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Last week saw the launch of the Australian Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), a newly formed organization to provide nurses with peer support, education and advocacy regarding medicinal marijuana. Simone O’Brien, a nurse practitioner and licensed medical marijuana practitioner, founded the group alongside Jodie Davis and Deb Ranson. The organization desires that nursing programs at the undergraduate level cover the endocannabinoid system.
O’Brien developed an interest in medicinal marijuana after suffering a severe leg injury during a leave from work, which pushed her to research the potential benefits of the medication.
Australia legalized medical marijuana seven years ago through the Federal Parliament. However, a majority of the medications are considered unapproved therapies, and healthcare providers must obtain approval through the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration before issuing a prescription.
According to O’Brien, the new group will provide training on medicinal cannabis for nurses at all levels. Additionally, the ACMA will promote improved patient access and provide peer support for nurses. She stated that many patients visit their doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists and are told that cannabis won’t work for them; thus, the purpose of the organization is to let people know that cannabis medication is safe and suitable for a wide range of patient populations.
Prescriptions for the substance have increased dramatically since 2016, going from a small number to well over 100,000 in 2022. The ACMA is advising caution when using cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes, claiming that they are still in their experimental stages despite the growing number of studies. Additionally, the group emphasizes the need for additional high-quality studies since the available evidence is scant and inconclusive regarding the safety and efficacy of medicinal marijuana products.
Lucy Haslam, cofounder of the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association (AMCA), called the creation of the ACNA “exciting,” stating that patients often face discrimination due to a lack of knowledge about medicinal cannabis. Haslam first began her advocacy for the legalization of medicinal cannabis in 2014 with the help of her son Dan, who became dependent on the drug after being told that he had terminal bowel cancer. February marked eight years since Dan passed away and seven years since Australia legalized medical marijuana.
The ACNA will officially launch during the first AMCA-sponsored medicinal marijuana awareness week. Currently, the Federal Parliament does not formally recognize the AMCA, but Haslam hopes this recognition will happen in the near future.
It is well that associations such as ACNA are being formed to teach nurses about medical marijuana, because with the rate at which various companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are working to develop cannabis-based therapeutics, it won’t be long before the medical community has to look at these products as an addition to or even alternative to conventional medicines.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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