Oral cannabis products have grown in popularity and availability in recent years. Many patients still prefer to consume medical cannabis in edible or inhaled form, however, some patients need to have smokeless options in forms that do not require chewing and other effort that is hard for some patients.
Many oral cannabis products have a long shelf life, are easy to transport and store, and provide a specific dosage of cannabinoids that many patients’ conditions and situations require. Oral cannabis products are not for every patient in every situation, yet they are a great option for many.
One lingering question that accompanies any new form of medicine is, ‘is it safe and effective?’ A team of researches in Australia recently explored the long-term safety and efficacy of oral cannabis products and the results were encouraging. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:
Western Australia, Australia: Patients authorized to consume plant-derived oral cannabis products show sustained improvements in their symptoms, according to longitudinal data published in the journal PLOS One.
Researchers assessed the long-terms safety and efficacy of oral cannabis products in a cohort of nearly 4,000 Australian patients authorized to use them. Study participants were naïve to cannabis prior to their enrollment in the trial. The majority of the study’s subjects (64 percent) suffered from chronic pain conditions. All of the study’s participants consumed oral cannabis products for a period of two years.
Investigators reported: “This is the largest and longest real-world analysis of the efficacy and safety of GMP [good manufacturing practices]-like oral medicinal cannabis (MC) in a continuous enrolment cohort registry. 3,961 heterogenous, cannabis naïve patients with a wide range of ages, clinical and complex conditions, and concomitant medications, prescribed oral MC, demonstrated a rapid and significant improvement across all measured patient and clinical reported validated outcomes. … Oral MC was well tolerated. … This safety is particularly salient in contrast to the safety and tolerability of prescribed long-term opioids.”
They concluded, “This large Australian longitudinal cohort registry of cannabis naïve, complex chronic disease patients treated with oral MC for over 24 consecutive months, demonstrates safety of oral generic medicinal cannabis, and demonstrated oral MC improves patient and clinician reported impact of pain, sleep and well-being.”
An estimated 100,000 Australians have been prescribed cannabis products following the enactment of legal changes in 2016 providing patients with regulatory access to medical marijuana products.
Full text of the study, “A large Australian longitudinal cohort registry demonstrates sustained safety and efficacy of oral medicinal cannabis for at least two years,” appears in PLOS One.