Imprimir Republish


Medicinal cannabis seeds on sale in Argentina

Cannabidiol, mainly used to treat resistant epilepsy

Léo Ramos Chaves / Revista Pesquisa FAPESP

In May, Argentina’s National Seed Institute (INASE) accepted the registration of six cannabis seed varieties to be used for medicinal purposes. The seeds were developed with funding from the country’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), and two of them — Pachamama, rich in cannabidiol (CBD), and Malvina, with a high content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — were licensed for sale by the company Puerto Madryn Whale Leaf Farm, based on the condition that all sales are traceable. The two varieties were selected to ensure a standardized amount of CBD and THC, since cannabis is a unisexual plant and the levels of these compounds are higher in females. In 2022, Argentine Congress approved a law to promote research on the plant and its derivatives, complementing a previous regulation that authorized therapeutic use. Cannabis oil has primarily been used to treat refractory epilepsy that does not respond to at least two first-line medications. Neurologist Silva Kochen, from El Cruce Hospital in Buenos Aires, monitored 44 patients with refractory epilepsy as they used cannabis oil for six months, during which time 87% showed a reduction of at least 50% in the number of seizures (Conicet, May 19; SciDev.Net, June 5; Epilepsy & Behavior, July).