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Tag: brazil

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Brazil’s Federal Council Of Medicine Creates Confusion With New Cannabis Guidance

Brazil is the most populous country in South America. With a population of over 200 million people, Brazil makes up almost half the population on the continent and dwarfs the next most populous country in South America, Colombia (roughly 50 million people).

It’s a safe bet that there are a considerable number of suffering patients in Brazil, many of which that would likely benefit from using one or more types of cannabis products for medical purposes.

Unfortunately, Brazil’s medical cannabis program is still limited in many ways, with many suffering patients not qualifying for the country’s emerging medical cannabis program because their condition or conditions are not on the list of those that qualify for safe access.

To make matters worse, the nation’s Federal Council of Medicine issued new guidance this month that would further limit who can qualify to receive medical cannabis. Per Globo:

Eight years after its last guidance on the use of cannabidiol, the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM) published this Friday (14) a new standard aimed at guiding how doctors should treat the subject.

With no advances and more restrictive, CFM resolution No. 2,324 authorizes cannabis products to be used only to treat some cases of epilepsy. The text also prohibits the prescription of “any other derivatives (of cannabis sativa) other than cannabidiol”.

The new guidance is the target of considerable pushback from a wide array of stakeholders, and not just patients. Members of the emerging cannabis industry, as well as members of the medical community, were quick to offer criticism.

One major point that is being made by experts from all types of backgrounds is that Brazil had previously authorized the sale of CBD medication for multiple sclerosis in pharmacies. The new guidance obviously contradicts that prior authorization, as well as other practices that are common in Brazil right now.

The guidance puts doctors in a really tough situation and clearly limits their ability to treat patients. It will be interesting to see if the guidance is actually incorporated, or if it is legally challenged and/or scraped in the future.

brazil

brazil flag

Judge Grants Home Cultivation Protection To Cannabis Patient In Brazil

Back in June 2022, Brazil’s top Court ruled in favor of three patients that sought to cultivate their own cannabis. The Court at the time seemed to indicate that it felt Brazil’s government was purposefully trying to hinder safe access.

Another court case in Brazil was recently decided, this time involving one medical cannabis patient, and the ruling is in line with the previous top Court ruling that favored home cultivation. Per Extra:

A woman obtained in court a preventive habeas corpus that allows her to grow cannabis sativa for oil extraction for personal and medicinal use, in addition to authorization to import seeds. The request was made by lawyers Thais Menezes and Marianna Mendonça to the 7th Federal Criminal Court of Rio de Janeiro and granted by Judge Caroline Vieira Figueired.

According to the ruling, the patient in this latest case can cultivate up to 21 plants every 4 months, or a total of 63 plants per year. The patient reportedly will use the harvests to make cannabis oil.

A big part of the court’s decision seemed to hinge on the patient’s inability to pay the costs of imported cannabis oil products, which can be very expensive. I suspect this patient’s situation is more common than many people think.

Every patient should be able to cultivate their own medical cannabis within reason. Not every patient has the ability to cultivate cannabis due to physical and logistical hurdles, however, every patient should have the right to home cultivation regardless.

brazil

cannabis plant

Survey Finds Majority Support For Medical Cannabis In Brazil

Medical cannabis is technically legal in Brazil, however, the country’s medical cannabis program is extremely limited. For most patients, safe access does not exist, and for the limited number of patients that do have safe access, it’s almost entirely based on imported medical cannabis products.

Back in June 2022, Brazil’s top Court ruled in favor of three patients that sought to cultivate their own cannabis. The Court at the time seemed to indicate that it felt that Brazil’s government was purposefully trying to hinder safe access. Per prior Associated Press coverage of the decision:

Judge Rogério Schietti said the top court’s panel acted because the government had failed to take a scientific position on the issue.

“The discourse against this possibility is moralistic. It often has a religious nature, based on dogmas, on false truths, stigmas,” Schietti said. “Let us stop this prejudice, this moralism that delays the development of this issue at the legislative, and many times clouds the minds of Brazilian judges.”

PoderData recently surveyed voters in Brazil to gauge their level of support for medical cannabis. It’s not the first time that the company surveyed voters on the issue, and while there was a decline in support compared to their last survey conducted in January, the results still demonstrated that a majority of voters support medical cannabis. Per UOL:

A survey by PoderData , released this Tuesday (26), pointed out that the approval of the use of cannabis for medical treatments has decreased . In January, 61% of those surveyed were in favor of legalizing the medical use of marijuana. In July, this index dropped to 54% .

Those who were against the release in January were 26% , a number that grew to 37% in July.

Every suffering patient around the world deserves to have safe access to medicines that they find to be effective at treating their condition(s). That is true when it comes to cannabis as well as every other form of safe, effective medicine.

