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Medical Cannabis Studies 2023: A Year in Review

In 2023, several significant research studies on cannabis were conducted in Australia, providing insights into various aspects of its use, especially in medicinal contexts. Here are summaries of five key studies:

Medical cannabis case studies 2023

  • Global Medicinal Cannabis Study - QUEST Initiative: Led by Curtin University, this study, known as the QUEST Initiative, assessed the impact of medicinal cannabis on the quality of life of patients with chronic health conditions. It showed clinically meaningful improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQL), fatigue, anxiety, depression, and pain over the first three months of cannabis use. The ongoing study aims to determine if these improvements are sustained long-term (Curtin University, 2023; PubMed, 2023).

  • Effectiveness of Medicinal Cannabis in Tourette Syndrome: A clinical study co-conducted by the University of Sydney's Lambert Initiative found that medicinal cannabis is a 'life-changing treatment' for people with Tourette Syndrome. The study demonstrated that careful dosing with THC in an oral formulation significantly reduced tics and associated symptoms like obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety (Medical Xpress, 2023).

  • Medicinal Cannabis for Chronic Refractory Pain: Research conducted by The University of Sydney and Applied Cannabis Research Pty Ltd examined the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating chronic, refractory pain, including arthritis. The study found that medicinal cannabis was associated with significant reductions in pain intensity and improvements in health-related quality of life outcomes (PubMed, 2023).

  • Legal Use of Medicinal Cannabis on the Rise: A study from the University of Sydney indicated a transition from illicit to legal use of medical cannabis in Australia. The survey highlighted the benefits of moving to prescribed products, including safer methods of consumption and improvements in health for 95% of respondents. The primary reason for using prescribed medicinal cannabis was chronic pain, with cost being a significant barrier to access (The University of Sydney, 2023).

  • Hop Latent Viroid in Cannabis Plants: Although not directly related to human health, another key study in 2023 involved the investigation of Hop Latent Viroid, a virus-like infection devastating cannabis crops in North America. This study is crucial for understanding and mitigating the impact of HLV on cannabis cultivation, which is essential for ensuring the supply of quality medicinal cannabis (Leafly, 2023).

These studies collectively advance our understanding of the medical applications of cannabis and its broader societal implications. They highlight the therapeutic potential of cannabis, particularly in areas such as chronic pain management and mental health conditions like Tourette Syndrome. For further reading, please see the links below:

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