CANNABIS MEDICINAL PRODUCTS TO ROLL OUT IN ZIM
ZIMBABWE will soon roll out its first cannabis medicinal products to treat various diseases and conditions.
In an interview yesterday, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji challenged innovators, investors and academics to embrace numerous opportunities available in the production of medicinal mbanje products.
He said the country was well positioned for the development of such products as there is already a statutory provision supporting it.
This comes after the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drug derived from cannabis, also known as marijuana for treating two rare and severe forms of epilepsy which are resistant to existing treatments.
“Recently, the Government gazetted Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018 which is basically regulations within the Dangerous Drugs Acts which speak to the production of cannabis for medicinal and scientific use. What this means is that we have embraced the notion that there are medicinal properties within cannabis and that these properties can be harnessed within a well regulated framework to be used really in treatment of various conditions,” said Dr Gwinji.
He emphasised that the statutory instrument does not legalise the production of mbanje for recreational uses. “So what it means now is product developers out there at the appropriate time when this industry kicks in are then free to develop relevant products within this regulated framework to produce medicines or active ingredients of medicines with cannabis,” added Dr Gwinji.
He acknowledged that other countries were already making use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. “We know this is happening in other jurisdictions and we do hope that with the coming in of investors, we will export either raw products, or processed product for further use. We also hope that local industries and academia will embrace this development so that together they can produce local medicines based on various components of cannabis,” he said.
According to an article from Medical Uses of Cannabis and THC, there are marked differences in the knowledge on the medical uses of cannabis and cannabinoids in different diseases.
For nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, anorexia and cachexia in HIV/Aids, chronic, especially neuropathic pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, there is strong evidence for medical benefits.
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