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Friday, May 18, 2018

It is still too early to say yea or nay to the use of medical marijuana. More discussion and research is needed

A scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana—the cannabinoids THC and CBD—show promise but the jury is still out. THC, for example, can increase appetite and reduce nausea and may also decrease pain, inflammation and muscle control problems. CBD meanwhile may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.

CBD is showing promise in the treatment of certain conditions such as childhood epilepsy. Scientists have been especially breeding marijuana plants and making CBD in oil form for treatment purposes. These drugs aren’t popular for recreational use because they aren’t intoxicating.

However, researchers haven’t conducted enough large-scale clinical trials to determine if the benefits of the marijuana plant outweigh its risks in patients it’s meant to treat.

Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh, a pharmacist by training, seems not too keen on medical marijuana being authorised for use in the local health system. He gave a frigid response to suggestions by Independent Senator Dhanayshar Mahabir on the issue and to some extent he is right, rigorous screening is needed.

However, it is important to get more facts before adopting too rigid a stance on this issue.

Be prepared for the wet season

The warning from climatologist Kenneth Kerr about the possibility of a severe hurricane season needs to be heeded by all citizens, particularly those living in areas prone to landslides and flash flooding.

The experiences of the 2017 season have proven that T&T is no longer secure in its geographical location just outside the hurricane belt. Tropical Storm Bret demonstrated that this country can take a direct hit from a storm system, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Necessary preparations must be made now, not when this country is under a storm watch or warning.

A patriot and pioneer

Another well-deserved honour will be bestowed on Professor Dilip Dan at the Indian Arrival Dinner to be hosted by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain. Currently the Head of the Department of Clinical Surgical Studies at UWI, Professor Dan has made his mark in academia as well as with his pioneering work in medicine and is certainly worthy of the accolade.


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