Patients shouldn’t have to rely on court decisions for safe access protections, if for any reason because not every court decision pertains to every patient. Just because three patients can cultivate medical cannabis doesn’t necessarily mean that it applies to every situation.

Suffering patients in Brazil need lawmakers to stop the footdragging, to step up, and to pass legislation that will yield permanent safe access solutions.

brazil

cannabis extracts rick simpson oil concentrates

Alzheimer’s Case Report From Brazil Finds “Encouraging” Results For Cannabis Extracts Treatment

It is estimated that as many as 50 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It is also estimated that every 3 seconds someone is diagnosed with the condition.

Alzheimer’s disease involves the degeneration of the brain resulting in disruptions in memory, cognition, personality, and other everyday mental functions. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for the disease.

To make matters worse, diagnosis rates of the disease are expected to increase significantly in the coming decades if effective treatments are not discovered/developed. Absent any breakthroughs, it’s estimated that the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s could more than triple by 2050.

Fortunately, cannabis may be able to help. Researchers in Brazil recently published a case report involving a patient and microdosing low-THC cannabis extracts. Below is more information about it via a NORML news release:

Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil: Cannabis microdosing is associated with cognitive and behavioral improvements in a patient with mnemonic and non-mnemonic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) symptoms, according to a case report published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.

An international team of investigators affiliated with The Federal University for Latin American Integration in Brazil and with John Hopkins University in Baltimore reported on the experimental treatment of THC-rich extracts in a 75-year-old male patient with mild-stage Alzheimer’s disease. The patient had been diagnosed with AD two-years prior to his use of cannabis.

Extracts used in the trial contained an 8-to-1 ratio of THC to CBD. The patient receiving the intervention used the extracts daily for 22 months. The subject’s daily dosage never exceeded 1 mg of THC per day.

Investigators reported that the patient exhibited “rapid” and “robust” symptom amelioration following his use of low doses of THC-rich extracts. Specifically, they reported, “[C]ognitive and memory enhancement lasted for more than one year following the start of treatment and remained stable while we progressively evaluate/follow up with the patient, for more than one year after the official report ended.” Authors also reported improvements in the subject’s quality of life and in behavioral issues, including a reduction in mood swings and aggressiveness. Follow up evaluations identified no evidence of cannabis-related toxicity or significant side effects.

They concluded: “Our results are unprecedented and very encouraging. … In summary, data presented in this case report suggest that cannabinoid microdosing is a potential therapeutic for AD, with no significant side effects, although placebo-controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm and extend these data.”

Prior studies and case reports assessing the use of THC in Alzheimer’s disease patients have similarly reported improvements in AD symptoms, such as reduced agitation and improved sleep, following cannabinoid dosing.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid extract in microdoses ameliorates mnemonic and non-mnemonic Alzheimer’s disease symptoms: A case report,” appears in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. Additional information on cannabis and Alzheimer’s disease is available from NORML.

alzheimers, brazil

cannabis leaf

Researchers In Brazil Find That CBD Is Ineffective For Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome may not sound like a serious condition, however, it can have a very negative impact on someone’s life that suffers from the condition. I know this firsthand, as I suffer from the condition.

The condition is characterized by ‘an unpleasant tickling or twitching sensation in the leg muscles when sitting or lying down, relieved only by moving the legs.’

It is estimated that as many as 10% of the global adult human population suffers from restless leg syndrome. It doesn’t seem to be known what ultimately causes the condition, although there are theories that it may be tied to fluctuating dopamine levels.

Whatever the cause, I can say from my own experience that restless leg syndrome is not only extremely annoying, it makes it nearly impossible to sleep at night. People that suffer from restless leg syndrome often also suffer from related insomnia.

Various treatments exist for restless leg syndrome, although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment. What works for one person may not work for the next.

One form of treatment that I have followed closely is the use of CBD. I have had it recommended to me countless times, just to try it and not see any improvement. I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or if CBD was simply not an effective treatment.

Researchers in Brazil recently examined CBD and restless leg syndrome and found that it is an ineffective form of treatment. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Manaus, Brazil: The administration of oral doses of CBD is ineffective at reducing the severity of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), according to clinical trial data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Brazilian researchers compared the use of CBD versus a placebo over a 14-week period. Patients in the CBD arm of the trial received up to 300mgs of cannabidiol.

Patients who were administered CBD demonstrated no improvements compared to those receiving placebo.

“CBD showed no reduction in the severity of RLS manifestations in patients with PD and RBD,” authors concluded.

By contrast, a series of case reports published in 2020 and in 2017 reported that cannabis inhalation is associated with perceived efficacy in patients with refractory restless legs syndrome.

Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol for restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease in Parkinson’s disease patients with REM sleep behavior disorder: A post hoc exploratory analysis of a phase 2/3 clinical trial,” appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

brazil

cannabis plant leaves

Brazilian Superior Court Approves Cannabis Home Grow For Patients

The South American country is following a trend increasingly seen in Europe in allowing patients the right to grow cannabis at home

It is not just in Europe where home grow is a la mode these days. Last week, Brazil’s highest court voted to allow home grow and oil extraction after three patients took their case to the Superior Court.

