Medical Use of Cannabis and Ongoing Research
Ongoing research into the medical uses of cannabis (ganja) continues to shed new light on the prevailing attitudes of Jamaicans towards this product.
Scientific rigour is now validating much of the historical wisdom regarding the wide array of medicinal uses of cannabis that has been passed down through generations of Jamaicans, in their search for remedies for a range of illnesses.
The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is supportive of ongoing research and development into ganja to discover its various medicinal properties. The NCDA also welcomes emerging approaches and outlook, as cannabis continues to be viewed in a new light, based on the range of possibilities indicated through research.
The field of medicinal cannabis beckons with vast prospects for scientific exploration, discovery and opportunities. In the United States (and to a lesser extent, Jamaica) cannabis has been making its mark in the beauty world, with the development of soaps and other skin-care products.
Here in Jamaica, extensive research into cannabis has resulted in the development of medicines aver the past five years, and the conducting of clinical trials. Active pharmaceutical ingredients made from ganja are being prescribed for adults to treat pain and inflammation, as well as some forms of cancer.
Additionally, Jamaicans have offered testimonials of past and current therapeutic benefits gained from the use of cannabis in various forms. These range from Asmasol (for asthma), Cannasol (for glaucoma), to palliative care for relatives at the end of their lives. There is one account regarding the moderation of spasticity experienced by a multiple sclerosis patient; while another caregiver witnessed the slowing of Alzheimer’s disease in her elderly relative.
There are also others trying to access products with high concentration of cannabidiols to treat and reduce epileptic seizures.
Even as clinical trials continue in Jamaica to test the efficiency of the various medicines developed from cannabis, it is important that this science be put to good use in shaping information, and indeed the facts regarding ganja in these modern times.
The reality is that despite the ongoing research into the medicinal properties of cannabis, there are aspects of the Jamaican culture which have remained stubbornly resistant to this forward march of science. The reasons for this many, and include long held myths and pseudo-science that make excessive claims of mystical powers for ganja.