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Uruguayan university to include study of marijuana’s benefits in medical curriculum

LatinaLista — A team of researchers at Uruguay’s University of the Republic (Udelar) studying the medical benefits of using marijuana plan to include their field of study in next year’s medical school curriculum.

The team looks to test the benefits of the components of marijuana in treatment of pain, nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, loss of appetite, anorexia caused by chemotherapy or in patients with HIV, among other illnesses and symptoms.

“The idea is to make the chemical analysis of the greatest possible number of plants and have a database where we can correlate genotype with the chemotype and the metabolic profile and thus make the selection for the different biological trials,” says chemist Carlos Garcia.

The group, composed of researchers especially from the medicine and chemistry faculties, are registered with the Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA), as required by law regulating the market production and sale of marijuana, which Uruguay passed at the end of 2013.

In addition to studying the effects of marijuana for medical usage, geneticist Burix Mechoso stressed the database is also important for tacking the types of marijuana grown in the country.

The researchers hope this initiative will also encourage investigations by graduate-level students, who in turn, will contribute to the group’s own study.

The implementation of the course in the university curriculum is expected by next year, with the vision of creating a new generation of doctors who can use marijuana via drugs that, in the future, may be produced in Uruguay, according to researchers.


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