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Research_

The CAMS (Cannabis As Medicine Survey) study

A large-scale survey of medicinal cannabis users in Australia

A national survey to create a snapshot of the demographics of medical cannabis consumers; the conditions being treated, patterns of cannabis use, cost, perceived efficacy, and the physical and mental health of those consumers.

Project overview

Recent legislative changes have aimed to improve legal access to medicinal cannabis across Australia. However, the reality is that most patients still rely on illicit sources for access. Little is known about how these thousands of Australians access and use ‘illicit’ medicinal cannabis and the conditions that they are aiming to treat. An improved understanding of the current situation could help inform policy, shape future regulatory and clinical frameworks, and aid medication development in Australia.

The CAMS (Cannabis As Medicine Survey) is the first large scale survey of medicinal cannabis users in Australia for more than a decade. The objective of this survey is to create a national snapshot of the demographics of medical cannabis consumers, the conditions being treated, patterns of cannabis use, perceived efficacy, and the physical and mental health of consumers.

In CAMS 2016, more than 1700 medicinal cannabis users were surveyed. Results are currently being processed and written up for publication. 

Launched – May 2016
Separate studies will commence in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Recruitment ends 2019

Associate Professor Jonathon Arnold
Professor Iain McGregor

Online community survey

The Lambert Initiative

In 2016, the CAMS study surveyed 1,749 Australians who reported using cannabis for medicinal purposes. Results indicated that the primary conditions being treated included anxiety (50.2%), back pain (49.4%), depression (48.8%), and sleep conditions (43%). Inhaled route, specifically through a water pipe (“bong”), was the most common routes of administration.

A third of patients spent $0-$50 on cannabis, suggesting a sizeable proportion of home grown supply. Respondents self-reported overwhelmingly positive changes in the primary health condition being treated as a result of cannabis use, with more than 90 percent of respondents reporting an improvement.

CAMS 2016 has recently been accepted for publication and is currently being prepared for media dissemination.

Watch this space

CAMS 2018 will be recruiting soon