At the end of last March, Scotland’s regulatory authority, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), approved the first medicinal cannabis clinic, Sapphire Medical Clinic, to offer safe access to medicinal cannabis.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland is a public body that is part of the Scottish National Health Service and deals with the study and improvement of the health of the population of Scotland. With this approval, the patients will be able to go to the institution to receive treatment for different issues, from back pain, arthritis or chronic pain associated with endometriosis.
The development of this clinic is also intended to increase the number of patients enrolled in the UK Medicinal Cannabis Register. This registry is a database created to collect information on treatment results and side effects. This will allow a greater contribution to the evidence base and and therefore ultimately, it will allow more patients to benefit from a medicinal cannabis-based treatment.
The relationship between medicinal cannabis and endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition in most cases painful, in which a tissue similar to the inner lining of the uterus (called the “endometrium”) is found outside the uterus, where it induces a chronic inflammatory reaction that can result in scar tissue. It is found mainly in the ovaries, in the pelvic peritoneum, in the recto-vaginal septum, in the bladder and in the intestine.
The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods and ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, significantly affecting a woman’s quality of life.
The conventional treatment followed by patients to mitigate the pain caused by endometriosis consists of using analgesics and / or hormonal treatment, however, not in all cases it is effective. And this is where medicinal cannabis and its action through the endocannabinoid system, involved in the pathophysiology of pain, becomes especially relevant. Both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), are two powerful therapeutic substances of medicinal cannabis that can help to rebalance the endocannabinoid system and thus improve pain symptoms.
From the recently authorized Sapphire Medical Clinic, the first medical cannabis clinic, they are committed to improve patient access to medicinal cannabis approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The goal is to treat the debilitating pain caused by endometriosis, as well as other chronic pain-causing conditions when the conventional therapies have not worked.
In the UK alone, endometriosis affects 1.5 million women. Worldwide it is estimated that this pathology is suffered by between 7 and 15% of women of reproductive age, which means an affectation of about 200 million, placing it as the second most important gynecological disease in the world, after myoma. Regulated access to medicinal cannabis will provide relief and benefit for the patients in which conventional treatment is not effective.
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