Brazil has moved forward relatively significantly on the cannabis reform front. After allowing GMP production domestically and medical products to be imported into the country, the issue of formal medical reform is now a topic in the pending presidential race.

As a result, the Superior Court’s decision to allow ill patients to grow their own plants and extract oils from them is significant. It means that even if pharmaceutical producers setting up shop to export to the rest of the world never distribute their products domestically, Brazilians with chronic conditions can access cannabis medicines – even if they cannot afford the expensive imports.

This puts the country ahead of others – including many in Europe like Germany – where patient home grow is still a contested and highly controversial topic.

Sustainable Cannabis?

One of the more interesting implications of the home grow decision in Brazil is how the country will regulate this part of the industry. One of the larger problems facing the country right now is rainforest deforestation – including by drug gangs who ship their products internationally. Patient “home grow” might well become a highly unsustainable crop that is grown in conditions that destroy this valuable resource.

Because there is no legislation, only litigated court decisions at this point, further regulatory guidelines on what (and how much) patients can grow without running afoul of drug trafficking charges are going to be a necessity.

The good news is that the majority of presidential candidates are willing to go on record supporting more or less comprehensive medical reform. If the sitting president Jair Bolsonaro loses this election, there is a good chance that his replacement will formalize the court’s decision into formal guidelines.

Beyond this kind of advancement, however, do not look for any radical move on the recreational front – at least not for the next couple of years.

In the meantime, however, patients will be safe from prosecution as the country figures out where it will sit in the internationally legalizing league of cannabis nations.

brazil

CBD oil

CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Are Safe For Pediatric Autism Patients According To Brazilian Study

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the subject of a growing number of studies as researchers and medical professionals continue to work to unlock the healing properties of the cannabinoid.

One condition that researchers seem to be focusing on more and more is autism. CBD is thought to be able to effectively treat autism, including among younger patients.

Researchers in Brazil recently conducted a study that looked specifically at CBD’s safety as it pertains to pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorder. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

João Pessoa, Brazil: The administration of CBD-rich cannabis extracts is safe and effective in mitigating symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial data published in the journal Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Brazilian researchers evaluated the use of CBD extracts versus placebo in 60 children (ages 5 to 11) with ASD over a 12-week period.

Compared to the placebo group, subjects receiving CBD extracts experienced significant improvements in their ability to engage in social interactions. They also experienced reduced anxiety and agitation. Only a minority of subjects administered CBD exhibited adverse events, namely dizziness and insomnia.

The study’s findings are consistent with those of other trials similarly reporting improvements in patients’ ASD symptoms following their use of cannabinoid products. Survey data published in October by the publication Autism Parenting Magazine reported that 22 percent of US caregivers or parents have provided CBD to an autistic child. Survey data from the United Kingdom recently reported that autistic adults were nearly four times as likely as controls to report having used CBD within the past year.

Full text of the study, “Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in children with autism spectrum disorder: Randomized, double-blind and controlled placebo clinical trial,” appears inTrends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. Additional information on cannabis and ASD is available from NORML.

autism, brazil

rio de janeiro brazil

Brazilian Medical Cannabis Consumption Increases 110% In One Year

Consumption of medical cannabis products in Brazil increased by 110% in 2021 from 2020 according to study by BRCANN, the Brazilian Association of the Cannabinoid Industry

Brazil is moving rapidly into the global cannabis arena. Currently, the country imports 18 cannabinoid drugs. Beyond this, last year, 40,191 people filed permits to individually import cannabinoids for personal, medical use. The year before, only 19,150 applications were filed. And between 2015 and 2021, a total of 75,203 applications were granted.

Brazil is not so quietly now grappling with where to go with cannabis reform, even as medical use soars in the country.

The current president, Jair Bolsonaro, is vigorously and vocally against any kind of cannabis reform. However, he is being challenged on this stance, both by the populace itself and now by candidates challenging him in this year’s presidential race.

Given the changing climate, whoever wins will almost certainly be dealing with the issue of domestic cultivation and processing. Currently, there are only a few projects authorized to cultivate medical cannabis, and most of this is for research purposes.

This will probably start to change, particularly as it is much cheaper to cultivate cannabis domestically than to import it. Especially in a country like Brazil.

Questions About Sustainability

Brazil has a climate well suited to the cultivation of cannabis. However, there are a few looming problems in the entire legalization discussion.

The first is sustainability. Brazil is already facing record levels of deforestation. The outdoor cultivation of cannabis would, in all reality, increase the pace of the same unless effective regulation of the industry takes place. How likely that is in the current environment is debateable.

