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Medical Cannabis in Treatment of Chronic Pain (Part 2)

This learning module is suitable for healthcare practitioners with an interest in learning about medicinal cannabis. 

About this module:

In this presentation, Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather MD discusses the role of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain, including the evidence that medicinal cannabis may be a useful adjunct or replacement to opioids and the types of collateral effects associated with medicinal cannabis treatment. Dr Hergenrather provides detailed prescribing guidelines for the use of cannabinoid medicines containing THC and CBD, including how to introduce chronic pain patients to medicinal cannabis, dosing tips for treatment of cannabis naïve patients as well as cannabis-experienced patients, and how and when to taper and reduce opioids. 

This presentation is suitable for healthcare practitioners and those with a background in biomedical sciences. It assumes a knowledge of the endocannabinoid system and medicinal cannabis pharmacodynamics.
Learning Outcomes

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

  • Debate the benefits for the use of medicinal cannabis in treating chronic pain including its collateral benefits and its use as an adjunct or replacement for opioids.
  • Justify when you would consider prescribing medicinal cannabis in chronic pain, and choice of routes of delivery
  • Describe how to dose medicinal cannabis in patients who are naïve to cannabis.
  • Describe how to dose medicinal cannabis in patients who are cannabis-experienced.
  • Describe how to combine medicinal cannabis and opioids and taper a patient off opioids

Professor Kylie O'Brien, PhD

Professor Kylie O’Brien PhD is an Adjunct Professor at Torrens University. She has a strong academic career in the fields of Chinese medicine, integrative medicine and, after a career change in 2000; medicinal cannabis. She has worked for the Victorian Department of Human Services, and held senior leadership roles in the university and private education sector. An internationally recognised expert in Chinese medicine and integrative medicine, she has published extensively, including a book on integrative oncology (US: Springer, 2017). Kylie’s second book – on mental health and medicinal cannabis – is due for publication in 2020. She is a member of the TGA Advisory Committee for Complementary Medicines and a TEQSA Expert Panel.

Kylie has been leading doctor education on medicinal cannabis in Australia since 2018. Her courses were the first to receive RACGP Category 1 CPD accreditation. She also set up the pathway via the National Institute of Integrative Medicine Ethics Committee for doctors to apply to become authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis under the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber Scheme.
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