Frequently Asked Questions
What is medical cannabis?
Medical cannabis is a broad term chosen to identify medical products which are based on the cannabis plant. Humans have been cultivating these plants for thousands of years, due to their nutritional properties and recreational and medical applications. While the recreational use of cannabis is prohibited in most countries, its use for medical purposes is allowed in around 50 countries and in most USA states. Since it must pass safety and quality parameters, medical cannabis is suitable for the use in human health.
What are cannabinoids?
More than 500 known chemical compounds are present in cannabis, over 100 of which are classified as phytocannabinoids – these compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system of the human brain, producing different effects. The two most cultivated species, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, have different constitutions of active compounds and therefore have different effects on humans.
Products based on medical cannabis are composed of two main phytocannabinoids, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Since the therapeutic effects of CBD and THC overlap by several points, the ideal combination and ratio of these compounds needs to be assessed by a doctor, to increase the therapeutic effect and decrease the side effects.
In addition to cannabinoids, other secondary metabolites, such as terpenes, alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolics, have shown to have therapeutic properties either by themselves or in synergy with cannabinoids, interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocanabinol (THC) is the most abundant phytocannabinoid, known as the psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, and frequently associated with the ‘high’-like side effect. However, it has powerful analgesic effects and has very important medical qualities. It can be used in the treatment of conditions such as nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, muscle spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), loss of appetite , anxiety, and depression.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prevalent component of Cannabis sativa. Throughout the years, this specific component has been explored for its many therapeutic effects, such as the treatment of inflammation, epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychosis, and arthritis. CBD is free of any psychoactive effects, which contributes to its wide usage in medicine and to it being regarded as a medical breakthrough.
What is medical cannabis used for?
Medical cannabis has been approved and used for several indications, to which conventional therapies are not effective.
In Portugal, under specific conditions and subject to Infarmed’s approval, cannabis can be used for the treatment of:
- Chronic Pain (oncological or nervous system diseases)
- Appetite stimulator for palliative care
- Treatment-resistant Glaucoma
- Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries
- Nausea and vomiting resulting from medication
- Gilles de la Tourette syndrome
- Epilepsy and treatment of severe childhood seizure disorders
In other markets (Germany, for example), cannabis can also be used to treat:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
How do I take medical cannabis?
Different formulations of medical cannabis are available on the market or are under clinical investigation. According to the patient profile and to the therapeutic needs, specific formulations (with various levels of cannabinoids and other compounds) with different routes of administration can be prescribed.
The oral route (oils or capsules) is the preferred mode of administration because it is safe and has good patient compliance. Since the absorption of cannabinoids through this route takes longer time, the side effects are reduced.
The inhalation or vaporization of the dried flower can also be considered since it is rapid and effective, with high systemic bioavailability. This can be indicated for patients that do not take oral medications (e.g., in the case nausea and vomiting). However, it can have respiratory side effects.
Other formulations and routes of administration are already under clinical or preclinical evaluation (e.g. transdermal, subcutaneous, topical, oral solutions). Your doctor will discuss the best way to consume medical cannabis for your symptoms.
Your doctor will discuss your treatment and how to consume medical cannabis to relieve your symptoms.
Which products does FAI Therapeutics® offer?
FAI Therapeutics® offers new solutions to the medical cannabis market, with an array of products suited to every need, together with regulatory and marketing support to ensure successful registration and commercialization. A range of medical cannabis products with different CBD/THC concentrations is available, aiming to reach different target audiences and to be applicable to various health conditions. FAI Therapeutic’s portfolio also comprises 100% natural extracts with zero organic solvents.
How are FAI Therapeutics® products produced?
FAI Therapeutics® is exclusively dedicated to medical cannabis cultivation, extraction, production, and distribution. FAI Therapeutics products are produced by a vertically integrated process that ensures quality and safety of all products, with a fully in-house pathway from seed to product. The cannabis plants are cultivated under controlled conditions in designated areas of Agrovete’s fields. Then, cold extraction processes are applied, without solvents and other contaminants, or pressurized systems. During the production process, Good Manufacturing Practices are followed in detail, allowing the extraction of high-quality cannabis oil. The registry is performed in accordance with legal practices, applicable documentation and following all regulations. Finally, the partnership with pharmacies and healthcare professionals enables FAI THERAPEUTICS® to reach stakeholders and targets efficiently.
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