The RACP emphasises the need for caution until there is sufficient quality evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis
The pace and scale of the introduction of medicinal cannabis are unprecedented and have raised challenges for health professionals, not so much because of its known addictive and psychoactive properties but because its introduction has not followed the usual research-based safety and effectiveness processes. These processes include pharmaceutical, animal, pharmacological and clinical research, recommended under national medicines frameworks upheld by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe), as well as by legislation such as the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (Cwlth). The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) supports timely access to products with safety and effectiveness data. However, it appreciates that there is growing community demand for prescription cannabinoids on compassionate grounds. As such, effective medical leadership and guidance is required to inform public discussion and compassionate access until the necessary data become available and more specific advice can be given.