Medical marijuana has gained significant traction in South African medical marijuana marketplaces.
But the sector remains far from a free-for-all, according to a report by a leading health policy organization.
The South African Medical Marijuana Federation (SAMS) reported that while the market is expanding, there are still concerns about the quality and safety of medical marijuana.
“Medical marijuana patients and providers remain worried about the level of safety, efficacy, and safety-related issues associated with the medical marijuana and medical cannabis products,” said Dr. Pravin Jain, chair of the committee on public health and epidemiology of the Federation of South African Organisms (SOSA).
“These are some of the concerns expressed by patients and clinicians in the recent report,” Dr. Jain continued.
A medical marijuana user, right, smokes a marijuana cigarette. “
[The] lack of data and data quality issues, the absence of a clear understanding of the efficacy and safety profiles of medical cannabis, and the limited evidence base that supports the use of medical cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of cancer, are some concerns that have been raised by patients.”
A medical marijuana user, right, smokes a marijuana cigarette.
Despite the concerns raised by medical marijuana users, the Federation has continued to recommend the use and sale of medical and non-medical cannabis products.
A cannabis smoker holds up a piece of medical grade cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary.
This is a screenshot from a video from a recent cannabis smoke-out in the Netherlands.
Dr. Jains findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study examined data from the South African Health Service, the South Africa Medical Marijuana Authority, and a national database.
The data included information on cannabis patients, cannabis products, patients and caregivers, and medical and medicinal cannabis.
According to the report, while the South American countries have legalized medical marijuana, the vast majority of patients in South American states still prefer non-medically-based medical marijuana to medical cannabis.