Toxicologists want medicinal cannabis to meet same standards as other medicine

Radio New Zealand: Health experts want medicinal cannabis to meet same standards as other medicine.

Toxicologists are urging the government not to make special provisions for medicinal cannabis products and argue it should meet the same stringent standards as other medicines. It is important for medical cannabis to meet these standards so that consumers are getting the best quality. People who use medical cannabis or related products will want to find some of the strongest cartridges for their ailments but want to be assured that the quality is high for their needs.

In a discussion paper published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, it urged for more caution to be taken, following the government recently passing a bill increasing access to medicinal cannabis.

The government now needs to determine the regulations for a Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

The paper said public surveys show widespread support for increased access to medicinal cannabis, yet GPs and clinicians generally remain more reserved.

“We believe that part of this difference lies in the lack of clear public understanding of the term ‘medicinal cannabis’, and a relatively greater awareness by health professions of what generally constitutes a medicine,” it said.

One of the paper’s authors, head of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Otago University, Professor Michelle Glass said cannabis can’t be considered a medicine as it’s actually a product with multiple ingredients.

“A medicine is something that has been produced to a certain standard, so you know exactly what’s in it. You know how stable that compound is, how it should be stored. You know if it works and you have information about who should be avoiding it and what other medicines it interacts with,” she said.