There has been a lot of talk about cannabis being used to treat chronic pain and a lot of other ailments for a long time. In Australia we are actually getting a lot closer to it becoming available now.
There is a clinical trial being run at Royal North Shore Hospital for patients with cancer and the results of that will hopefully get us closer to being able to understand the effects and benefits of medicinal cannabis.
You may have heard about the opioid crisis in the United States which is getting worse each year. Australia is heading in the same direction which is why our authorities decided to take Codeine off the shelves here. There is evidence to suggest that cannabis may be used to help patients reduce their amount of opioids and help people who are addicted to their pain medication reduce it while still controlling their pain.
Of course, we have a long way to go and experts are still looking into possible side effects before it will be readily available. At the moment there is a long drawn out application process for doctors to be able to prescribe medical marijuana to a patient. The whole process can take about 30 days at the moment and is a different system in each state. The Federal Government have proposed a nationwide approval process that would mean General Practitioners would be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients and have the script approved within 48 hours. This is a huge improvement on the current process which can take up to 30 days.
This is not something you will be able to go to your General Practitioner and get for a headache or minor ailment. This is going to be looked to as a last resort for patients who have tried everything else first.