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CBD Audit and Medicinal Cannabis in New Zealand

Presented by Dr Graham Gulbransen

About this module:

In this presentation, New Zealand general practitioner and addiction specialist Dr Graham Gulbransen reports on a published clinical audit of almost 400 patients prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) in his clinical practice in New Zealand. The results give clinicians important information about the major conditions patients are using CBD for, and the safety and efficacy of CBD from real-life clinical practice experience.

In addition, Graham discusses the current regulatory framework of New Zealand including results of the 2020 referendum on recreational use.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the key results of a clinical audit of patients prescribed CBD in New Zealand including which clinical conditions patients are being prescribed CBD for.
  • Debate the efficacy of CBD for a range of clinical conditions based on findings of a clinical audit of patients prescribed CBD in New Zealand.
  • Argue the relative safety considerations in relation to CBD based on findings of a clinical audit of patients prescribed CBD in New Zealand.
  • Describe the regulatory system for prescribing medicinal cannabis including CBD in New Zealand. 

Dr Graham Gulbransen

In 2018 Graham opened the first medical cannabis service in Aotearoa NZ, Cannabis Care Clinic, providing specialist consultations for legal medicinal cannabis prescriptions. Problems addressed include chronic pain, cancer symptoms, anxiety, chronic insomnia and neurological conditions.

Most patients have experienced little benefit or adverse effects from conventional treatment or have been told there are no further treatments. Many report that medicinal cannabis offers symptom relief, improved quality of life and most importantly, restores hope. He has prescribed CBD to 1500 patients with very good outcomes. An audit of his first 400 CBD patients showed benefit for chronic pain and/or emotional distress: British Journal of General Practice Open, 5/2/20:

He was appointed to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council for assessment of medicinal cannabis research projects in 2021.

His part time general practice experience dates from 1983. Much of this work involves assessing and managing addictions and/or chronic pain. He is a FRNZCGP. 

Graham completed his Fellowship of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (FAChAM) in 2008. As an Addiction Specialist he manages problems such as alcohol and drug withdrawal, opioid substitution treatment, medication for chronic pain and he writes addiction assessments.
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