With the Australian Government passing legislation in 2016 to enable the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and research related purposes, here at LIV we thought we’d delve a bit deeper to find out what all of this means.
We’ve all seen cannabis on the TV (or maybe even in our actual lives) and everyone knows that in Australia it’s illegal to consume or grow the drug for recreational purposes.
But the powers that be are finally recognising the emerging evidence that supports the positive impact of medicinal cannabis for treating specific medical conditions, if administered correctly.
What is medicinal cannabis?
Medicinal cannabis is a regulated product used to treat various conditions relating to nausea associated with chemotherapy, muscle spasm in multiple sclerosis (MS), some forms of epilepsy, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and pain reduction.
Medicinal cannabis comes in various forms including oils, dried flowers, liquid capsules, extracts and sprays.
Medicinal cannabis can be administered orally, through skin patches and topical gels/ creams, or via a vaporiser.
Can I be prescribed medicinal cannabis?
Well, firstly, it depends on where you live. All Australian States and Territories have different regulations for this new area and this will impact on your ability to access medicinal cannabis.
Secondly, only if your doctor or specialist feels it would be the right treatment for you. It’s always best to discuss all available treatments with your healthcare professional to ensure you understand your options and any possible side-effects.
Is the Australian medicinal cannabis industry growing?
It would seem so. There was news just last week that MedReleaf Australia officially entered the local medicinal cannabis market after being granted cannabis cultivation and production and import licenses from the Federal Government.
Initially, the Australian joint venture company associated with one of Canada’s leading licensed producers of medicinal cannabis, MedReleaf Corp, plans to import medicinal cannabis oils and capsules, as well as dried plant manufactured in Canada (by MedReleaf Corp) , while constructing its own manufacturing facility in South-East Queensland.
Their product is looking likely to be available in the first quarter of 2018. MedReleaf Australia believe they will be able to cultivate and manufacture more than 20 tonnes of medicinal cannabis per year from its facility, once fully operational.
Pharmacist Russell Harding, who is the Executive Chairman and CEO of MedReleaf Australia, wants to establish the company as a world-class player in medicinal cannabis.
“We’re delighted to have been granted Australian medicinal cannabis licenses and look forward to teaming with MedReleaf Corp to introduce their scientific and operational rigour to the Australian medical cannabis industry,” Harding revealed.
“MedReleaf Australia’s vision is to make a genuine difference to the lives of people who, through no fault of their own, wage a daily battle against debilitating and often painful medical conditions.
“To realise our vision, we need to ensure all of our products are pharmaceutical-grade and meet the requirements and standards of the TGA.”
MedReleaf Australia is also looking to educate GPs, specialists and pharmacists on their medicinal cannabis products and have plans to sponsor universities in Australia to perform a series of clinical trials involving their products across several common diseases.
It seems like medicinal cannabis is here to stay, so let us know your thoughts on the topic via our social media channels.