Case scenario

John has been experiencing chronic pain for 5 years related to an occupational injury. His friend said THC oil would take all his pain away. John has just started a new job as a delivery driver and has reasonable pain control with his current analgesics, but he wonders if his life would be better if he could get THC. He asks you for your advice.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Explain the pharmacology of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol
  • Discuss the efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol
  • Discuss the current regulatory framework surrounding the provision and use of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

Competency standards (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 3.5

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Introduction

Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in medicinal cannabis in many countries, including Australia. There is a limited range of approved cannabinoid medicines in Australia, though unregistered products are accessible for therapeutic use. There is no agreed definition for the term ‘medicinal cannabis’, but the term is broadly used to refer to products containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC or ‘THC’), cannabidiol (CBD), or synthetically derived cannabinoid compounds similar to those derived from the Cannabis sativa plant that are used for a therapeutic indication.1 In contrast with unregulated forms of cannabis, cannabinoids accessed through current Special Access Scheme

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