Get Medical Cannabis on the PBS

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Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the 90’s research has shown the effects of CBD (Cannabidiol) on the human body & system. The results have been nothing but good! Unfortunately, the stigma and politics surrounding Cannabis, Weed, Kush etc is anything but good.

What many do not know is that Cannabis is made up of two main operative substances, these being; Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive part of Cannabis and is the part in which makes people “high”.

CBD on the other hand is the component of cannabis which manages pain and is not psychoactive and does not cause a “high”, it is totally legal and safe to drive with CBD only in your system.

Studies have shown that CBD (Cannabidiol) alone can help with; Relief of chronic pain, Help in losing weight, Regulate and prevent diabetes, Fight cancer, Helps treat depression and Regulate seizures. This is because the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for regulating functions such as sleep, immune-system responses, and pain. These are just a few of the wonders of Cannabis, however due to the infancy of legislation in Australia people cannot easily access this medicine. Legal routes are extremely costly and timely as each patient needs to be approved by the TGA on a case by case basis, on average a 25mL bottle of CBD 100mg isolate costs between $285 - $340 with patients being advised to take up to 3mL per dose. This is compared to the Canadian market, where most of our Australian supply is imported from, costs between $82 CAD or ~ $86 AUD, meaning that there is a 359% mark-up on Australian medical grade cannabis. Leaving desperate patients no option but to turn to the black market and risk quality, trust, & uncertainty in the product they receive. Most of the black market CBD &/or cannabis comes from China, where they have much lower quality control standards. Chinese manufactures have numerously been alleged of forging reports stating potency and quality of their products.

There are no long term side effects to the correct use of this substance. In fact it has been known to prevent and regulate immune disorders, cancers and other illnesses (mental and physical.) On the other hand, Alcohol the most popular “drug” causes an abundance of both short term and long term effects to the body some even causing death, long term effects of alcohol include;     

·      Diminished gray matter and white matter in the brain.

·      Memory loss.

·      Loss of attention span.

·      Trouble learning.

·      Alcoholic hepatitis.

·      Liver fibrosis.

·      Steatosis (i.e., fatty liver).

·      Throat, mouth, larynx, breast, liver, colorectal, or esophageal cancer.

·      High blood pressure

·      Cardiomyopathy

·      Stroke

·      Irregular heart beat

( 2020)

It is also addictive and users become reliant of it very quickly, user experience an abundance of withdrawal symptoms when they do not consume. Compared to CBD and cannabis which has no withdrawal effects.

The Australian government announced that few select pharmacies would be able to stock 50mg CBD legal cannabis oil over the counter, however this low potency dosage means that people are still required to consume more, pay higher prices or buy from the black market.

A report by Drug and Alcohol addiction centre, Promises Austin, states that “ … the likelihood of dying from marijuana alone is extremely remote, although marijuana use can lead to death because of the activities people engage in when high.

Thomas M. Clark from the biology department of Indiana University estimated that medical cannabis access prevents between 12,100 to 30,600 deaths across the U.S. each year.

Comparatively a person is more likely to die from an alcohol related death “[it is] estimated [that] 88,0005 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.”

Although these are American statistics we can confidently extrapolate the data and show that Marijuana especially Cannabis and CBD, is not a threat to society. It has positive effects for our society.

So many countries even our OWN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT) have legalised recreational use of Cannabis, including Canada, Georgia, South Africa, and Uruguay, plus 11 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia in the United States and the Australian Capital Territory.

The goal is for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world and bring this non deadly lifesaving drug to the subsidised legal market so that it is accessible for all, just like the ACT has already done.