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Cannabis as Medicine? Overview

It is utterly mind-blowing that people have no idea that Cannabis has been part of the medical prescription landscape for over 20 years. That’s right T. G. A (Therapeutic Goods Administration) trialled and approved cannabis based medicines have been available as an option to alleviate, if only in small ways, some of the symptoms of a couple of diseases or help with recovery from treatment. However, the claims of this plant being a ‘miracle cure’ for just about everything, have existed for of 100 years… yet in no credible and advanced research has any of the properties of the Cannabis plant ‘cured’ anything, ever!

There is no argument that some components of this incredibly complex plant can have some therapeutic benefit, be it ever so small, but deriving such from the plant with out co-opting some of the more detrimental components has proven incredibly difficult. On top of that, the evidence emerging from latest science, sees that some of these therapies, do more harm than good, with the temporary alleviating of a symptom on one hand, and incurring along term genetic harm on the other!

Again if facts and evidence matter to your best-practice health care, then this is the space for you. Make informed decisions based on science, and not quackery!

There is little evidence that the use of cannabinoids can improve symptoms of anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis, or Tourette syndrome, according to a report in Lancet Psychiatry.

“Cannabinoids are often advocated as a treatment for various mental disorders,” wrote Nicola Black, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales and colleagues. Doctors and patients “need to be aware of the low quality and quantity of evidence for the effectiveness of medicinal cannabinoids in treating mental disorders and the potential risk of adverse events,” they added.

Black and colleagues searched several databases including MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for studies published between 1980 and 2018 that examined changes in symptoms and/or remission following the use of medicinal cannabinoid for treating adults with anxiety, ADHD, depression, PTSD, psychosis, or Tourette syndrome, either as the primary condition or secondary to other medical conditions. The researchers also searched for unpublished or ongoing studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, the EU Clinical Trials Register, and the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.

They identified 83 studies, including 40 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs), for the analysis. Most of the RCTs were very small (with median sample sizes of 10 to 39 participants) and had short follow-up periods (median trial length of four to five weeks), the authors noted.

“We found little evidence for the effectiveness of pharmaceutical CBD [cannabidiol] or medicinal cannabis for the treatment of any of [the examined] mental disorders,” Black and colleagues wrote. “Some very-low quality evidence was found for the use of pharmaceutical THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] (with or without CBD) in treating anxiety symptoms among individuals with other medical conditions, such as chronic noncancer pain and multiple sclerosis.”

In an accompanying commentary, Deepak Cyril D’Souza, M.B.B.S., M.D., of Yale University cautioned, “The process of drug development in modern medicine is to first demonstrate efficacy and safety in clinical trials before using the drug clinically. With cannabinoids, it seems that the cart (use) is before the horse (evidence). If cannabinoids are to be used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, they should first be tested in randomized, controlled trials and subjected to the same regulatory approval process as other prescription medications.”

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World Federation Against Drugs

World Federation Against Drugs (W.F.A.D) Dalgarno Institute is a member of this global initiative. For evidence based data on best practice drug policy in the global context.
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Institute for Behavior and Health

The Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. is to reduce the use of illegal drugs. We work to achieve this mission by conducting research, promoting ideas that are affordable and scalable...
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Drug Free Australia Website. Drug Free Australia is a peak body, representing organizations and individuals who value the health and wellbeing of our nation...
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Drug Advisory Council of Australia (D.A.C.A)

Drug Advisory Council of Australia (D.A.C.A) Dalgarno Institute is an executive member of this peak body. For updates on current illicit drug issues.
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International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy

(I.T.F.S.D.P) This international peak body continues to monitor and influence illicit drug policy on the international stage. Dalgarno Institute is a member organisation.
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Rivermend Health

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Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center

SAMHSA is committed to improving prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for mental and substance use disorders.
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SAMHSA

SAMHSA is committed to improving prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for mental and substance use disorders.