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  • Writer's picturechadwalkaden

Real-World Data, the key to unlocking the power of Medical Cannabis

Since Deloitte’s landmark article on real-world data in 2018, real-world data has been transforming the way we approach healthcare.

By leveraging real-world data, we can gain insights into patient outcomes, product safety, and population health that were previously unavailable. This data has the potential to revolutionise healthcare by enabling us to make more informed decisions about healthcare products and services.

One area where real-world data is particularly valuable is in the emerging field of medicinal cannabis. While cannabis has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, its use has been limited by legal restrictions and a lack of scientific evidence. However, as more countries and states legalize cannabis for medicinal use, there is a growing need for reliable data on its safety and effectiveness.

Patients & Prescribers

Real-world data is a valuable tool that can help patients using cannabis medicines receive the highest quality care. By collecting data on patient outcomes and experiences in real-world settings, healthcare providers can better understand the benefits and risks of these medicines for specific patient populations. This information can inform treatment decisions, identify potential side effects or adverse events, and tailor treatment plans to meet individual patient needs.

Patients can benefit from engaging in the collection of real-world data by becoming advocates for their own health. By sharing their experiences and outcomes with healthcare providers, patients can contribute to a better understanding of the safety and effectiveness of cannabis medicines. This can lead to the development of evidence-based guidelines for the use of these medicines, promoting greater consistency in the delivery of healthcare services and improving patient outcomes.

Patients can also use real-world data to make informed decisions about their healthcare and advocate for the use of cannabis medicines as a treatment option.

Cannabis Industry

Cannabis companies are also starting to see the value of real-world data. By collecting data on patient outcomes and product safety, companies can improve their products and services, gain a competitive edge, and build trust with regulators and patients. This data can also enable new markets to open up by providing evidence of the safety and effectiveness of these emerging medicines.

Real-world data can also provide valuable insights into market trends and dynamics. By analyzing data on prescribing patterns and patient preferences, companies can identify emerging markets and tailor their product offerings to meet the needs of these markets. They can also use this data to inform their pricing and reimbursement strategies, ensuring that their products are competitive and accessible to patients.


Real-world data has the potential to fill this gap by providing credible options to assist the evidence on these emerging medicines. Governments around the world are starting to recognise the value of real-world data in the cannabis industry.

In the USA, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has established a patient registry for medicinal cannabis that assist researchers, licensed companies and patients to adopt a centralised real-world data study that will give patients the opportunity to be part a historic moment in time whereby the Government is started to recognise the medical properties of Cannabis rather than a sole focus on the risks and harms associated with the misuse of Cannabis or Cannabis Abuse Disorder (CAD).


Real-world data is not only valuable for governments and cannabis companies, but also for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. By collecting data on patient outcomes and product safety in real-world settings, these companies can gain insights into the effectiveness of their products and make more informed decisions about their research and development efforts.

Real-world data can provide pharmaceutical and biotech companies with a wealth of business intelligence that can inform their strategy and decision-making. For example, by analyzing data on patient outcomes and preferences, companies can identify unmet needs and develop products that better meet the needs of patients. They can also use this data to optimize their clinical trials and post-market surveillance activities, reducing the risk of adverse events and improving patient safety.


While there is a lot of excitement about real-world data, finding a high-quality, credible and useful data collection platform, such as OnTracka, has its challenges, particularly around data quality issues, privacy concerns and the need for robust data integrity frameworks to support this new wave of obtaining market intelligence.

Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of real-world data to accelerate the legitimacy of Medical Cannabis is significant.

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