The TGA’s extensive medicinal cannabis data set, which includes 248,000 approved scripts, is the only one of its kind in the world. No other country has monitored prescriptions in this way since the establishment of its medical cannabis programs.
The size of the dataset allowed the researchers to find patterns of prescribing in small but important populations that might otherwise have been overlooked.
“Besides the link between anxiety and flower products, we found other interesting associations, for example topical CBD prescriptions for seizures,” Dr. Cairns said.
“This use has not been widely explored.”
The authors note, however, that the data does not include patient outcomes.
Dr Cairns said: “Unfortunately, we just don’t know if these treatments were effective for these patients, but these data highlight where we can focus our attention next – to do targeted studies and/or clinical trials. .”
“There is a clear and unmet need for effective drug treatments for a variety of conditions that can be helped by medicinal cannabis. For example, it could be useful to conduct high-quality clinical trials on the use of floral products for anxiety, and this is certainly something that the Lambert Initiative and its collaborators could consider doing in the future. .
Dr Cairns notes that the Lambert Initiative has recently completed trials using CBD for anxiety (in partnership with Orygen) and with cannabinoids for insomnia (in partnership with the Woolcock Institute and led by Anastasia Suraev, researcher at the Lambert Initiative).