Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis: Key Findings from a Recent New Zealand Study

Listen to the automated AI version of this article here:

A recent study carried out by researchers from Otago, Victoria, and Auckland University investigated the potential therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis in a number of contexts. 

The study aimed to explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis by examining the experiences of 213 individuals who were using cannabis for therapeutic reasons. These participants were selected from a diverse range of backgrounds and had various medical conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and anxiety. By delving into their firsthand accounts, the study sought to shed light on the effectiveness of cannabis as a therapeutic option and provide valuable insights into its potential applications.

Participants Report Positive Experiences

The overall response from those that participated in the study was overwhelmingly positive, revealing remarkable findings that have the potential to revolutionize medical treatments. In this groundbreaking therapeutic cannabis study, nearly 96% of the participants reported experiencing significant benefits for their medical conditions. This extraordinary percentage underscores the immense potential of cannabis as a therapeutic option and highlights the profound impact it can have on patients’ lives. 


The study’s results provide a glimmer of hope for individuals suffering from various ailments, offering them a natural and effective alternative that can alleviate symptoms and improve their overall well-being. The positive experiences shared by the participants serve as a testament to the promising future of therapeutic cannabis in the field of medicine.

Reduced Reliance on Pharmaceuticals

One notable benefit that participants of this study reported is a reduction in their existing prescription medication. Incorporating natural and plant-based treatment in the form of CBD and THC has presented them with an alternative approach to managing their health conditions. 

In a noteworthy finding, 46% of participants were able to reduce or completely stop their use of prescribed medications, many of which were opioid-based. This result carries significant implications, not only for individual participants but also for the broader healthcare landscape. By embracing therapeutic cannabis, individuals have experienced a decrease in reliance on potentially addictive medications, leading to improved well-being and a reduced risk of opioid-related complications. 

This positive outcome highlights the potential of cannabis as a viable and safer option for those seeking alternative treatments, offering hope for a more sustainable and holistic approach to healthcare.

The Therapeutic Applications of Medicinal Cannabis

This study also revealed the more common conditions that participants found relief from, shedding light on the therapeutic areas and applications of medicinal cannabis. The themes that emerged from the research emphasized the efficacy of cannabis in pain management, the improvement in sleep quality, and its potential assistance with mental health issues. These findings are consistent with previous research, further supporting the notion that cannabis holds promise as a treatment option for these conditions. 

However, the study also delved into the broader scope of therapeutic cannabis applications beyond pain management and mental health. Participants using cannabis for conditions such as autism, ADHD, PTSD, and difficulty eating reported positive effects, expanding our understanding of the potential benefits of cannabis across various therapeutic areas. 

These findings open up new possibilities for the use of cannabis as a potential treatment option for a wide range of conditions. But, the researchers did emphasise that their findings do not endorse substituting prescribed medications but rather propose a complementary role for cannabis products.

Accessing Cannabis in New Zealand

Although this research is promising, medicinal cannabis is still undergoing adoption and acceptance amongst the public and physicians in New Zealand.The lack of knowledge among physicians regarding the appropriate use of cannabis as a medicine poses a challenge. 

Many healthcare professionals are unfamiliar with the specific dosages, strains, and methods of administration, leading to limited prescription options for patients. Consequently, the majority of participants resort to sourcing cannabis through illicit means, further highlighting the need for improved accessibility and education surrounding medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.

Real-World Application and Regulation

As medicinal cannabis was only regulated in recent years within New Zealand, this study represents a significant step towards understanding its application and real-world outcomes. By focusing on patients with clinically diagnosed conditions, the study provides valuable evidence on the efficacy of cannabis for therapeutic purposes in the New Zealand context. 

Through exploring the experiences and outcomes of individuals who have incorporated medicinal cannabis into their treatment plans, researchers gain insights that can inform future studies and potentially shape policies surrounding therapeutic cannabis. These findings hold immense potential for improving patient care, fostering a deeper understanding of cannabis as a medical option, and facilitating evidence-based decision-making for healthcare professionals and policymakers alike.


This study carried out within New Zealand represents just one piece of the puzzle contributing towards medicinal cannabis’s legitimation. The key findings reveal the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis, highlighting its effectiveness in managing various medical conditions and symptoms. 

The implications of these findings are significant, suggesting that cannabis could provide a valuable treatment option for New Zealanders in need of alternative treatment options. Continued exploration in this field holds the promise of unlocking the full benefits of cannabis as a safe and effective therapy for those who can benefit from it.



What was the purpose of the recent New Zealand study on medicinal cannabis?

The recent New Zealand study on medicinal cannabis aimed to gather real-world evidence on the efficacy of cannabis products used therapeutically. It explored patients’ experiences and assessed the positive effects they encountered.

What are the common therapeutic areas and applications of medicinal cannabis?

This study revealed that medicinal cannabis shows promise in pain management, sleep improvement, mental health, and various conditions, although challenges remain regarding access and healthcare professional knowledge.


Patients experiences of therapeutic cannabis consumption in New Zealand | Emerald Insight. (2022). Drugs, Habits and Social Policy, 24(2), 117–132. https://doi.org/10.1108//DHS

Disclaimer – medicinal cannabis and CBD oil are unapproved medicines in NZ which means that there is no conclusive evidence for their effect, apart from Sativex. Many doctors do not routinely prescribe cannabis medicines. The above article was written for general educational purposes and does not intend to suggest that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat any health condition. Please consult with your healthcare provider. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *