Little is known about how Australians access cannabis on the black market, how they self-medicate and the conditions they are aiming to treat today.
The results of the previous Cannabis As Medicine Survey (CAMS:16) - the biggest national survey in 2016 of medicinal cannabis users in Australia in more than a decade, provided a snapshot of people self-medicating before any medicinal cannabis use was legalised. Now, the CAMS:18 will provide a picture of the situation after legislative changes have legalised medicinal cannabis in some areas.
Addiction medicine expert Professor Nick Lintzeris from the University of Sydney’s School of Medicine said the study provides an opportunity for people to indicate whether there remains an unmet need.
“Although the State and federal governments are improving legal access to medicinal cannabis across Australia, it remains unclear as to the extent to which people can access medical cannabis through legal channels," Professor Lintzeris said.
Academic director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics in the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, Professor Iain McGregor, said an improved understanding of the situation could help inform policy and clinical frameworks.
“Little is known about how these tens of thousands of Australians – we believe in excess of 100,000 people – access cannabis on the black market, how they self-medicate and the conditions they are aiming to treat today," Professor McGregor said.
CAMS aims to create a national snapshot of the demographics of medical cannabis consumers, the conditions being treated, patterns of cannabis use, perceived efficacy, and the physical and mental health of consumers.
The survey takes 15-30 minutes to complete and participants can save their responses as they go; the survey will be open through 2018. People 18-years or more can do the survey, which is available online.