A new survey by Chronic Pain Australia has found more than one in four patients use illicit cannabis to manage their condition, while many GPs remain reluctant to prescribe the medicine. 

The National Pain Week survey of 1,536 people revealed 27% of respondents use non-medicinal cannabis to manage chronic pain.

More than a quarter of respondents said they use non-medicinal cannabis to manage chronic pain.

Meanwhile, 82% said their GP should be more open-minded about treatment options, compared to 86% in last year’s poll.

The survey also suggested patients are cutting back on food in order to afford medication and health specialists, with 70% saying they had gone without essentials so they could continue managing their condition.

Lack of awareness of where to turn for help was another major barrier, with 61% of respondents saying they didn’t know who they should see about their condition.

Chronic Pain Australia president Fiona Hodson said: “As the cost of living rises, many of the 3.6 million Australians living with chronic pain may experience shortfalls and setbacks.

“Health services and treatment options which are… unaffordable for many can force people living with chronic pain to seek out unsafe ways to manage and cope. 

“Many don’t feel like they have a choice.”

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...