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Australian Researchers Find Sustained Improvements In Medical Cannabis Patients’ Health-Related Quality Of Life

Cannabis Flower

This should be obvious, but the true measurement of something being a medicine or not is if it helps improve someone’s quality of life. Unfortunately, that measurement has not historically been applied to cannabis, and in many countries that is still the case.

Cannabis is not prohibited due to it being an unhealthy substance, but rather, prohibiting cannabis supports various political and non-cannabis industry efforts. The cannabis plant is one of the most versatile plants on earth and is indeed medicine, and that was/is ‘bad for business’ for various people in power around the world.

Thankfully, there is a growing body of research that supports the fact that cannabis is medicine, and slowly but surely cannabis prohibition is eroding. A recent study out of Australia found that medical cannabis patients’ health-related quality of life improved after the use of medical cannabis. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Melbourne, Australia: Patients suffering from pain, cancer, anxiety, and insomnia report significant, sustained improvements in their health-related quality of life following the use of cannabis products, according to observational data published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Australian researchers evaluated cannabis-related outcomes in a cohort of more than 3,100 patients authorized to use medical cannabis. (Under Australian law, physicians may only authorize cannabis products to patients unresponsive to conventional prescription treatments.) Study participants consumed various formulations of cannabis, with most patients using products high in CBD content. Most patients in the cohort were over 50 years old.

Consistent with numerous other studies, authors reported, “Patients using medical cannabis reported improvements in health-related quality of life, which were mostly sustained over time. Adverse events were rarely serious.”

They concluded: “In this retrospective case series, patients reported improvements … after commencing treatment with medical cannabis … on all eight [of the] health-related quality of life domains assessed. … Further high-quality trials are required.”

Observational trial data from a cohort of nearly 3,000 chronically ill patients in the United Kingdom also recently reported that the use of medical cannabis products is well tolerated and improves subjects’ health-related quality of life.

Full text of the study, “Assessment of medical cannabis and health-related quality of life,” appears in JAMA Network Open. Information on medical cannabis use is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Cannabis Use by Older Adult Populations.’