Dr Barbara Pacchetti: 'Medical' simply means that its use is therapeutic and happens through the administration of a pharmaceutical preparation. With cannabis today, where therapeutic use is approved, it is strictly related to the use of the flower of the plant Cannabis sativa L., which is the botanical name of the plant. The cannabis chemotype for therapeutic use, formally 'medical cannabis', has a specifically high content of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is significantly different from the chemotype defined as 'industrial hemp', which is characterised by a high content of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and a THC content, which has to be less than 0.2% for Europe. This is the fundamental difference.
The prescription of medical cannabis is regulated country by country. Medical doctors can prescribe cannabis for specific illness conditions, such as nausea and chemotherapy-related vomiting, asthenia, some spasticity conditions and a wide range of pains, including neuropathic. Pain treatment has been promising, considering the clear advantage of cannabis over opioids with regard to their conventional use and associated overdosing issues.
I've seen so many plant-based compounds discovered by ethnobotanicals research, but only a very few of them have achieved the status of being shown to be effective - whatever their intended use, as a medicine or nutraceutical. Because of this, I like to call CBD 'the discovery of this millennium' when it comes to natural active compounds for health and wellness.
It has come to the attention of people worldwide in an unusual way compared with other wellness nutraceuticals - its popularity is surely to do with it being related to the cannabis plant. Cannabis through the centuries has been a big contradiction - is it a medicine to be used or an addictive drug to avoid? Recently, however, its health benefits are being recognised beyond wellness purposes, becoming a therapeutical device by the registration of the first medicine based on cannabidiol.
Research reveals that CBD, the nonpsychoactive compound of cannabis, has important and significant effects in modulating several metabolic pathways that drive both our wellness and illness. This means that CBD can provide health solutions for multiple wellness and medical conditions. A specific example is that there's evidence to show that CBD plays a significant role in modulating inflammation pathways, which are the pharmacological base of some disease-related conditions, such as chronic pain, skin disease, sleep and anxiety disorders, and atherosclerosisrelated disorders.
EMMAC's fundamental criterion is an evidence-based approach, as with the development of any medicine. EMMAC's mission statement is "bringing together cutting-edge scientific research with the latest innovations in cannabis cultivation extraction and production" and the formulation of reliable products based on these criteria.
We believe that the growth of cannabis in the medical sector must be supported by robust science. Our wellness programme gathers information from our broad research into medical plants. This involves preclinical and clinical data, including randomised clinical trials for the treatment of pain, nausea and vomiting in major hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgery, and for pain related to other conditions in neurological disorders.
Our wellness research programme includes sport nutrition and athletic conditions like cardiovascular health, inflammation recovery, mental stress and fatigue. Skin is another area we're focusing on, including immune system inflammationrelated disorders that can affect skin of all ages, from children to adults. EMMAC is also investing in technologies to improve the delivery of cannabinoids in various forms of administration to simplify patients' lives, which is our main concern, alongside their quality of life and health, whatever the type of their illness and health conditions.