Cannabis leaf resting on a rock

Australian Cannabis Research Receives $7 Million Grant

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Australian researchers are jumping for joy this week after they have scored themselves a $7 million grant for research into CBD’s effect on psychosis. According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, Australia has been awarded a total of $11.9 million into research on mental illness in young people. Hurray!

That money will go to the organisation Orygen Youth Mental Health – run by former Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry. While $4.9 million will fund mental health infrastructure, most of the grant will be used to fund the study into CBD.

As we covered in this article, CBD, or ‘cannabidiol’ is one of the components found in cannabis plants. In the $7 million study, researchers will treat psychosis patients with CBD. This will allow researchers to measure the effects of CBD against other forms of psychosis treatment, including antipsychotic medications.

Some of the widely prescriped anti psychotic drugs
Some of the widely prescribed antipsychotic drugs

In total, mental illnesses cost Australia over $180 billion each year, with psychotic illnesses accounting for just over $5 billion of that figure. According to the draft Productivity Commission Report, mental health conditions cost our economy over $500 million a day in lost productivity.

That’s the equivalent of 8 million working days lost to mental illness each year. However, treating mental illness with CBD is already very popular, as a recent study found that 32.8% of medical cannabis users are taking cannabis for a mental illness. Concerningly, only 2.7% of those patients are accessing the drug legally.

Thankfully, research into CBD and mental illness has now been funded by the Wellcome Trust. Despite being UK based, the trust uses their £26.8 billion investment portfolio to fund medical research globally.

Interestingly, their next Chair will be former prime minister Julia Gillard who will start the position in April 2021. Onya’, Julia.

According to Dr Paul Amminger (Orygen’s Chief Investigator of Cannabidiol Research), this fund will allow researchers to give doctors evidence-based answers on CBD’s usefulness.

After the Wellcome Grant was announced, Dr Amminger was quoted as saying:

This study aims to answer an important clinical question: can subthreshold psychotic manifestations be effectively treated with cannabidiol?

Depending on this study’s findings medical cannabis may be prescribed to enormous numbers of Australia’s mental health patients.

Stay tuned as we keep you updated with the study’s results once their released.

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Stay informed with the latest cannabis news in Australia.

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