The medical use of cannabis plants for various diseases has been recorded for centuries. However, until recent years, very little research had been conducted on the medicinal properties of cannabis plants. Currently, there is an increasing body of evidence that supports the medicinal properties of cannabis plants for various medical indications. For example, some evidence supports the beneficial effects of cannabis for cancer, psoriasis, AIDS, chronic pain, seizures, nausea, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Some other diseases and conditions under which it may be helpful include bronchitis, emphysema, and multiple sclerosis.
The limited research into the health effects of cannabis has revealed some unknown but potentially very strong agents that counteract the harmful chemicals and carcinogens found in certain cancers. Two of these agents are called the cannabis plant inhibitors (C Grow) and phytocannabinoids. The effectiveness of these two agents was tested in controlled clinical trials. The results showed that the majority of the participants achieved relief from their disease, although this was only found in people who were already undergoing treatment. The overall result of the clinical trial was a clear evidence that cannabis plant inhibitors can improve the quality of life in people who are experiencing cancer, chemotherapy, HIV, MS, or other serious diseases. The evidence also suggests that the health effects of cannabis are more favorable than those of Sativex, a common synthetic marijuana drug.
The Australian government has released national guidelines for the use of medicinal cannabis products. Under the Controlled Drugs Act 1995, anyone who possesses any cannabis plant is liable to be charged with an offence under the Act. If convicted, a person’s freedom of speech and freedom from imprisonment is severely restricted. There are currently available three types of penalties under the Act; those are: summary conviction, summary suspension and summary fines.
Patients who possess small amounts of cannabis plants or who smoke it are not necessarily committing a criminal offence. However, if they are using the cannabis for medicinal purposes, then they may be breaking the law by trafficking, importing or exporting cannabis. The Australian Crime Commission has stated that there is a difference between recreational users of cannabis and those who use it for medicinal purposes. A person who grows small amounts of the drug for personal use will not be arrested for a criminal offence.
Patients who use medicinal cannabis products for pain relief will be subject to a clinical examination. These examinations are designed to detect any physical abnormalities or serious medical conditions. The testing is also designed to determine any evidence of the potential use of the drug for illicit purposes. For example, if a patient possesses small amounts of cannabis plants but no other drugs, then they will not be arrested for possessing a controlled substance. The clinical test only detects evidence of the medicinal qualities of the plant, not the recreational use of the drug.
Three main types of medicinal cannabis products are manufactured in Australia. The three types are; the medicinal-grade cannabis, the synthetic form and the manufactured product. All three types of product have different levels of safety and purity. Each type of product can be used for different medicinal purposes.
Most people prefer to purchase pharmaceutical grade pharmaceutical products. The main reason for this preference is the consistency of the dosage and potency of the product. It is easier to administer a consistent amount of a medication than it is to administer an inconsistent dosage. Many doctors feel that most prescription medicines sold in the Australian market are not actually approved by the Australian government. This lack of regulatory control has resulted in a black market. Although the clinical and scientific evidence supporting the use of medicinal cannabis products for various medical conditions is available from national agencies and universities, local health authorities have failed to acknowledge these findings.
The Minister for Health and Medicines – the Health Minister Peter Walsh said that the government’s aim was to move the medicines out of the black market and into the hands of patients and doctors. He said that the goal was to work with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that consumers have greater access to legitimate suppliers of medical treatments through the special access scheme. He added that legislation would soon be introduced that would enable registered healthcare practitioners to order pharmaceuticals directly from the manufacturers. The special access scheme has been incorporated into the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The scheme will allow approved pharmacists to order restricted numbers of pharmaceuticals through the internet without the need for a medical prescription.