Knowledge and attitudes of Australian general practitioners towards medicinal cannabis

This cross-sectional study is the first to examine the knowledge and attitudes of Australian general practitioners (GPs) towards medicinal cannabis. The survey was completed by 640 GPs across 5 major cities in Australia. Over 60% of GPs reported one or more patient enquiries about medical cannabis in the past three months. However, most felt that their knowledge was inadequate and less than 30% felt comfortable discussing medicinal cannabis with patients. Support for cannabis was condition specific, with strong support for use in cancer pain and palliative care. Although there was a high degree of neutrality with respect to the desire of GPs to prescribe medicinal cannabis, the vast majority supported a model of prescribing in which GPs played a significant role. These results highlight the need for continuing medical education and guidelines on the regulatory, pharmacological and clinical aspects of medicinal cannabis to ensure optimal patient care.

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