STUDIES and researches are now being done by the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) for the use of medicinal marijuana.
As medicinal marijuana had been proven abroad to have a good action against pain especially for patients with cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease, PITAHC Director General Doctor Annabelle Pabiona-De Guzman said there is already a bill under study for the compassionate use of Cannabis in the Philippines.
She said they hope the bill can go through Congress but expects to have a complication or a problem when it reaches the Senate.
“We already have exploratory studies. The first study that we did was looking for patent. We found out that there are international patents already because in certain parts in the U.S. and some European countries it is already used for medicinal purposes. We cannot apply specific patent to the Philippines because what will be used will be the same as what is being used abroad,” said Pabiona-De Guzman during the Connect press forum yesterday at the SM Lanang Premier.
She added they have already partnered with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea) and the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) in coming with another study to document the use of marijuana as a recreational drug in the country.
The director general underscored that recreational marijuana is different from medicinal marijuana. The former uses burnt leaves and smokes it unlike medicinal marijuana which uses oil extracted from the plant seeds instead.
A study conducted by PITAHC, still in partnership with Pdea and DDB, focuses on the propagation and the cultivation of the proper kind of medical Cannabis that will be the best for health purposes.
She clarified that their studies are all on paper and they have yet to conduct demo use of medicinal cannabis.
They are also hopeful that the bill will be pushed through as it will also give authority to regulate and make sure the marijuana is not abused only because the medicinal function is approved.
“Also, what we are pushing is the use of the cold-pressed seed oil for medicinal purposes and not the leaves. It is helpful for those who are sick and in pain. So we at PITAHC are supportive of this,” she added.