Expert on the difference between medicinal and 'street' cannabis

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Thursday, 25 July 2019, 8:00PM
Mike Barnes is training New Zealand doctors on how to prescribe medicinal cannabis. (Photo / File)

More than 300 Kiwi doctors are attending medicinal cannabis training classes. 

London-based Academy of Medicinal Cannabis director Mike Barnes is in New Zealand to teach the classes.

He says it's good so many are attending because it's not something doctors have previously learnt. The classes run through the social history of the drug, examine the drug and the different elements, and the practicalities of how to prescribe it. 

Barnes told Heather du Plessis-Allan most doctors are concerned with the mental health issues related to street cannabis and its THC content.

"I've been able to reassure people that medicinal cannabis has the non-psychoactive one, mainly CBD, which doesn't have the mental health, and medicine cannabis is rather different therefore from street cannabis."

Barnes says mental health risks are minimal in medicinal cannabis compared to the street version.

He says that education is the main reason why many doctors in the UK have not prescribed the drug, which is an important reason for the lessons. 


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