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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!

Source: (HealthDay News · May 14, 2023)

Really? Who says? At What expense? Researchers funded by or tied to the Cannabis industry. “Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and cannabis industries. Emyria funded the collection of data for this study.”

It’s important to ask could all this perceived sense of ‘quality of life’ could be more the result of the placebo effect rather than potential therapeutic qualities of the formulation?  

Medical cannabis treatment may be associated with improvements in health-related quality of life for patients with a range of health conditions, according to a case series study published online May 9 in JAMA Network Open.

Thomas R. Arkell, Ph.D., from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues assessed whether patients using medical cannabis report improvements in health-related quality of life over time. The analysis included 3,148 patients (mean age, 55.9 years) from medical clinics across Australia.

The researchers found that chronic noncancer pain was the most common indication for treatment (68.6 percent), followed by cancer pain (6.0 percent), insomnia (4.8 percent), and anxiety (4.2 percent). Patients reported significant improvements from baseline on all eight domains of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) after starting treatment with medical cannabis. Over time, these improvements were mostly sustained. Treatment with medical cannabis was associated with an improvement of 6.60 to 18.31 points in SF-36 scores, depending on the domain, in an adjusted analysis; effect sizes ranged from 0.21 to 0.72. Two of 2,919 adverse events were considered serious.

"Adverse events were rarely serious but common, highlighting the need for caution with prescribing medical cannabis," the authors write. Adverse Events A total of 2919 adverse events were reported over the sampling period (eTable 10 in Supplement 1). Most were either mild (n = 1905) or moderate (n = 922); 86 were severe. Two adverse events were considered serious, including 1 incidence of hallucination. In order of frequency, adverse events included sedation and/or sleepiness (13.1% of patients), dry mouth (11.4%), lethargy and/or tiredness (7.4%), dizziness (7.1%), difficulty concentrating (6.4%), nausea (6.3%), diarrhea and/or loose stools (4.9%), feeling high (4.7%), increased appetite (3.7%), headache (3.2%), anxiety and/or panic attack (2.7%), vivid dreams (1.7%), hallucination (1.4%), and impaired coordination (1.3%). The incidence of adverse events did not differ significantly across cannabinoid composition categories

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