QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Unrelenting pain in her hips and weeks of insomnia left Nelly Valbuena desperate for relief from her metastatic breast cancer.
The university professor found freedom from her disease’s cruel side effects in an unexpected remedy: CBD, a compound extracted from the cannabis plant.
Now Valbuena is pushing Ecuador’s government to put into effect recently passed legislation permitting medicinal use of cannabis products so others like her suffering from agonizing illnesses can have new options for pain relief.
“I desperately needed something to help,” she said. “Only someone living in pain and unable to sleep could know what that means.”
Ecuador’s legislature approved medical use of cannabis containing less than 1% of THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana, in September. President Lenín Moreno was given a month to veto but did not. Now Ecuadorians are waiting for the new norm to be published in the official register.
When the law is officially put on the books, Ecuador will be the latest in a tide of Latin American countries approving some form of medicinal cannabis use. Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay have all signed off on permitting therapeutic usage, giving rise to a new industry now