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Nearly All Surveyed Australian Patients Report Improvements After Using Medical Cannabis

cannabis plant indoor

Humans have a long history with the cannabis plant, having harnessed the cannabis plant’s wellness properties for many centuries prior to cannabis prohibition policies taking effect around the world.

Thankfully, cannabis policy modernization efforts have spread across the globe in recent decades, particularly medical cannabis reforms. According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Ukraine and France, and published by the U.S. National Institute of Health, 57 countries have adopted medical cannabis legalization measures.

A recent survey was conducted in Australia in which medical cannabis patients were asked about the effectiveness of their medical cannabis therapies. The results of the survey were encouraging. Below is more information about the results of the survey via a news release from NORML:

Sydney, Australia: Adults who consume cannabis to treat a medical condition overwhelmingly say that it improves their symptoms, according to survey data published in the Harm Reduction Journal.

Researchers surveyed over 3,300 Australian adults who self-identified as medical cannabis consumers. Seventy-three percent of respondents said that they primarily consumed prescription cannabis products. (Australian law permits physicians to prescribe cannabis products to patients unresponsive to conventional treatments.) Twenty-seven percent of respondents acknowledged accessing cannabis, primarily from the unregulated market.

Survey participants predominantly consumed either cannabis flower or oral extracts. Patients typically used cannabis to address pain, mood disorders, or sleep disorders.

Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed said that their condition “was a little, much, or very much better since starting medical cannabis,” – a finding that is consistent with the results of prior surveys and observational trials.

Those respondents who used authorized cannabis products were more likely to be aware of the percentage of THC and other cannabinoids in their products. They were also more likely to either vaporize cannabis or consume oral extracts.

The most frequently reported side effects from cannabis were dry mouth, increased appetite, and drowsiness.

The study’s authors reported: “The results … further underline the dramatic recent increase in the proportion of people using legally prescribed rather than illicitly sourced medical cannabis. … Among these dual-users, respondents were far more likely to prefer prescribed medical cannabis for its consistency of dose, ease of getting supplies, effectiveness in treating their condition, better side-effects profile, and reduced risk of legal issues. This highlights the benefits to patients of being able to access medical cannabis of known potency through legal channels rather than having to obtain it from illicit sources.”

They concluded: “Both prescribed and illicit users overwhelmingly endorsed the effectiveness of their medical cannabis in treating their main health condition. … Further high-quality clinical trials and stronger research evidence is required to establish the role of different medical cannabis preparations in treating the wide array of conditions for which medical cannabis is being used.”

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis use in Australia seven years after legalization: Findings from the online Cannabis as Medicine Survey 2022-2023 (CAMS-22),” appears in the Harm Reduction Journal.