Home News Medical marijuana ‘shows promise’ – NC psychiatrist

Medical marijuana ‘shows promise’ – NC psychiatrist

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WHILE the head psychiatrist for the Northern Cape Department of Health, Dr Keith Kirimi, believes that cannabis has tremendous healing potential, he maintains that this is only if it is properly regulated and remains in the hands of medical professio

Dr X an expert in medicinal dagga.

WHILE the head psychiatrist for the Northern Cape Department of Health, Dr Keith Kirimi, believes that cannabis has tremendous healing potential, he maintains that this is only if it is properly regulated and remains in the hands of medical professionals.

“From a psychiatric point of view, we see many problems that are aggravated by the use of cannabis,” Kirimi said yesterday.

“We have seen patients with conditions like bipolar, depression and many others, affected, as smoking dagga tends to worsen the symptoms of many such disorders.

“We have seen patients suffer psychotic episodes and have had situations where stable patients have relapsed because of the drug.”

“There is also evidence that the use of dagga in conjunction with antipsychotic medication can lead to a movement disorder.”

Despite its potential to cause harm, Kirimi added that if properly controlled, cannabis has the potential to provide relief to patients suffering from a wide array of ailments.

“If properly regulated, cannabis can certainly be used as medicine to great effect,” he said. “It has shown a lot of promise in relieving pain, treating cancer and many others.

“However, in order for it to be used effectively as medicine, it is crucial that the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (one of hundreds of active compounds contained in cannabis) is not contaminated in any way and is in a pure form.

“Heroin, for example, is commonly used in medicine, but in a purified form like pethidine, morphine or codeine. “Like cannabis, it should not be used as a street drug.”