A Brief Introduction to the Use of Medicinal Cannabis

By: Dr Clayton Spencer

As we continue to seek effective treatments for mental health challenges, there’s a growing curiosity surrounding the role of medicinal cannabis and its role in alleviating symptoms. Current research supports the use of medicinal cannabis with a variety of mental health presentations including anxiety, trauma, pain and to aid with sleep disturbance. As with any medication, the prescribing of medicinal cannabis is extremely sensitive, and requires consultation with a doctor who understands the condition as well as the products that can assist you. Understanding medicinal cannabis and how it can assist mental illness is an important first step for you in figuring out whether you may benefit from it. Let’s explore a little further.

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that medicinal cannabis is a carefully cultivated form of the plant, distinct from its recreational counterpart. Its therapeutic compounds are honed to provide relief without inducing the euphoric “high” associated with recreational use. This makes it a viable option for those seeking relief from mental health issues without compromising cognitive function.

One of the most notable benefits of medicinal cannabis is its potential in alleviating anxiety disorders. Imagine a mind overwhelmed by racing thoughts and a heart that feels like it’s doing a marathon - that’s anxiety for many. Studies suggest that specific compounds in cannabis can help temper these symptoms, offering a sense of calm without clouding the mind.

Within the sphere of pain management, medicinal cannabis emerges as a promising alternative for those dealing with chronic pain. For those suffering chronic pain, the impacts on health and wellbeing are significant, with many clients rating their quality of life as very low. Further to this, many pain clients report that their medications have significant impacts on their quality of life, citing drowsiness, brain fog and constipation. Whether it’s from a lingering injury or conditions like fibromyalgia, finding effective pain relief can be a challenging task. Medicinal cannabis can assist due to the existence of cannabinoids which interact with the body’s pain receptors, providing relief without the risks associated with traditional pain medications.

For many, insomnia is a nightly battle, leaving them exhausted and depleted. A serious lack of sleep can lead to a range of detrimental effects on physical health, cognitive function, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. Enter cannabis, with certain strains renowned for their sedative properties. By gently coaxing the mind into relaxation, cannabis can facilitate a smoother transition into sleep, offering respite from the sleepless nights.

In Australia, the landscape of medicinal cannabis is evolving, with a growing number of approved providers offering access to this alternative treatment. Under the regulations set forth by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), medicinal cannabis can only be prescribed by registered medical practitioners who have obtained appropriate authorization. As an authorised prescriber, myself and my colleagues must assess patients on a case-by-case basis, considering their medical history and treatment needs. Regulations aim to ensure safe and responsible use of this medicine.

Thus, it’s essential to approach medicinal cannabis with caution and guidance from qualified healthcare professionals. While its potential benefits are undeniable, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Consulting with a medical doctor with expertise in the medicinal use of cannabis can provide personalized insights and ensure safe and effective usage tailored to individual needs. I am now offering comprehensive consultations at Spencer Health. This, if you’re considering integrating medicinal cannabis into your mental health regimen, please be in touch to seek guidance to begin your journey towards holistic well-being.

We are currently accepting enquiries for patients who would like to be waitlisted for our Plant Medicine Consultations.  To express your interest please email enquiries@spencerhealth.com.au