Medicinal cannabis plant and bottle

Survey of pharmacists on medicinal cannabis

19 May 2021
Low-dose cannabidiol products will soon be available in Australian pharmacies. Are Australian pharmacists ready?

With the imminent arrival of over-the-counter cannabidiol (CBD) products, pharmacists will become the new gatekeepers of patient access to certain types of medicinal cannabis products.

Researchers from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics and the Sydney Pharmacy School at the University of Sydney are surveying pharmacists to identify attitudes towards, experiences with and education level on prescription medicinal cannabis and low-dose CBD.

The Lambert Initiative team, led by pharmacist Ms Zeeta Bawa, has launched the survey with support from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Sydney Pharmacy School at the University of Sydney.

Pharmacists are a vital link in the access to medicinal cannabis products for the Australian community. We want to ensure their professional practice is supported in light of legislative changes affecting low-dose cannabidiol. This survey will form the basis on which tailored education and management strategies can be crafted.
Zeeta Bawa

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant with evidence supporting its use in treating conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, pain and insomnia.

CBD has been approved as a medicine to treat certain rare types of epilepsy in children at high doses. Recently, the Therapeutics Goods Administration allowed low-dose CBD containing products, (up to a maximum of 150 mg/day) to be supplied over-the-counter by a pharmacist, without a prescription.

While the sale of CBD products has been approved, no products have yet been registered for distribution in Australia.

Designed to be completed by pharmacists Australia-wide, the 15 minute online survey will investigate the attitudes and knowledge of pharmacists about medicinal cannabis and CBD products and assess the training needs in this area.

This survey will help us to investigate the understanding and experience of pharmacists with cannabis-based medicines and better identify their needs to help achieve quality use of cannabidiol in the community.
Professor Andrew McLachlan

Professor Andrew McLachlan

Head of School and Dean of the Sydney Pharmacy School

Ms Zeeta Bawa

Clinical Trial Coordinator, Brain and Mind Centre, the University of Sydney