The historical city of Budapest hosted an important conference in early September of this year. Organized by the Hungarian Medical Cannabis Association (MOKE), Cannabicum took place over 2 days and provided important information about all aspects of medical cannabis. The conference was divided into two days; the first day was dedicated to medical professionals while the second was dedicated to patients.
The program of the first day was an introduction to medical cannabis for medical professionals, politicians and other professionals wanting to know about this emerging field. It attracted people form all over Hungary, showing the demand for quality scientific information about medical cannabis.
Miki Szelestei, the president of MOKE, launched the conference with his introductory speech followed by Peter Sarosi who presented a historical review of medical cannabis in Hungary. Dr. Pavel Pachta gave us some important information about the legal situation of medical cannabis in the world, the recent Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) special session dedicated to carrying out pre-reviews of cannabis and cannabis-related substances and the potential changes it might have on the global level (you can find out more about the session here). I did a presentation about the endocannabinoid system and its important role health which was a great introduction to Dr. Bilkei-Gorzó András talk about the therapeutic possibilities of cannabis in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
After the lunch break, Miki Szelestei talked about the current hurdles of obtaining medical cannabis in Hungary and why it has to change. Dr. Gil Lewitus, a researcher from the Technion in Israel, presented interesting information on the importance of various combinations of various cannabis constituents in the treatment of nervous system disorders and autism.
For the last part of the day, I had a medical cannabis workshop/course for medical professionals, where I presented some important topics about cannabis constituents, methods of intake, dosing, tolerance, drug interactions, synthetic cannabinoids, toxicity, and side effects.
The second day was dedicated to helping patients understand the basics of medical cannabis therapies and giving them a chance to ask specific questions. Dr. Bonni Goldstein had a very insightful presentation about her experience with treating children with epilepsy, autism and ADHD. I then talked about the constituents of cannabis and their potential therapeutic use followed by DR. Eva Miltz who talked about her experience with cannabinoids in psychiatry. Kardos Tamás presented the current situation of medical cannabis programs in Europe.
The last part of the second day was focused on the possibilities of developing a medical cannabis program in Hungary, with talks from Horváth József and dr. Papp Szidónia on their experience with cannabinoid treatments, as well as patients sharing their own personal experiences with CBD preparations. This was especially important, as the audience could ask questions and also share their frustrations, fears and experiences, with the current situation of medical cannabis in their country.
The Cannabicum medical cannabis conference was a success and fulfilled its main objectives in education and informing medical professionals, patients and attendees about medical cannabis and it’s many uses.
The conference was executed very professionally, thanks to the dedication of a small group of very passionate people – Miki, Rita, Richárd, Borbála, Hanna, Timea, Péter and Ábrahám – the members of MOKE. Great job guys!
I would also like to thank all the other people who were crucial in the organisation and technical aspects of the conference and a special shootout goes to the two interpreter ladies, who had a daunting task in translating all the technical stuff, that we cannabis geeks like to talk about.
This is only the first part of this Hungarian story and I am confident the Cannabicum will become a staple in the European medical cannabis conference circuit.