MEDICAL CANNABIS: A BRIEF GUIDE FOR NEW ZEALANDERS
By DR SHAUN HOLT & EMMA DALTON
Published by Potton & Burton; September 20, 2019; RRP: $29.99
Medical cannabis is big business – a multi-billion-dollar global industry and grand ‘social experiment,’ that has legislators and Big Pharma sprinting to keep pace.
New Zealand faces a referendum about legalising cannabis for personal use in 2020 and, right now, many New Zealanders are confused. They are unsure about what medical cannabis is; the differences between THC and CBD; and how harmful/helpful medical cannabis is as a treatment.
Dr. Shaun Holt is a medical doctor, researcher and adjunct professor at the Victoria University of Wellington. He is also the author of timely new book Medical Cannabis: A Brief Guide for New Zealanders, which he wrote in tandem with researcher and niece Emma Dalton, to break through the jargon and misinformation.
In his book, Holt outlines the history, science, various uses and latest findings about cannabis as a medicine. Offering a balanced and unbiased view, he also highlights the potential risks and benefits of using medical cannabis for a range of diseases and conditions, bringing clarity to the confusion around all the different products, including the differences between synthetic and natural medical cannabis products.
Based on his research and interviews with real users in New Zealand, Holt is an advocate for the use of medicinal cannabis, citing its potential benefits and effectiveness for many conditions. He also sees it as a cost-effective medicine for a range of health issues and a potential new export market for New Zealand.
‘It helps with pain, nausea, vomiting, sleep, anxiety, and is generally safe when used for medical purposes (not recreational). Further, it isn’t owned by pharmaceutical companies, it is relatively cheap and, depending on the upcoming law changes, may not require a doctor’s prescription,’ says Holt.
That said, Holt also highlights the harms of cannabis use – particularly the psychiatric risks from heavy or prolonged use of high THC cannabis in younger people and the respiratory risks from smoking it.
Medical Cannabis: A Brief Guide for New Zealanders is an invaluable book, written by an expert in his field, to help the public and health professionals make informed decisions about the use of medical cannabis.
DR. SHAUN HOLT is widely regarded as an expert on the science behind natural health products. He is the founder of two clinical trials organisations and Research Review, a company that produces regular reviews of the medical literature for health professionals. He holds degrees in pharmacy and medicine, has been the principal investigator in over 50 clinical trials and has over 220 publications in the medical literature. Holt is also the founder and science director of HoneyLab, a pharmaceutical company developing medical products from natural resources. He is the author of ten books and was a finalist for the New Zealander of the Year Awards (Innovator category) in 2015. He is a 2019 EY Entrepreneur finalist and is currently advising
a medical cannabis company with their research and clinical trials. Holt lives on the Coromandel coast with his wife.