The past couple of years have seen cannabidiol (“CBD”) become firmly established within the mainstream consciousness. Filled with potent medicinal properties, the hemp extract has captured the attention of millions all over the world, and many have turned to CBD to help cure what ails them. However, the fact that it isn’t officially recognized as a medicine makes most doctors squeamish about prescribing CBD, forcing patients to find outside sources.
Thanks to Melbourne-based medical cannabis company Montu, half a million chronically ill Australians could now be able to access medical marijuana without having to use backdoor channels. The firm has created a network of doctors who support the use of CBD as a treatment, thus providing a lifeline for the multitude of Australians who could greatly benefit from CBD but cannot access it lawfully.
Melbourne resident Annee Angell, for instance, has long been looking for the right treatment for her 40 year old, blind, and non-verbal daughter, Lindsey, who suffers from severe seizures. Although she discovered CBD four years ago, she was forced to seek a “backdoor supplier” since the product was considered illegal. “I couldn’t consult my GP because I feared I would get in trouble,” she confesses.
Despite the fact that medical cannabis was legalized in Victoria in 2016, Lindsey’s neurologist refused to prescribe CBD. “I asked for a prescription but he flat out refused because he feared he would become ‘the guy’ and be inundated with CBD prescription requests,” Angell says. Once she had procured CBD through other means, Lindsey went from having four seizures every week to just one on average.
Although she eventually found a GP who was willing to prescribe CBD, he only gave Lindsey a small dose of 4mg per day, a far cry from the 40mg she needed to reduce seizures. “I felt like he was too nervous to give her a higher dose because he didn’t really understand CBD. Doctors and pharmacists are scared of it. The biggest problem is the stereotype that it gets you high. This is not true. I would never put Lindsey in that position,” Angell says.
According to Dr. Joel Wren, who practices from the AHA Seaford Day and Night Clinic in South Australia and has been prescribing medical cannabis to patients for a little over a year, the struggle Angell, Lindsey, and other patients go through to gain access to medical marijuana is not uncommon. “It’s absolutely awful people have to rely on these black market sources.” If Montu’s network of medical cannabis doctors pans out, patients like Lindsey who need CBD will be able to get it through the proper channels.
Experts say companies like Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) are glad when patients across the globe begin getting access to medical marijuana in order to get some relief from their health challenges.
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