It has been known for millennia that cannabis is powerful medicine. Prohibition prevented early scientific investigation in the mid-20th century. ‘Cannabis’ refers to various products, including herbal cannabis 6ix dispensary, hemp, and pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid-based medical products. In November 2016, CBMP became available for prescription in Australia.
Neither herbal cannabis nor cannabinoids in herbal extracts are regulated or reliable sources of cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) discovery in the late 1990s increased awareness and interest in 6ix dispensary research for appropriate clinical indications. Cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes make up the ubiquitous ECS, which has anti-inflammatory and homeostatic effects.
The ECS is partially agonized by phytocannabinoids. Pre-clinical studies have shown that THC and CBD can relieve chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, and inflammation. It is not likely to be possible to conduct large randomized controlled trials with quality endpoints in the future because systematic reviews often confuse herbal cannabis with CBMP.
To examine the potential harms and benefits of CBMP, rich, valuable, high-quality, real-world evidence is needed. Multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pediatric epilepsy, anxiety, and insomnia are all conditions that have been demonstrated to benefit from CBMP. The CBMP is well tolerated and has few adverse effects. Many other chronic conditions are likely to benefit as well.
Press, the public, and medical professionals are confused about Australia’s term ‘medicinal cannabis. This confusion causes misperceptions and misunderstandings of the benefits and harms of medical cannabis. To simplify nomenclature, we will refer to three types of medicinal cannabis: herbal cannabis plants or flowers, imported or local hemp products, and cannabinoid-based medicines (CBMP) that meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
Australia’s harvested ‘herbal cannabis’ comes from the flower or plant. Despite its unregulated nature, it is largely illegal and has high batch-to-batch variability, as well as unknown concentrations of hundreds of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. This product is typically smoked or ingested as a recreational product, most commonly for its euphoric intoxicating effects.