Medicinal cannabis and mental health

Medicinal hemp is a millennial issue that has often mobilized both positive and negative comments. At the Scale and Center for Suicide Prevention, on Wednesday 24/1 Olga Theodorikakou and Kyriakos Katsadoros made a presentation on 'Pharmaceutical Cannabis and Mental Health' in a scientific-therapeutic context. The following are the most important points of their recommendation.

Hemp is a plant. It thrives very easily and without much demands on temperate climates. Perhaps many have heard of the differentiation between hemp indica and hemp sativa. As it turns out from systematic botany, we are actually talking about cannabis sativa, the only taxonomic species, but which has a very pronounced biological diversity and various traits. The reasons for any separation are purely commercial.

The fibers of the plant contain over four hundred chemicals, of which a very large family of compounds is known as cannabinoids. This term is used to describe a set of substances, natural, or synthetic that mimic the actions of cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the substance that has the main psychoactive and psychomimetic ingredients, so you will find that commercially available products have less than 0.2% THS, which means they have no psychoactive properties.

Cannabis can create a short-lived psychotic episode, but studies have shown that it is still escaping, but this is again a debate.

In a number of studies, the long-term course of individuals who developed such a disorder (that is, about eight years later) shows that 50% of those who did not have a psychiatric history had psychosis in the schizophrenic spectrum and this rate increased to 75% if psychoses are generally calculated.

Medicinal hemp has been approved in total in 27 countries, of which twenty are in Europe. The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Addiction in a very recent 2017 report cites the positive evidence of cannabidiol in a number of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, psychosis, pain, anxiety disorders, depression.

According to the WHO, cannabidiol has recognized therapeutic properties despite the small number of clinical trials to date. Greece is one of the last EU countries to decide to somehow modernize its legislation on the medical use of cannabis.

At EU level, however, there is no single framework, but its medical use is recognized in more than fourteen countries, ie in more than half of the Member States.

In most cases, its euphoric use was first decriminalized and then 'paved the way' for medicine.