Family Doctors Discuss Advantages of Using Cannabinoids

Family Doctors Explore Cannabinoids as Therapeutic Options for Chronic Pain

As reported in The Portugal News, the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine (APMGF) promoted an online meeting of doctors to discuss the use of cannabinoids for pain relief. The focus is on people who continue to experience pain despite taking the maximum dosage of pain medication and on people with a low or no tolerance for pain medications.

Portugal’s doctors have supported the use of cannabinoids as a therapeutic option for years. Portugal law allows the purchase of CBD oil for medicinal purposes, but the product must have less than 0.2 percent THC. Marijuana for medicinal use was legalized in 2018. Family doctors in Portugal held the first of several webinars to discuss the pros and cons of prescribing cannabinoids for people who have been unable to experience pain relief in traditional ways.

Though medical cannabis is legal, many doctors are not aware of its potential benefits for patients, and even when aware, some will not prescribe any cannabinoids. The meeting of family doctors is the beginning of a process to educate health professionals on cannabinoids’ risks and benefits, so they can knowledgeably respond to patient inquiries.

The potential benefit of cannabinoids for medical purposes goes beyond drug replacement. Hugo Cordeiro, a physician at Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto and member of the Pain Study Group at APMGF said,

“Some studies show that cannabinoids even make it possible to reduce the doses of other types of substances that also have important side effects and at the same time improve the quality of life.”

Dr. Cordeiro points out that cannabinoid substances are well researched by doctors around the world. For people living with chronic pain, it is difficult to enjoy life, and for many, it becomes an economic issue because they cannot work. If cannabinoids can bring any amount of pain relief, it makes sense for doctors to prescribe them for patients who can benefit the most. Some doctors even believe cannabinoids may have fewer side effects than traditional medicines. Dr. Raul Marques Pereira, coordinator of the Pain Study Group at APMG, also believes that a wide group of patients may benefit.

What will remain a barrier until a solution is found, is the price of cannabinoid medicines. It is hoped a solution is found so that people coping with chronic pain have a new therapeutic option.

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