How new Australian medical cannabis clinics are helping patients
A new chain of clinics for people to access medicinal cannabis is opening across the country.
Emerald Clinics has joined forces with a licensed provider to collect more evidence on the use of the products for a range of conditions.
Those using medical cannabis include two women from opposite ends of Australia, who were both prescribed medicinal cannabis for different conditions, but with similar results.
Both turned to medicinal cannabis after exhausting all other treatments.
Sydney patient Mandi Smith suffers from chronic back pain.
Since taking the drops morning and night it has helped improved her pain and sleep, while cutting back her dependence on painkiller oxycodone.
“I think it should be available to a lot of patients who don't even realise it is available,” she said.
Rachel Berry has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and scoliosis.
Taking morphine for her pain only worsened her quality of life.
Her mother Joy Berry, said: “It was horrific just about destroyed everybody.
“We've been able to decrease her antidepressants, we've been able to take her off anti-psychotic drugs, it has stopped her screaming.
“Having our girl back to normal, just because she's been able to go on cannabis oil is to us amazing.”
Currently there is only limited evidence on the use of medicinal cannabis for different conditions.
But a new chain of clinics will be opening across the country, including a newly launched centre in Woolloomooloo to provide treatments, track patient outcomes and build the research.
Emerald Clinics Medical Director Dr Alistair Vickery, said the clinic will help tackle Australia’s opiate problem.
“You know we have a problem here in Australia with opiate crisis with people dying from prescribed opiates.
“This medication which is much safer, I think we can show that safety we can help people to reduce opiates.
“By collecting evidence we're going to be able to say, who does it work in, and in which patient is it not going to work, and which patients do you get side-effects.”
Zelda Therapeutics Chairman Harry Karelis, said: “Cannabis doesn't cure everything but it certainly does have a role in some indications.
“We really want to show that cannabis actually works in patients and in controlled patient groups.”
The clinics have partnered with a licensed supplier of medicinal cannabis as part of a wider trial involving hospitals and universities to relieve conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia and autism.
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