More research needed into therapeutic cannabis: PSA


The PSA today released a position statement calling for further research and the development of a regulatory framework to evaluate the benefits of therapeutic cannabis.

However in its statement, the PSA stresses it is not addressing any of the far-reaching implications or barriers around use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

But it supports outcomes of research into the therapeutic use of cannabis to be made widely available, so that the evidence-base in Australia can be established and enhanced.

The research must use standardised pharmaceutical products which have been evaluated for quality and safety. The trials must involve medical input and the informed consent of the patient and carer, it says.

The PSA says there is evidence that medicinal cannabis has demonstrated positive outcomes for some medical conditions, as an adjunct therapy or where other clinically proven medicines or treatments have failed.

These include:

  • severe nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy;
  • pain relief due to cancer or neuropathy;
  • to stimulate appetite in cancer and AIDs patients;
  • to ameliorate spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury; and
  • to reduce the incidence in seizures in treatment-resistant epilepsy in children and young adults.

It says regardless of when medicinal cannabis is made available, there should be the development of educative programs for pharmacists, prescribers and information for carers and patients about its use.

“PSA does not support the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, given the known short and long-term adverse physiological and psychotropic effects,” PSA says.

The paper is available here.


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