1900 people are prescribed medicinal cannabis in Malta
Health professionals called for further research on medical cannabis at an online conference hosted by the OASI Foundation.
During Friday's event titled “Medical Cannabis… Myth or Miracle? A number of health professionals have stressed the need for further studies and information on the use of medical cannabis.
To date, some 1900 people in Malta are prescribed medicinal cannabis as a result of legislative changes intervened in 2018. In the coming weeks, parliament is expected to discuss the proposed decriminalization of cannabis.
La conférence was well attended, with a total of forty-nine participants, all from different professions, mainly related to social sciences.
Aloisia Camillleri, psychiatrist consultant in addiction, was the keynote speaker at the event organized in collaboration with the Maltese Association of Social Workers and the Chamber of Psychologists of Malta.
Aloisia Camillleri said the Maltese Psychiatric Association is in favor of medical cannabis, only when there is scientific evidence that it is beneficial for particular conditions.
She said medical cannabis has been proven to help people with a number of ailments including epilepsy in children and cancer patients where the drug has helped with nausea and lack of appetite, and in some cases chronic pain.
Ms Camilleri added that given the lack of research, it is too early to conclude whether medical cannabis successfully helps people with other illnesses. Additionally, she said, medical cannabis can be harmful in certain mental health conditions like ADHD, bipolar disorder, and depression.
OASI Director General Noel Xerri also spoke at the conference, along with commissioned forensic psychologist Gail Debono of the Malta Chamber of Psychologists.
Debono highlighted the lack of information regarding medical cannabis and cited research which has shown that a large number of professionals need more information in their course as learning professionals.
Kerry Hermitage, head of news and public relations for the Maltese Association of Social Workers, said the issue of medical cannabis must be evidence-based and that such discussion conferences are essential to help professionals expand. their knowledge.
She concluded that "we need to look at the issues holistically and it is important that people are all on the same page when it comes to medical cannabis information."