Cannabis clinic welcomes clients in Bogota in spite of pandemic

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Nelly Rodriguez discovered the response to her persistent pain in the back just when she least anticipated it, in the middle of a coronavirus quarantine that had made her condition even worse.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing protective equipment measures the body temperature of a male wearing a face mask at the entryway to the Zerenia center, the very first center concentrating on medical cannabis treatments, in Bogota, Colombia July 30,2020 REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

The 70- year-old pensioner’s salvation came in the form of Bogota’s very first medical marijuana clinic, which opened in March and states it has actually because dealt with nearly 1,000 patients.

” The circumstance was terrible. I believed it would never ever end but at some time I chose I had to do something about it,” said Rodriguez, whose 30- milliliter bottle of marijuana oil costs about $48 and lasts one month.

” This is the only thing I’ve found that can treat the pain,” she included.

Clinic Zerenia only offers oils including cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or a mix of the 2. It is the only center selling marijuana products in the nation as complex guidelines have actually put the brakes on the market in Colombia, one of the world’s biggest providers of unlawful substances.

” We get asked if items must be smoked or smeared a lot,” Juan Manuel Orjuela, mental health supervisor for Khiron, the company behind the clinic, told Reuters.

The clinic had to pass 28 regulatory hurdles before opening, including health authorities permissions and implementing a system tracing the products’ origins.

” It’s hard since it’s ingenious,” Orjuela stated, including stigmas had to be conquered. “It needs not simply legal approval however also cultural recognition.”

The clinic deals with neurological health problems consisting of epilepsy in children and adults, Parkinson’s, several sclerosis, chronic pain and conditions like anxiety and anxiety.

Though cannabis treatment does not treat diseases, it can alleviate signs with an efficiency of 60%to 70%, Orjuela said.

Many symptoms have actually surged due to months of quarantine measures required to curb coronavirus, he said.

” Rates of stress and anxiety and depression have actually increased greatly,” he said. “We have persistent confinement … we are starting to feel caged in.”

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker

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