Health experts say there’s reason to believe cannabis could have medicinal qualities, despite its alleged link to schizophrenia.
Key points: Cannabis has been used for centuries and is used to treat chronic pain and nausea and vomitingIn Australia, medicinal cannabis is legal to possess and useThe ABC’s Dr Kate Robinson says there’s no evidence cannabis has any medicinal benefitsThe research, which has been published in the journal Nature Communications, found the medicinal effects of cannabis in animals and humans are similar to those of CBD, the compound in cannabis that causes its psychoactive effects.
“The evidence of CBD and its effects is consistent with the potential for its use in treating pain and anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions,” the researchers said.
The scientists studied animals that had been exposed to CBD, or cannabidiol, in the womb and found it could reduce inflammation, reduce pain and inflammation and improve appetite.
“This was found to be due to its ability to reduce inflammation in the brain, which is part of how CBD protects the nervous system,” the authors said.
“While the potential benefits of CBD are not yet known, it is possible to reduce symptoms of PTSD and depression.”CBD is the most abundant compound in marijuana and has been widely used in the medical cannabis industry for decades.
Its effects have been attributed to its cannabinoid properties, which have been associated with a reduction in the body’s inflammation.”CBD has been shown to decrease inflammation in a variety of human studies,” Dr Kate Ritchie, a neuroscientist from the University of NSW, told the ABC.
“For example, CBD is known to reduce the inflammatory response, and it also appears to reduce pain in cancer patients, and to relieve depression in patients with epilepsy.”
Cannabis is not an approved medicine in Australia, but it is available to purchase from many doctors in Australia and is sold legally in pharmacies.
The ABC has approached the Department of Health for comment.
Dr Ritchie said CBD could be used to relieve chronic pain, anxiety and nausea.
“It’s also been used as a treatment for a variety other conditions, including migraines, irritable bowel syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said.
But the ABC understands the department has not yet responded to the ABC’s requests for comment and the ABC will update this story when it receives a response.
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