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June 12, 2016

Cannabis serves as orphan drug for several rare medical conditions

Online platform Medical Cannabis Declaration (MCD) has said that Cannabis serves as an orphan drug for several rare medical conditions.

By Lopamudra Roy

herb

Online platform Medical Cannabis Declaration (MCD) has said that Cannabis serves as an orphan drug for several rare medical conditions.

An ongoing worldwide campaign seeks to inform patients across the world that medical cannabis is used for treating diseases such as Tourette Syndrome, Stiff Person Syndrome, Achalasia, Dravet Syndrome and Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.

Only ten out of 200 countries worldwide currently grant their patients access to cannabis for medical use, while in another 20, cannabis is accessible as medicine only in certain cases.

Tourette Syndrome is a serious neurological-psychiatric disorder that causes both motor tics, such as sudden spasms in the face neck and shoulders, and one or more vocal tics.

This syndrome causes behavioural problems or psychopathologies, including auto aggression and disturbed attention.

The tics can be effectively reduced with the use of THC, which is one of the primary cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant.

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Additionally, a patient suffering from Stiff Person Syndrome has been effectively treated with a cannabis extract Sativex.

Long-term use of cannabis has also proved to be effective for patients suffering from treatment-resistant Achalasia.

"Cannabis-based drug Epidiolex has succeeded in treating children with a rare form of severe epilepsy Dravet Syndrome in the first of four final-stage Phase III epilepsy trials."

Cannabis-based drug Epidiolex has succeeded in treating children with a rare form of severe epilepsy Dravet Syndrome in the first of four final-stage Phase III epilepsy trials.

Pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals hopes to confirm the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol, which is the main cannabinoid of Epidiolex.

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, also known as pseudotumor cerebri, is a neurological disorder caused due to a high pressure in the fluid around the brain.

Cannabis can be effectively used to reduce this intracranial pressure.


Image: Cannabis Plant. Photo: courtesy of J. Patrick Bedell.

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