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Medical Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a condition which affects more people than cancer and heart disease combined.

Increasingly, the role of medical cannabis has become a heated, yet important part of the discussion surrounding chronic pain treatment.

What is Medical Cannabis?

Medical cannabis is a prescribed drug that is derived from the cannabis sativa plant, known as marijuana. This is the same plant that is used to make the recreational drug, however medical cannabis exists in its pure form.

Treatment has been legal in Australia since 2016, however it must be prescribed by a qualified doctor. Medical cannabis can be prescribed in a number of forms, such as a pill, nasal spray or oil.

Research has shown that it is effective in relieving the symptoms of a number of medical conditions, including chronic pain.

It is important to note that research on medical cannabis is ongoing and, as with all medical treatment and therapies, there can be side effects associated with taking this medication.

For more information, please visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website.

How does medical cannabis work?

Interestingly the use of medical cannabis to aid pain relief can be traced back to over 2000 years ago.

Nowadays, with vast improvements in technology and research, medical cannabis has been found to reduce pain as well as provide anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and antioxidant properties. These potential benefits are associated with the main chemical compound found in the marijuana plant, called cannabinoids.

Over 60 types of cannabinoids have been discovered and ongoing studies into pharmaceutically active derivatives of cannabinoids is at the forefront of medical research.

Studies have shown that a number of cannabinoid compounds have been found to interact with receptors in the body’s central and peripheral nervous systems and, more specifically, in the part of the brain which controls pain modulation. Simply put, research has shown that medical cannabis can potentially inhibit pain and therefore benefit people suffering with chronic pain.

As with all clinical trials and therapeutic studies, more research needs to be undertaken to explain the contra-indications and potential side effects in more detail. For more information, please refer to the TGA website.

Potential side effects of medical cannabis 

Medical cannabis is very heavily regulated in Australia and there are ongoing studies regarding potential side effects and risks. Due to these strict regulations, medical cannabis is carefully prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional.

Studies have found the following side effects may occur:

·       Diarrhea

·       Problems with balance and memory

·       Difficulties concentration

·       Drowsiness

·       Dizziness

More information regarding potential side effects and ongoing research trials can be found on the TGA website.

Is Medical Cannabis Right For Me?

The Therapeutic Goods Administration strictly regulates the supply and prescribing of medical cannabis in Australia.

Here at Chronic Doctors, we offer consultations with qualified healthcare professionals who are authorised to prescribe medical cannabis in Australia. We provide informed, safe and up-to-date care and access to alternative therapies.

Co-founder Dr Jarred Pezzullo said, “After seeing my long-term patients have great results with medical cannabis after trying countless other therapies I was inspired to help increase access and awareness for others.”

If you would like to inquire about whether medical cannabis is right for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to organise a consultation.

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