symtomax about us


Here, Paul Segal, chairman and co-founder of Symtomax, details what the most common myths about CBD are

Medicinal cannabis is by no means a new phenomenon. On the contrary, the cannabis plant has been used as a form of pain relief for thousands of years. However, it has only been within the past decade that modern consumers, and indeed some medical professionals, have begun to recognise its possible benefits – particularly in the form of CBD. From shampoos to lollipops, from coffee to dietary supplements and oils, UK consumers have an abundance of choice when it comes to CBD infused products.

Yet, despite their enthusiasm, many consumers remain in the dark about what CBD is, how it is related to cannabis, or what it actually does. Medical cannabis products contain various compounds and abbreviations, which can create confusion as to what goes into medicinal cannabis products. With such jargon overwhelming many consumers, it’s no wonder that there are certain misconceptions surrounding the market, particularly when it comes to CBD products.

With this in mind, I’ve rounded up what I think are five of the greatest myths regarding CBD in the UK and have attempted to separate the fiction from the facts. With a greater public understanding of how CBD and other cannabinoids can be used to alleviate a variety of ailments, we can hopefully enter 2020 with a more informed & heathier populous.

Myth 1 – CBD is illegal

To put it simply; no, CBD is not illegal. To offer a bit of background to this, the Cannabis plant (also known as cannabis sativa)  produces over 140 different organic compounds (called cannabinoids). However only two are currently generally considered to be the primary active ingredients: Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Many people tend to get these abbreviations mixed up, which has resulted in the misconception that CBD is illegal.

To make it clear, THC is the only psychoactive component within the cannabis plant, which creates the ‘high’ that comes with recreational cannabis. It is for this reason that the UK government sets a volume limit of 0.2% for THC in medical cannabis products – anything over this percentage is illegal. CBD on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, and once it has been processed properly, can be used in various consumer products.

Myth 2 – CBD gets you high

As stated in Myth 1, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and so cannot get you ‘high’. However, many of those who have taken it do report an ‘uplifting’ effect on their bodies, and people who have smoked the cannabis plant may say that while THC gives you the high, CBD gives you the ‘body high’.

The reality here is that one of the effects of CBD, which has many hailing its curative properties for anxiety and depression, is how it effects the serotonin receptors in your brain. Generally speaking, one’s levels of serotonin are likely linked to your mood & possible mental unhealth and, although this is an area of active study, multiple animal studies have shown definite evidence of CBD’s stress-relieving effects, most likely due to it serotonin-receptor-augmenting effects. This is most likely the reason behind the ‘uplifting’ feeling one gets after taking CBD, through obviously more research is needed.

Myth 3 – CBD good, THC bad

It may be tempting to disregard THC entirely due to its illegality, however this would be an oversimplification. Despite the UK previously deeming all products exceeding the 0.2% THC limit illegal, the last year has seen a small amount of exceptions made – including the MS-spasticity-alleviating drug Sativex & the Cannabis Oil prescribed by Canadian & Dutch Doctors to Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley respectively. THC’s ability to soothe the nausea and suppressed appetite associated with chemotherapy has also been recognised, with a synthesised non-psychoactive capsule form of THC called Nabilone available through the NHS to alleviate such symptoms. However, it should be noted that Nabilone is only prescribed by a specialist when other treatments have not helped or are not suitable.

Myth 4 – You will notice the effects of CBD immediately

Like most tablets, supplements or oils, the time taken for a CBD product to work its way into your system is dependent on both the individual and the method of consumption. For example, if you’re putting a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, it will enter your system much quicker than a dietary supplement. However, the industry is developing new methods of CBD consumption every day to make the process much more efficient. For example, Symtomax has developed a new Oral Tab which, when placed on the inside of the user’s cheek, can offer either an instant dose of cannabinoid, or a timed release over a few hours. Such developments hope to enable more users to experience the benefits of CBD as quickly as possible.

Myth 5 – CBD is the ultimate ‘cure’

There is undoubtedly a constant stream of research from academic bodies, including The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, that highlight the potential benefits of using CBD. However, it is important to remember that there is still insufficient evidence in the UK to suggest that it can be used as a medical treatment. Due to this, it is sold as a dietary supplement. Whilst many people who take the supplement praise its benefits, it is important to remember that CBD products cannot “fix” ailments, until there is sufficient evidence to prove otherwise.

