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Medical cannabis trials to commence in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales
The NSW Government introduced the scientific trials last year to help treat patients with drug-resistant and uncontrollable epilepsy.
The new agreement means Victorians and Queenslanders suffering terminal or life-threatening conditions can take part in the NSW clinical trials.
The three trials will be conducted by the Government and will examine the use of cannabis in providing relief for patients.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the focus of the trial would be for families whose children suffer from life-threatening seizures.
Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick says the clinical trials will set a framework to explore the possibility of regulated medical cannabis in the state, but the trials are dependent on the advice of medical researchers.
It is hoped that the work can be completed this year. You have to look at the different types of treatments and the different types of illnesses which are all unique. The aim is to not cut off one path for treatment of people just to get an outcome in one particular area.
The Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) said it supported scientific trials into the use of medicinal cannabis.
AMAQ president Dr Shaun Rudd said the trials would determine if it was safe. “We think it’s a great idea – we’ve always wanted to get further evidence to see if this is something that we can use, medically or not,” he said.
Hopefully with the trials we’ll find out what components of the cannabis itself is the useful ones for medical treatment.
The Queensland Government is caring enough to put money in to be able to research to hopefully find not a cure, but to ease a lot of people’s lives.
The clinical trial will be the first of its kind in Australia and part of a handful of similar studies carried out worldwide.
The medicinal cannabis will be in the form of a tincture or edible product. Unlike street marijuana, which contains high levels of the chemical compound THC, the oil extract used in the trial will have high levels of cannabidiol or CBD, and low levels of THC. This maximises the anti-seizure potential and decreases the risk of mind-altering psychoactive effects.
Whilst this is not a miracle cure, it appears to be a step closer to enabling those with epilepsy gain some normality in their lives.