Cannabis is widely becoming more accepted for the medicinal plant that it is. There are years of scientific research supporting its efficiency in treating various ailments, symptoms, and conditions. However, there are restrictions on what it can be prescribed for in many places where laws have been enacted to allow patients legal access to cannabinoid therapies. In Australia, however, medical practitioners can recommend cannabis to any patient who is suffering from a chronic condition that they feel could be relieved through cannabinoid therapies.
While there are not extensive research studies regarding cannabis’ effectiveness in treating every single existing condition, disease, and ailment, there is substantial reasoning to believe that cannabinoid therapies could assist in relieving the majority of symptoms experienced by chronic illness. This is because of what is known as the Endocannabinoid System, or the ECS, for short.
What the ECS Is and Why it is the Key to Cannabis Being Medicinal
The endogenous Endocannabinoid System is found within the body of every mammal. This system is responsible for creating a homeostasis state within the body and attributes to almost all functions and other systems within the body. When cannabinoids are consumed, be it through ingestion, inhalation, or topical applications, they interact with receptors in this system and others throughout the body. When the ECS becomes malnourished, and the body does not produce enough natural cannabinoids, supplementing with phytocannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp has shown great potential in treating many ailments and conditions by bringing the body back into a state of homeostasis.
Determining Patient Eligibility for Cannabis
While some patients can find relief through over-the-counter and pharmaceutical drugs for their condition, many are not responsive to these treatments and they produce unwanted side effects. This is where holistic and “alternative” therapies such as cannabis are proving to be quite beneficial. When it comes to the research, there are studies supporting cannabis as a hopeful treatment for many different conditions. If a patient is diagnosed with a chronic condition that medicinal cannabis has scientifically shown to be beneficial in treating, then there is clinical justification for use. For those with conditions that haven’t been thoroughly researched regarding whether or not cannabis may help, and the patient would like to try cannabis or have not responded to other treatments, then the decision lies with the prescribing doctor as well as the Therapeutic Goods Administration to approve a trial based on the doctor’s clinical justification for use of cannabinoids over other standard treatments.
A Closer Look at the Science of Cannabis vs. Various Ailments
Below you can find a short list of conditions, ailments, and symptoms that cannabis has shown efficiency in treating through scientific research and animal-based studies
- Brain Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Epilepsy and Epileptic Conditions
- GI Diseases (Crohn’s, IBS)
- Heart Disease
- Mental Health (Anxiety, Depression, PTSD)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain (Chronic, Acute, Neuropathic)
- Skin Conditions (Psoriasis, Acne, Eczema)
- Spina Bifida
While this is quite an extensive list, it barely touches the surface when it comes to the research available regarding cannabis’ efficiency as a medicine, and a more detailed list can be found here.If your patient has been diagnosed with any condition, ailment, or disease and wishes to explore cannabinoid therapies or have not responded to other treatments, more information can be found here. Should you wish to refer or prescribe for your patient, you may do so on the Tetra Health Referral Form.
References for the above indications can be found here.