March 26, 2022
See our interview below with Dr. Nicholas Mabarrack, Medical Director of CA Connect.
1. Can you give us a brief history of CA Connect?
CA Connect was launched to help improve the accessibility and affordability of medicinal cannabis products for patients with anxiety, insomnia and mild chronic pain. Our mission was to create a streamlined online service that is fast and easy without sacrificing patient care.
2. What differentiates CA Connect?
It’s important for us that people who do want to try CBD oil for a health concern are given advice from professionals and are monitored so they positively benefit from this alternative treatment option.
Our CBD oil treatment plans provide patient-centred, comprehensive follow-up consultations with a healthcare practitioner to ensure CBD continues to be safe and effective for the health concern they are trying to address.
3. What are some recent achievements by CA Connect?
Our biggest achievement since our launch has been the improved health of our CA Connect patients. Many CA Connect patients who have not had success with conventional treatment have given feedback that CBD oil has helped improve their health concerns where other treatments have failed.
Hearing of the improved health and reduced symptoms in symptoms such as pain, anxiety and sleep disturbances following treatment via CA Connect will continue to be our biggest achievement.
4. What has been the biggest challenge for CA Connect in the medical cannabis industry so far? How did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge is getting the word out. The medicinal cannabis industry is growing and competitive, with affordability and accessibility continuing to be the biggest issues in this industry.
CA Connect is an initiative developed to alleviate these issues, so we trust that our mission will play an integral role in the medicinal cannabis sector. Trusting this, we are continuing to work on increasing the visibility of CA Connect’s accessible and affordable initiative so that we can continue to help thousands of Australians improve their health.
5. Can you briefly explain how Australians can access medical cannabis through CA Connect?
In 3 simple steps, Australians can access medicinal cannabis through CA Connect. Patients complete an initial online virtual consultation. The patient can then purchase their treatment option of choice which varies from 15-30 days. Each patient will be contacted by one of our health practitioners within 1 business day to confirm their eligibility prior to the order being shipped directly to them. Patients have ongoing contact with CA Clinic health professionals throughout their treatment period. Our commitment to consistent engagement with our patients throughout their treatment means that increasing affordability and accessibility does not need to sacrifice patient care.
6. Which medical cannabis product(s) are the most common? Why is this so?
CA Connect currently supplies treatments for CBD-only products. However, data shows the majority of Australia’s prescribed medical cannabis via their GP, specialist or medical cannabis clinic use CBD dominant or CBD only medicines.
CBD oil dosage is personalised for each patient and can vary for numerous reasons, such as age, medical history, type of symptoms, and severity.
Clinical research supports our belief that CBD oil products can offer significant potential for improvement across a range of different health conditions. An additional benefit of CBD-only products is that patients can continue to drive and operate heavy machinery - unlike THC-containing medicines where driving is prohibited.
7. From the inquiries that you receive, what are the most common health conditions that people face?
The most common health conditions being faced by people seeking CBD oil are anxiety, insomnia and mild chronic pain. Chronic pain continues to be the major reason people come to CA Connect or investigate other avenues for medical cannabis.
Foundational studies reflect improvements in sleep disturbances, reducing anxiety and worry, as well as helping with mild chronic pain such as back pain, neuropathy, or pain associated with inflammatory conditions.
8. What future challenges do you anticipate for CA Connect in the Australian medical cannabis industry?
The main challenges faced by CA Connect and the medical cannabis industry as a whole are awareness, education, affordability and accessibility. Despite medical cannabis being legal since 2016, many Australians are still unaware that CBD oil and medical cannabis are legally accessible via their GP, medical cannabis clinics or via services such as CA Connect.
Although many doctors are educating themselves on the widespread health benefits of CBD oil and medical cannabis, cannabinoid medicine is still foreign to many GPs and other medical specialists. This can make some healthcare providers hesitant to investigate or prescribe medicinal cannabinoid treatments.
9. Where do you see the future of the Australian medical cannabis industry heading? And the Australian cannabis industry in general?
Compared to other markets around the world, the Australian medical cannabis industry is still in its infancy. This means we have plenty of room to grow and evolve our industry to best serve Australian patients and establish Australia as a quality source of medical cannabis products and clinical research.
With low-dose CBD oil recently rescheduled by the TGA, there is set to be a surge in studies released surrounding how CBD oil can help with conditions such as insomnia, chronic pain and anxiety. It is our hope that expanding local research will encourage healthcare professionals to educate themselves on medical cannabis and CBD, and add these potentially life-changing treatments to their pharmaceutical tool kit.
As more information is unearthed surrounding the synergistic actions of components within cannabis medicines, we expect to see more nuanced prescriptions including different minor cannabinoids and terpenes that will target specific disease processes and symptoms.
This kind of data will make it easier for health professionals prescribing CBD or medical cannabis to match patients with products and dosages that will give targeted relief, specific to their individual circumstances.
10. If you could choose one, what is the most interesting discovery or fact of medical cannabis that you would like to share?
There are so many surprising and interesting things that could be mentioned here! One emerging and little-known discovery are that paracetamol may exert part of its fever and pain-reducing action through the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is an intricate and ubiquitous system that affects all aspects of the human body. CBD and medical cannabis interact with this system, and our body creates its own cannabis-like substances that help regulate body processes.
Research has shown that the break of paracetamol leads to the creation of a compound that interacts with key receptors and processes in the endocannabinoid system. In turn, this metabolite of paracetamol downregulates pain signals and supports pathways that promote analgesia.
There continues to be some conjecture about this discovery, nonetheless, mechanistic and animal studies suggest that your standard over-the-counter panadol may be providing pain relief via the body’s innate cannabinoid pathways.
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