Medicinal cannabis: a little care is needed
There’s a lot of international enthusiasm for the use of cannabis, particularly specially developed medicinal cannabis, for things like pain relief, epilepsy and appetite stimulation in cancer and HIV AIDS.
The trouble is, say some experts, there are still significant gaps in knowledge which could put users at risk.
The issues are pretty basic.
The evidence isn’t clear on how effective cannabis products are, how safe and the right doses. They simply are not well studied medications and the result is that doctors aren’t sure which patients would benefit, which cannabis product to prescribe and in what form (tablet, smoked or vapor).
In addition, pharmacists don’t know the best way to store cannabis and keep the products secure.
Whilst still illegal in Australia, authorities are turning a blind eye to personal importation and use for medical purposes. Some experts are saying they’re starting to see side effects such as reduced thinking and memory particularly in older patients.
There are trials of medicinal cannabis being conducted and which have yet to report but in the meantime it’s buyer be wary, especially if you’re importing what could be an unknown product from overseas.
Last Reviewed: 08/10/2019
Norman Swan Medical Communications
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