Medicinal Cannabis in Australia
The cannabis trend has continued around the globe, and public opinion is the driving force. Australians, too, have grown more and more accepting of marijuana use, and most of that acceptance has been a result of the medicinal properties of the drug.
The latest National Drug Strategy Household survey shows that the majority of Australians now support legalising recreational cannabis. This growing support has been consistent over the years, but only recently tipped over to the majority of the country for the first time.
More Australians (41%) now support legalising recreational cannabis than those who don’t (37%). src
But prior to that, medical marijuana had plenty of support. The medicinal properties of cannabis have been supported by scientific studies and research, along with individual testimonies of the drug. Those supporting factors have been too much to overlook, creating a largely accepting environment for medical cannabis in Australia, similar to that of many other countries.
Legal status of medicinal cannabis in AU
The medicinal cannabis support led to the drug being legalised for medical use in 2016. Since then, Australians have been allowed to obtain cannabis with a prescription.
However, the medical cannabis process has not been the smoothest. There have been complaints about bureaucratic red tape preventing many with health conditions from betting the prescriptions needed to purchase the plant and its products.
But recent efforts by the Therapeutic Goods Administration have helped streamline the prescription process, increasing the number of approvals on a monthly basis. But many still believe the process is too slow.
Medical cannabis prescriptions are increasing on a monthly basis, but the process still needs to be simplified. src
With cannabis being legal in Australia, it has created a booming market already, with potential for much more growth. Current estimates peg Australia’s medical cannabis market value at around $40 million. But the latest report by market research consultancy Prohibition Partners predicts significant growth, forecasting a $1.5 billion medical cannabis market by 2025.
Australia’s medical cannabis market will balloon in five years. src
In fact, medicinal cannabis is becoming an everyday commodity. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has listed several cannabis-related companies, enabling you to buy stocks. One of those is BOD Australia, which currently produces medical cannabis products.
Usage of medicinal cannabis
The two most popular properties in the cannabis plant are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). While both cannabinoids have medicinal properties, THC has some potent psychoactive effects that have caused some in the medical community to shy away from it.
CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive effects. This makes it a viable property for those who find such effects to be dangerous.
Medical benefits of CBD and THC in the cannabis plant. src
There have been several studies over the years that throw light on the medical benefits of cannabis. One of the many studies focused on refractive pediatric epilepsy patients. There, those exposed to cannabis treatments saw significant declines in seizures.
Patients with refractive pediatric epilepsy had less seizures when exposed to cannabis treatments. src
The medicinal effects of cannabis go beyond that, however, proving an effective treatment for health conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea and vomiting in cancer patients.
- Mental illness
- Neuroplasticity, and more.
Medicinal cannabis products available in Australia
You’ll find a range of options for medicinal cannabis in Australia. They can be classified into cannabis leaf, plant, or flower; cannabis oils; pharmaceutical cannabis plant drugs or Nabiximols; and synthetic THC which is either Dronabinol or Nabilone.
Here’s a more specific list of some of the medicinal cannabis products available in Australia with a prescription:
- Cannabis flower
- CBD oils
- Syndrol, and more.
Cannabis was legalised for medical use in Australia back in 2016. This means you can purchase the drug as a treatment for health conditions, but you need a prescription for that.
Initially, the prescription process was riddles with red tape, making it difficult to obtain the drug. Today, the TGA has made efforts to ease the process, and prescriptions had increased as a result. However, more needs to be done to make it even easier.