Recent and quite mischievous reporting in the medical media is confusing the issues around our willingness to accept medicinal cannabis into the analgesic arena.
I refer particularly to the “world’s longest in-depth community study” in which the four-year study of 1500 people examined the effect of cannabis on pain.
The report goes on to say that “there is no clear evidence that cannabis led to reduced pain severity or pain interference, or led participants to reduce their opioid use or dose.”
A few throw away lines in this media report then explain that illicit cannabis was being used!!
The headline is sensational, and defies European research that has justified the use in Europe of medicinal cannabis for many years.
Let me point out a few simple aspects of herbal medicine that seem beyond the comprehension of medical reporters:
- All cannabis extracts are not the same, just as we have variations in extracts of ginger, St Johns wort, garlic and milk thistle.
- It follows therefore that standardization of the herbal extract is a primary requirement.
- Throw-away silly reports like the above add nothing but distraction to the debate.
- Last week it was reported that 50% of medical practitioners welcome the opportunity to use medicinal cannabis but want more education and information – that is understandable.
- Whether the opioid manufacturers like it or not, and in spite of resistance from certain political parties, medicinal cannabis eventually will be used.
Quality of life for chronic pain patients will be better, so let’s accept that and support our patients.
In the meantime, let’s take a deep breath and reassure our patients that in spite of what they are being told by uninformed people, all is well with the strict controls we have within Australia.
Ignore the political point-scoring being played out in the media because politicians like their names and opinions in print.
And in the medical reporting arena, let’s get some balance for our doctor colleagues.