Is Medicinal Cannabis Really Effective?

The taboo of cannabis is quickly becoming a thing of the past as more people are being introduced to the benefits of medicinal cannabis. 

Cannabis can have a different effect on each individual dependent on the type and function of the cannabis. 

There are 500 different chemicals present in the cannabis plant itself, however, only two of these chemicals are present in the cannabis available in Australia for medicinal purposes – THC and CBD (Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol). 

The TGA (Therapeutics Good Administration) have only approved two medicinal cannabis products which are most commonly used to treat spasticity and seizures. Despite the TGA only approving these two products, there are unregistered cannabis products which are readily available through a registered GP. 

Both CBD and THC can now be accessed through a certified doctor to treat a number of health issues, most commonly anxiety and insomnia. 

While there are plenty of stories from those who have used either THC or CBD to assist with symptoms of anxiety, there is little science to back this up.

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“Despite heaps of evidence from animal trials, the current clinical evidence for medicinal cannabis and non-cancer chronic pain is incomplete,” Cosmos magazine journalist Imma Perfetto said. 

“Another example – CBD, despite being heavily prescribed in the US and Canada for sleep, actually to date, has no evidence in any way that indicates that it makes people sleepy.”

While there is still little scientific evidence surrounding the effects of CBD and THC on mental disorders, Australia has seen a significant spike in prescriptions for medicinal cannabis. 

Doctor Sophie Calbretto is joined by Cosmos Journalist Imma Perfetto to chat about the benefits of medicinal cannabis and the future cannabis accessibility in Australia. 

Tune into the full chat below… 

Introducing The Science Briefing: a podcast about the science of everything and your new go-to podcast for your snapshot of science news. Hosted by Dr Sophie Calabretto and featuring journalists from Cosmos Magazine.