One of the primary causes of deforestation is the use of fragile rainforest land to cultivate illicit crops including drugs.

It is also highly unlikely that cultivation would occur only for domestic use.

A Latin American Revolution

Brazil may be one of the larger Latin American countries to consider cannabis reform, but it is far from the only one. That is what makes reform here inevitable, beyond the use of the drug for medical purposes by citizens.

That is also why the industry must be carefully planned and thought out.

An effective domestic program would have to create jobs and incentivize people not to grow crops on fragile land.

For this very reason, reform in this part of the world may have a much wider impact on the rest of the industry, which is struggling everywhere, with both costs and sustainability issues, starting with the cost of electricity.

But make no mistake about it. Reform is coming to Latin America and Brazil is just moving with the herd.

brazil

dog pet cbd cannabidiol oil

Brazilian Researchers Determine That CBD Is Safe For Dogs

An area of the emerging cannabis industry that is often overlooked is cannabis products for pets. Worldwide, it is estimated that over half of the households around the globe own a pet and many of those households own more than one pet.

The most popular pet type around the world is dogs, with as many as 33% of households around the planet estimated to own at least one dog. With that in mind, any product that can effectively and safely help dogs live better lives is obviously something that there would be a tremendous demand for.

Medical cannabis products for pets is still a very young sector within the emerging cannabis industry, and quite a bit of research is needed to help ensure product safety.

However, at the macro level, cannabis appears to be safe for pets, especially cannabidiol, as long as it’s administered in the right dosage level. Below is more information about it via an abstract of a recent study conducted in Brazil:

The review was systematically performed in Medline (via Pubmed®) and Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS) databases, with period restriction (between 1990 and 2021). The qualified articles (n=19), which met the previously established inclusion criteria, were critically evaluated.

Based on the literature review, it is possible to infer safety in the administration of cannabis-based products for the treatment of dogs, especially products rich in cannabidiol (CBD), free or with low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, under the conditions evaluated. In addition, CBD products potentially promote improved quality of life and reduce pain perception in animals affected by canine osteoarthritis.

Finally, owing to the lack of large-scale and robust clinical research studies, the performance of clinical trials, considering the individual characteristics of each cannabis-based product (composition, concentration, nature of adjuvants, dosage form, route of administration), is strongly encouraged.

Now, before you run out and grab the nearest cannabis product that you can find and try to give it to your dog, keep the results of this study in context.

Dogs are far more sensitive to medications than humans, and not only is it important to get the right medical cannabis product designed specifically for a dog of a specific size, it is also important to use the right dosage level and use the right consumption method.

Check with a veterinarian prior to administering medical cannabis products to your dog or any other pet that you may have.

brazil, dogs, pets

senior elderly

Cannabis Associated With Better Quality Of Life According To Brazilian Researchers

Cannabis is medicine. That is a phrase that seems straightforward given the countless suffering patients around the world that rely on medical cannabis for relief, as well as the enormous body of cannabis research that already exists.

However, for many decades cannabis prohibitionists around the globe did everything they could to suppress cannabis research and to prevent the world from knowing about the cannabis plant’s therapeutic properties. Public policies at all levels of government, from local to international, were based on greed and politics instead of being based on actual science and compassion.

Sadly, there are still people on earth that continue to fight to block cannabis research, claiming that the cannabis plant is bad for humans and that it possesses no medical value. Unfortunately for them, international research continues to increase and knowledge about the cannabis plant continues to spread, including a recent study out of Brazil which found encouraging results regarding quality of life outcomes and cannabis use. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

São Paulo, Brazil: Cannabis consumers report better mental health and quality of life outcomes than do non-users, according to data published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Brazilian investigators surveyed a convenience sample of 7,491 self-identified marijuana consumers and 839 non-users. Participants’ responses were scored using standardized scales to assess anxiety, depression, quality of life, and subjective well-being.

Those respondents who identified as regular, but not problematic users of cannabis, scored highest on the scales, followed by more occasional consumers. Both groups scored higher on the scales than did those who abstained from marijuana. Those subjects who perceived their cannabis use to be problematic scored lowest on the scales.

“Even after controlling for possible confounders such as demographics and the use of other psychoactive drugs, occasional or habitual self-perception of cannabis use remained associated with better outcomes of quality of life and mental health,” authors concluded.

They added, “[The] results obtained in this study are particularly relevant because they were obtained from a sample predominantly composed of habitual cannabis users from the general population, a group less frequently represented in other surveys. Except for self-perceived dysfunctional cannabis use, the association between cannabis use with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes was not observed in the present study. It is possible that these adverse outcomes, generally described in many other studies, may be due to publication bias or the fact that our survey data collection strategy predominantly targeted recreational cannabis users.”

Full text of the study, “Mental health and quality of life in a population of recreational cannabis users in Brazil,” appears in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

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