Pain relief society demands cannabis law to allow therapeutic use in Spain

Friday, 26 May 2023, 12:49

A Spanish pain management society, the Sociedad Española del Dolor (SED), is demanding cannabis be legalised for therapeutic use so it can be used to help treat people suffering from nerve damage or cancer.

During a recent pain relief conference, experts made the call for the legalising of the therapeutic use cannabis in Spain. “But it is important that it should be supervised by health professionals specialised in pain treatment and that patients receive adequate information on the possible side effects and risks associated with the use of cannabis,” SED Cannabinoids Group coordinator Jesús De Santiago said.

The legislation should include the need for education and training of health professionals and other sectors that may be involved in the use of medical cannabis, such as pharmacists and caregivers, he added.

The SED recommended the Cannabis Law outline specific instructions for its therapeutic use, how treatments are to be carried out, who the prescribers are, where the medication can be dispensed, and regulate the quality and purity of the cannabis used for medical purposes.

The SED recalled recent studies published in the academic journal Annals of Internal Medicine, which reveals that oral or sublingual medical cannabis can produce a moderate improvement in pain intensity and response to treatment in the short term of 30 per cent or more, although it also presents a risk of sedation and dizziness.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

The SED also highlighted a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), in which oncology patients who were treated with cannabis had analgesic effects.

One of the components of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has psychoactive properties and is thought to be responsible for pain relief, while another component, cannabidiol (CBD), has been associated with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It can also help cancer patients manage other related symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, loss of appetite and sleep disorders.

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