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Why Australian scientists raise the question of the ineffectiveness of pharmacological drugs based on psychoactive hemp

15.10.2019

The use of pharmacological preparations containing psychoactive hemp for the treatment of the six aforementioned diseases is not recommended due to the limited data available and the already known risks of their use. In the event that a decision is made to use pharmacological preparations based on psychoactive hemp, it is imperative to warn the patient about the side effects of their use.

On the pages of the profile electronic publication of Ukrainian hemp breeders, the question has repeatedly been raised that specialists in the United States allowed to sell only one hemp-based pharmacological drug for the treatment of two diseases, and doctors are obliged to indicate to patients information about the negative effects that appear during the use of this drug . In addition, information regularly appears that “the FDA requires that the mention of therapeutic properties be removed from the products of manufacturers of CBD products .” It was pointed out that " The high cost of cannabidiol-based medicines is holding back the development of the hemp market in Europe " and this is exactly that "A factor that affects the cannabis market in Canada . ” This material presents some results of research by Australian scientists who argue that when using pharmacological preparations made on the basis of psychoactive hemp, a huge number of negative effects on the patient’s health arise and fundamental research is needed to further promote such drugs on the market.

Cannabis-based pharmacological preparations can be purchased in Germany with a prescription since 2017. However, it is still not clear how effectively the leaves and inflorescences of psychoactive hemp help and whether they help at all. A survey of Australian scientists conducted on this topic provides quite sobering data to advocates of indiscriminate advertising of the therapeutic properties of psychoactive hemp.

For two and a half years, seriously ill people in Germany can receive medications containing various plant extracts or psychoactive hemp flowers by prescription. In 2018 alone, about 100 thousand prescriptions for the corresponding pharmacological preparations and the “green mass” of psychoactive hemp were bought in the country's pharmacies. According to German companies specializing in insurance medicine, psychoactive hemp flowers, as well as drugs based on the therapeutic properties of the plant , were mostly bought for the treatment of diseases associated with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Tourette, generalized anxiety disorder.

According to German scientists, the medical benefits of cannabis psychoactive have not been adequately investigated in relation to a huge number of diseases. A group of Australian scientists summarized in a so-called meta-analysis of a study of at least six different diseases, namely: depression, generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and Tourette syndrome. In 83 studies, treatment was evaluated for more than 3 thousand patients.

The following are studies by Louise Degenhardt of the Australian National Drug and Alcohol Research Center (Sydney):

•  Medicines containing natural tetrahydrocannabinol extract can relieve symptoms in patients with anxiety disorders;

• the  results of one of the studies suggest that THC-containing drugs in patients with psychosis can aggravate their painful condition;

•  available studies do not allow an unambiguous conclusion that drugs containing psychoactive hemp in their formulation have a positive effect in addition to the placebo effect in the treatment of the above diseases;

•  at the same time, the use of drugs containing psychoactive hemp ingredients often leads to undesirable side effects.

As a result of disappointment with the effective use of psychoactive hemp pharmaceuticals, German patients often stop taking them to treat the above diseases.

In The Lancet Psychiatry, members of Ms. Degenhardt’s research team raise the need for large-scale and high-quality studies on the effects of colors and pharmacological preparations based on hemp. Attention is focused on the fact that there are no fundamental studies on the effect of psychoactive hemp on patients suffering from the above diseases. In connection with the above, Australian scientists argue that the use of pharmacological preparations containing psychoactive hemp for the treatment of the six aforementioned diseases is not recommended due to the limited data available and the already known risks of their use. In the event that a decision is made on the use of pharmacological preparations based on psychoactive hemp, it is imperative to warn the patient about the side effects of their use.

The study group of Ms. Degenhardt believes that the general interest in the use of the therapeutic properties of the plant involves carrying out deep large-scale basic research necessary to find out how effective flowers and pharmacological preparations based on psychoactive hemp are effective in comparison with existing traditional methods of treatment.

Commentary of the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association

Up-to-date information on the possibilities of using therapeutic therapeutic hemp can be obtained during the December 17, 2019 round table “ Use of cannabinoids in the treatment of severe / chronic diseases ”, held as part of the “ Hemp University ”.

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