Medicinal cannabis is by no means a new phenomenon. On the contrary, the cannabis plant has been used as a form of pain relief for thousands of years. However, it has only been within the past decade that modern consumers, and indeed some medical professionals, have begun to recognise its possible benefits – particularly in the form of CBD. From shampoos to lollipops, from coffee to dietary supplements and oils, UK consumers have an abundance of choice when it comes to CBD infused products.


olaf van tulder symtomax


Symtomax have recently concluded the design and integration of their propagation houses with leading company AgroPharm that specialises in advanced solutions for the pharmaceutical medical cannabis industry. The designs which were submitted back in 2019 are based on the number of plants per cycle (45.000) 
The greenhouses will be utilised for the germination in our first stages of growing but can also be used in the vegetative stages for flowering. Olaf Van Tulder Technical Director said “we are delighted with the team and their efforts in ensuring that Symtomax are well equipped for the early stages of propagation this year” Works for the completion of these greenhouses is expected to be completed by the end of March, with Symtomax having completed land clearing works on 49 hectares of the land for both the propagation and greenhouse installations.

Infarmed have also notified Symtomax of their first stage inspection for this coming April, Paul Segal Symtomax chairman said on site “This project which begun over three years ago, with our license submission, plan designs and technical and ground reports,  and seeing now the progress with the installation of our grow houses and our scheduled first cultivation inspection is very rewarding and we are looking forward to our first harvest in September ” Symtomax have signed major offtake agreements with some of their European partners and look to fulfil their first orders by the end of the year.
The Symtomax cultivation site is  in the heart of the Alentejo region of Portugal.  Symtomax Lda are one of only a handful of companies that have been approved by Infarmed for the development  and implementation of the largest medical cannabis facility in Europe. Portugal enjoys some of the lowest production costs in Europe thanks in part to its temperate climate and Californian type weather conditions which are ideal for outdoor cannabis cultivation. Portugal’s cannabis industry is governed by Infarmed, a National Authority of Medicines and Health Products that requires companies to adhere to strict production standards.



Discover how the Porto based medical cannabis company, Symtomax, is poised to conquer the European market and beyond.

Symtomax based in Porto, Portugal are licenced to cultivate, import and export medical cannabis SativaL, with their facility that includes indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation, research and quality control labs as well as processing, packaging and distribution for medical cannabis and cannabinoid-containing products, totalling 105 hectares with 95 hectares approved for cultivation is Europe’s largest outdoor medical cannabis cultivation facility, capable of producing more than 700,000 kilograms per year.



Symtomax is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Eurico Castro Alves, former State Secretary for Health and President of Portugal’s health regulator Infarmed as director of Symtomax. The appointment highlights Symtomax’s plans to grow the company into a major player in the European Medical Cannabis market.
“We welcome Dr Eurico, like Symtomax he is passionate about healthcare, his appointment brings experience and unique expertise at the highest level, and we are delighted that such a recognised member in the International healthcare community has joined us. Symtomax will continue to evolve and lead the company forward in this fast moving and growing market place, and this appointment is yet another commitment from us on this journey” Said Symtomax Chairman Paul Segal

Eurico said of his appointment “I am delighted to have joined Symtomax and look forward to further assisting the business on a strategic level as well as pushing the company forward on a technical front ”

Eurico graduated in Medicine by the Faculty of Medicine of Porto University with specialty in General Surgery. He completed his General Surgery training at the Southern Illinois University Medical School and at the Cook County Hospital of Chicago in Illinois USA. Thus, he was obtained the degree of Instructor in Advanced Trauma Life Support by the trauma committee of the state of Illinois.

Eurico was also the former chairman of the Infarmed Board of Directors, National Authority for Medicines and Health Products, IP, during which the creation of SiNATS (National Health Technology Assessment System) and Farmed (Forum of Regulatory Agencies of Lusophone Space Countries). He was a mentor of the European Group Against Counterfeit Medicines (WGEO) and was part of the Group of Heads of Medicines Agencies in the European Economic Area.

He is also the current director of the Surgery Department at the Centro Hospitalar do Porto. And recently chaired the organising committee of the National Health Convention, an unprecedented debate involving every player within the health sector

During his career, he was granted with several honour awards, participated as speaker in scientific conferences and meetings in the field of Medicine, General Surgery, Health Regulations and Politics.

State Secretary for Health of 20th Portuguese Government
INFARMED President – National Authority of Medicines and Health Products
Board Member of ERS – Portuguese Health regulator
Deputy of the Chairman Board Director and Director of the Public Relations Office of Santo António Hospital