Responding to the polemic about the use of cannabis for medicine, a lecturer at the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya (FK-UB) dr. Hikmawan W. Sulistomo, Ph.D had the opportunity to give an explanation through a healthy talk forum on one of the radio stations in Malang, Thursday (21/07/2022). This activity is a series of community service series of FK-UB.
He said that the Latin name is Cannabis sp. consists of several species, namely cannabis sativa, indica, and ruderalis, each of which comes from a different area.
In Indonesia, reliefs of cannabis plants can be found at Kendalisodo Temple, Mojokerto, and written in the book Herbarium Amboinense (1741) as ritual materials and medicines by the people of Maluku.
During the colonial period, cannabis was brought to Aceh by the Dutch and grown as a natural pesticide on coffee and tobacco plantations. Cannabis or marijuana has active phytocannabinoids compounds that are recognized by cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and peripheral white blood cells, especially by macrophages, B cells, and natural killer cells.
“Against the central nervous system, marijuana’s active compounds can cause a high level of euphoria, but also along with feelings of anxiety and panic. Even in acute conditions, it can have an impact on decreasing cognitive functions, memory, spatial orientation, and concentration,” explained Hikmawan.
However, the active substances in marijuana are known to have antibacterial, antiepileptic, and sedative activities.
The doctor who finished his doctoral education in Japan further explained that the regulation regarding the use of marijuana as a medicine was associated with a much lower death rate from marijuana overdose. In addition, the active substance in marijuana is also used as a pain reliever and bronchodilator in people with shortness of breath.
Taking into account the benefits of cannabis as a medicinal ingredient, a Decree (SK) of the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia Number 104 of 2020 was issued which stipulates that cannabis or Cannabis Sativa is designated as one of the commodity medicinal plants fostered by the Ministry of Agriculture.
“This can encourage research on cannabis as a medicinal plant in Indonesia by considering its safety and health benefits,” he concluded. [Safrina/Irene/ Humas UB/ Trans. Iir]