Serbia has not registered any drug containing cannabis, and it seems that the initiatives of certain associations to allow the medical use of cannabis oil will remain only on paper.
Based on the recommendations of the US Food and Drug Administration, the Commission for Psychotropic Substances of the Ministry of Health, which did not recognize or approve the marijuana plant as a cure, concluded that cannabis oil should not be legalized for personal use, given the fact that there are no relevant standards relating to its composition and production.
However, despite the doctor’s warnings about cautious use of cannabis oil, families and friends of patients that suffer severe illnesses, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis, usually, purchase the oil via illegal channels.
Dr Danica Grujicic, a neurosurgeon from the Clinical Centre of Serbia, and oncologist Dr Vladimir Kovcin, both believe that cannabis oil and extracts do not cure cancer and that there are no clinical studies in people that would confirm the effectiveness in the therapy of this disease. They are also against the legalization.
Dr Kovcin said that, in 35 years since he started practising medicine, he did not see a single patient who was cured or kept the disease under control just because they used cannabis oil. In his opinion, the use of any unregistered medication carries the risk of adverse effects and unknown interaction with standard oncological therapy.
“Everyone claims to know someone who is being treated and cured with these drugs. However, when you search for that particular patient, it turns out that it is just a story heard from another person and that no-one has personally met the patient that was cured. By purchasing various types of cannabis oil, patients are violating the law, and at the same time, they are at risk from possible side effects. I do not mind the registration of cannabis-based medication as an ancillary remedy but only according to the regulations and procedures that already exist in the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices of Serbia”, Dr Kovcin adds.
Although there are studies and reports on the beneficial effects of cannabis preparations in various neurological disorders, like multiple sclerosis, dementia, epilepsy, movement disorders, urinary disorders, depression and insomnia, painful spasms muscle after injury to the spinal cord and pain in the course of malignant diseases, the application of cannabis oil in other neurological conditions and disorders is not recommended.
Clinical pharmacologist, Dr Janko Samardzic says that there are good effects of the use of cannabis oil:” Additional effects that justify the medical use of THC (a component in cannabis plant) and its synthetic replacements include increased appetite, decreased nausea, decreased eye pressure, decreased chronic pain and spasticity (pathologically elevated muscle tone in neurological diseases). There are various regulations regarding cannabis use in many countries, from complete legalization and free circulation, through legislation or controlled traffic, to a complete ban, so there is no single position”, adds Dr Samardzic.
This post is also available in: Italiano