Nicole MacKee - Monday, 30 May, 2016
THE importance of building a solid evidence base for the role of medicinal cannabis products must not be lost in moves to make the drug more widely available, say researchers.
In a Perspective published online by the MJA today, researchers have called for “considered management” in the wake of federal reforms to enable the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes in Australia.
Sussan Ley, federal Minister for Health, described the federal legislation as the “missing piece” in the supply of cannabis to patients.
However, the MJA authors said many questions were yet to be answered, including efficacy, safety, dose, storage, and the bioavailability of the various cannabinoids via different administration routes.
Lead author Professor Jennifer Martin, chair of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Newcastle, said that there was a general perception of medicinal cannabis as a panacea for a whole range of ills.
“The overriding desire to have cannabis available has meant that this has gone much more quickly than it would for other therapies,” said Professor Martin, who is involved in the New South Wales Health-funded medicinal cannabis trials.