The most common reasons Australians are being prescribed medical cannabis

The most common reasons Australians are being prescribed medical cannabis
Cannabis Health News

New data from Australia, shows cannabis has been prescribed over 140 conditions since 2016, with anxiety among the most common. The first in-depth study of Australia’s medicinal cannabis programme, shows the treatment has been prescribed for over 140 different conditions since it began in 2016.  In total, 248,000 prescriptions have been approved for Australians since the inception of the scheme.  Researchers at the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, analysed data from the Therapeutic Goods Association’s (TGA) medical cannabis dataset  – Australia’s Special Access Scheme B – which is the only one of its kind in the world.  No other country has monitored prescriptions in this way since launching their own medical cannabis programmes. The study found anxiety was among the top three reasons for patients being prescribed cannabis, the other two being pain and sleep disorders. This reflects similar patterns in the UK, where chronic pain and anxiety are the most frequently prescribed for conditions, according to data from Project Twenty21.  The team also found that the number of medicinal cannabis prescriptions have increased significantly since 2020 – over 85 percent of total prescriptions to date have been given since January 2020. They are currently unable to say whether the rise was pandemic related. Lack of clinical evidence  However, the researchers have warned that there is a limited number of high-quality clinical trials investigating the drug’s efficacy for these conditions. Senior author Dr Elizabeth Cairns said the current evidence base for medicinal cannabis for anxiety is limited to only a few studies investigating CBD-dominant products, rather than THC-containing products “Historically, the effects of THC have been described as anxiety-inducing, although this may depend on dose size and other factors.” The evidence of effectiveness for medicinal cannabis in the treatment of pain is controversial, at least in Australia,…

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