One of the highlights of the coming Apex–Brinkman Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) conference is a presentation on medicinal cannabis by eminent horticulture researcher, Dr Mike Nichols. His presentation will focus on the various types of cannabis and examine some of their different medical properties.
In February this year, the Australian Federal Government approved the importation of medicinal marijuana, allowing Australian patients and doctors to legally access cannabis for medicinal use. The Office of Drug Control is now able to issue licences and permits for cultivation and cannabis itself has been removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and reclassified as a Schedule 8 controlled drug.
“It is now generally considered that cannabis is a far safer drug than alcohol,” said Dr Nichols.
There are different types of cannabis and effects on the body. Researchers worldwide are currently trialling strains that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high. Cannabidiol is just one of over 85 cannabinoids presently identified in the cannabis plant and is the second most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana after THC. In hemp, however, THC is only present in trace amounts, while CBD dominates the plant’s makeup. CBD interacts with our naturally occurring systems, but is non-psychotropic, it doesn’t cause a high. This makes it a safer, less controversial alternative, while still offering significant health benefits.
“If we are to establish a medical cannabis industry in Australasia we have to establish sound horticultural growing methods to maximise the yield of the desirable chemicals,” said Dr Nichols.
Dr Nichols presentation will also highlight how best to grow cannabis for medical purposes, and consider possible methods by which the cannabinoids are ingested.
The Apex–Brinkman Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) conference and trade exhibition will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, from 9-12 July 2017. The event is expected to attract growers, industry experts and allied trade suppliers throughout Australasia, Asia, Europe and North America. For more information and Early Bird discounts (until 14 May), go to: www.aomevents.com/pca2017/registration Ω
Posted 1 May 2017