZED DRUGS IN PORTUGAL, READ MORE…

PORTUGAL AND LEGALIZED DRUGS

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