Incidental observations have also revealed therapeutically useful effects. This occurred in a study of patients with Alzheimer's disease wherein the primary issue was an examination of the appetite-stimulating effects of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Not only appetite and body weight increased, but disturbed behaviour among the patients decreased. The discovery of decreased intra-ocular pressure with THC administration in the beginning of the 1970's was also serendipitous. Additional interesting indications that have not been scientifically investigated, but remain common problems in modern medicine may benefit from treatment with cannabis or cannabinoids. For this reason, surveys have been conducted questioning individuals that use cannabis therapeutically. They were conducted either as oral non-standardised interviews in the course of investigations of state or scientific institutions (House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology in the UK, Institute of Medicine in the USA) on the therapeutic potential of cannabis or as anonymous surveys using standardised questionnaires. In Australia, such information is garnered from the likes of the University of New South Wales, Australia (UNSW Australia) which is involved in cannabis related research in association with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). A survey involving 1,500 chronic pain sufferers showed there was a high rate of medicinal cannabis use in Australia. Australians suffering from chronic pain may get more relief from their symptoms using cannabis than they do from conventional medications, researchers found.
Meanwhile the Australian Medical Association (AMA) are not interested in anything but pharmaceutical cannabis which has limited applications. Quoted in the Australian mainstream media, "Medicinal cannabis should be subject to the same safety and efficacy tests as any other 'drug' before being made available on the Australian market", said the AMA. They also warned against the legalisation of the raw 'dope plant', or any oils and tinctures made from it and urged that only fully-tested cannabis-based medicines should be considered for use.
In a significant development for those who argue cannabis is effective in alleviating chronic pain and providing relief from symptoms including nausea and muscle spasms and should be legalised, the NSW government has secured the support of the Commonwealth and its state and territory counterparts to 'trial' the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In March 2015 the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) reported that NSW was running three medical trials to allow children with severe epilepsy, adults with a terminal illness and people with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy to use medical cannabis. The Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme (TICS) was launched with patients and carers allowed to 'register' with the government (NSW) as using medical cannabis but with no support whatsoever from the government; even when law enforcement arrested a 'carer' and confiscated the medicine/s (the scheme notates that law enforcement may use their discretion not to charge).