April 30, 2015
Cannabis-based drug to treat epilepsy?

As Jamaica gets ready to implement a new relaxed law on marijuana use, and there is a growing clamour for Caribbean countries to move in the direction of the development of medical marijuana, further news of medical advances in cannabis-based drugs has raised hopes for more progress in this regard.{{more}}

The American Academy of Neurology has reported encouraging signs after trials for a cannabis-based drug to treat epilepsy. Over a 12-week period, it carried out tests on 213 people of all ages, ranging from toddlers to adults who have serious forms of epilepsy. They were given canabidiol, a drug in liquid form made from a cannabis component without the psychoactive part which produces the ‘high’.

Of the 137 persons who completed the tests, there was an average 54 per cent decrease in the number of seizures experienced. However, 10 per cent of those starting the tests dropped out because of side-effects, among them, drowsiness, diarrhoea, tiredness and decreased appetite.

The news should spur CARICOM to boldly explore such developmental areas to clearly set out a policy and line of march on medical marijuana. (Contributed)