By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been called upon to regulate the production and marketing of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil in Nigeria.
Participants at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) year 2019 Autism Conference made the plea at the event which took place in Lagos.
The participants expressed the concern after listening to a facilitator, Dr. Yetunde Adeniyi’s presentation on the topic: “Utility of Cannabis Oil In Autism Management – Current Trends.”
In the opinion of those who spoke on the subject, most of them medical specialists, CBD oil which comes as food supplement cannot be a “cure-all” substance. They described it as a “primary drug” that must be regulated.
Adeniyi who is a lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMH), University of Ibadan said that since the 1800s cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes.
She stated that the substance has been referred to as “a good guide” in the management of neuropathic conditions.
According to her, cannabis is associated with good health, and that it is used to relieve depression’s.
“Children who have uncontrolled epilepsy can be prescribed cannabis. It has been used in anxiety disorder and in those who have Parkinson’s disease,” the psychiatrist told the audience.
Malaria, nausea, fatigue, among others, are treated with mild cannabis, according to her.
“There is CBD oil in Nigeria,” Adeniyi who is Nigeria’s first home-grown child and adolescent psychiatrist stressed.
She stated that cannabis has been said to be the most widely used plant in healthcare. “It is sold as food supplement,” Adeniyi elaborated.
She pointed out that there are about 100 derivatives from cannabis, and that one of them is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). “THC causes restlessness,” the mental health expert warned.
She emphasized that clinical research in medicinal use and potency of cannabis remains scanty.
According to her, “No evidence of the effect of long time use of CBD oil for now. Physicians say they recommend it when there is nothing else to try.”
Adeniyi advised Nigerians to “slow down a bit in use of CBD oil.”
She stated that CBD oil has no dosage and that it is still facing legal issues, because “research evidence is required before it is legalized.”
The psychiatrist disclosed that Israel followed by USA are principal nations that use cannabis in autism patients and that the countries have reported improvement in sleep, anxiety and self-injurious behaviour of those who used the substance.
She cautioned that raw marijuana should not be used as a substitute for cannabis oil. “Do not resort to using cannabis on the street that have not been clinically processed,” the psychiatrist counselled.