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More Cash For Australian Medical Cannabis Research

The Australian Federal Government’s recently handed down 2021-22 Budget included $1.5 million for a trial exploring personalised medicinal cannabis dosing in cancer patients.

Awarded via the Medical Research Future Fund, Dr Hannah Wardill will lead the CANCAN trial to be carried out at University of Adelaide in South Australia. It will primarily target prevention of common symptoms associated with advanced cancer treatments, which are highly toxic.


Australian company studying impact of rare cannabinoids on autism

An Australian-based company with an exclusive licence to a variety of rare cannabis cultivars is putting its plants to the test.

Neurotech International (NTI) has begun a study to assess the safety and tolerability of its products to treat symptoms associated with autism in children.

In a release, the company reported it is currently working on a Phase I/II open label clinical study in 20 children aged five to 17 who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


Australians Warned About Fake Cannabis Medicines

Australia’s Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) has warned of the risks of sourcing cannabis products for medicinal purposes via illicit channels.

Interest in medical cannabis in Australia is building, particularly after the TGA’s decision to down-schedule certain CBD (cannabidiol) preparations to Pharmacist Only Medicines (Schedule 3), meaning a prescription isn’t required for qualifying products. While such products have been legally accessible since February 1 this year, there are none yet available.


Hemp in Australia—A Secret History

The discovery in 1964 of 500 acres of cannabis growing wild along the banks of the Hunter River inspired a new generation of pot smokers in Australia. But the history of the crop is much older, dating back to the early 1800s, when Britain sent debtors and convicts to start the first hemp colony Down Under. From the November, 1995 issue of High Times comes an excerpt of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, by Jack Herer and John Jiggens, about the little-known history of hemp in Australia.


THC And Driving Impairment Duration

Researchers at Australia’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney have defined durations of impairment after THC dosing – but it’s not straightforward.

With more people discovering the benefits of medical cannabis, this raises the important issue of potential impairment while driving. In Australia, any detectable amount of  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a driver’s bloodstream or saliva is enough to land the person in legal hot water; even if there is no impairment. With THC remaining detectable for up to weeks after ingestion, this effectively puts patients using legally prescribed medicines containing the compound under a driving ban.


Western Australia Hemp Trial Update

Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development says crops associated with its latest round of industrial hemp trials are in the ground.

The trials, now in their second year, will examine the potential for growing hemp in the state for grain production. This year, the research has been expanded beyond the Manjimup Research Facility to include a site at Busselton in the southwest of the state and another site much further north at the department’s Kununurra Research Facility.


Medicinal cannabis to manage chronic pain? We don’t have evidence it works

woman with back pain

As a pain specialist, I often have patients asking me whether they should try medicinal cannabis. There’s a common perception it can be an effective way to manage chronic pain.

But two expert groups have recently recommended against medicinal cannabis for people suffering persistent non-cancer pain.


Australian docs advised not to prescribe medical cannabis for chronic pain

Australia’s leading pain advisory body has a recommendation for doctors in the country: Don’t use medicinal cannabis to treat chronic pain.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, despite the approval of the 100,000th cannabinoid script in the country, the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) is advising doctors to hold tight.


Medical Cannabis And Long-COVID

Australian medical cannabis company Bod Australia Limited (ASX:BDA) has entered into an agreement with Drug Science UK involving a trial of Bod’s MediCabilis product in managing symptoms associated with long-COVID.

“Long-COVID” is a phenomenon where symptoms continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. Far from being isolated cases, it appears long-COVID is quite common; but as with the initial illness the impacts vary patient to patient. Even asymptomatic people who had relatively mild cases are reportedly experiencing long COVID.

At the time of writing, there have been more than 122 million cases of COVID-19 globally. It’s estimated 10% of those testing positive will have symptoms for 12 weeks after diagnosis.


Tasmania To Improve Medical Cannabis Access

In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announced his Government will be making improvements to Tasmania’s medical cannabis Controlled Access Scheme.

Introduced in 2017, the Scheme currently only allows specialists the ability to prescribe medical cannabis products to patients in circumstances where conventional treatments have failed. Accessing these medications in the state is a complicated process involving seven steps – and approval rates have been very low.

The situation has forced many Tasmanians to not engage with the system, give up on applying and/or to seek medical cannabis via illicit channels. This carries risks other than prosecution as the quality of the products they are accessing may be questionable.


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