During the last 2-3 decades science had made considerable progress in understanding the endocannabinoid system – the system in our bodies which uses our own naturally produced cannabinoid substances to control a wide variety of cellular processes. Recent research has also focussed how phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant) can be used in the treatment of numerous conditions such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and sleep disorders.
Although cannabis has shown some potential as a therapy in many of these areas, at present, there is insufficient scientific evidence for cannabis to be formally licenced as a therapy. Hence, it is regarded as an experimental medicinal product, and all prescriptions need to be approved by the regulator agency.
The National Prescribing Service (NPS) produces a concise and informative guide to medicinal cannabis for consumers which is worth looking through. It outlines the conditions commonly treated with medicinal cannabis, the scientific evidence, dosing and side effects and explains the difference between medicinal cannabis and marijuana.