Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jan 29;19(3):1536. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031536.


OBJECTIVE: This study sought to investigate the perceptions, barriers, and drivers associated with medicinal cannabis use among Australian women with primary dysmenorrhea. A qualitative study via virtual focus groups involving 26 women experiencing regular, moderate, or greater menstrual pain explored categories including cost, associated stigma, current drug driving laws, community and workplace ethics, and geographical isolation within the context of patient access under current Australian laws and regulations.

RESULTS: A qualitative descriptive analysis identified that dissatisfaction with current management strategies such as over-the-counter analgesic usage was the key driver for wanting to use medicinal cannabis. A number of significant barriers to use were identified including patient access to medical prescribers, medical practitioner bias, current drug driving laws, geographic location, and cost. Community and cultural factors such as the history of cannabis as an illicit drug and the resulting stigma, even when prescribed by a medical doctor, still existed and was of concern to our participants.

CONCLUSION: Whilst medicinal cannabis is legal in all states and territories within Australia, several barriers to access exist that require government regulatory attention to assist in increasing patient adoption, including possible subsidisation of cost. The high cost of legal, medicinal cannabis was a key factor in women’s choice to use illicit cannabis. Overall, the concerns raised by our participants are consistent with the broader findings of a recent Australian Senate inquiry report into barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia, suggesting many of the issues are systematic rather than disease-specific. Given the interest in use of medicinal cannabis amongst women with primary dysmenorrhea, clinical trials in this area are urgently needed.

PMID:35162564 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph19031536

Source: ncbi 2

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