Medical Cannabis

What is Medical Cannabis?

Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, is using parts of the cannabis plant to treat health problems. In Australia, doctors have given over 390,000 medical cannabis prescriptions since it became legal in 2016.

Cannabis has compounds called THC and CBD. THC can make you feel high, while CBD doesn’t. Both, along with other compounds in cannabis, interact with the body’s system that helps control how our bodies work.

Studies show medical cannabis might help with:

  • Pain: It could ease long-lasting pain from conditions like nerve problems, arthritis, and migraines.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS): It might help reduce muscle stiffness and pain in people with MS.
  • PTSD and Anxiety: CBD might help people who have stress-related issues like PTSD or anxiety.

Getting medical cannabis in Australia means talking to a doctor who can prescribe it. There are rules to follow, and different types of cannabis-based medicine are available, like oils and capsules, made to suit each person.

Even though medical cannabis seems helpful, it can have side effects like feeling confused, dizzy, or having a dry mouth. High doses of THC might make some people feel more anxious or paranoid. Also, there might be legal or social issues to think about.

Research on medical cannabis is still happening, and its uses for different health problems are still being understood. People thinking about using medical cannabis should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks to find the right treatment.

Who Benefits?

Medical cannabis has already transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians, offering hope to those who haven’t found relief through traditional treatments. If you’re grappling with persistent conditions like chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, PTSD, or insomnia, it might be worth discussing medical cannabis with your doctor. While research into its effectiveness for these conditions is still developing, the potential it holds is truly thrilling according to healthcare professionals. In Australia alone, over 390,000 individuals have received medical cannabis prescriptions for more than 130 different health conditions, marking a significant shift in alternative medicine and patient care.

 

How is a Medical Cannabis license acquired?

Getting a medical cannabis prescription is pretty simple if you qualify and your doctor thinks it can help you. You’re eligible if you have a long-lasting condition (like one that sticks around for more than 3 months) and have tried other treatments that didn’t work or gave you bad side effects.

If you believe you fit the criteria and could benefit from medical cannabis, you have a couple of options. You can talk to your usual doctor or go to a special medical cannabis clinic. In Australia, all doctors can prescribe medical cannabis, but your regular doctor might not want to for various reasons. They might not know much about it or have the right setup to handle these prescriptions.

Specialized cannabis clinics have streamlined the process for getting medical cannabis. They offer private online appointments with doctors who understand the pros and cons of using medical cannabis and can help you out.

Legality in Australia

Medical cannabis became legal in Australia in 2016, but it’s strictly regulated and requires a doctor’s prescription to use. While pure CBD oil is technically legal to buy without a prescription, it’s not readily available over the counter due to pharmaceutical companies not completing the rigorous approval process mandated by the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). This approval process demands extensive research to ensure a product’s safety, effectiveness, and quality. However, individuals eligible for medical cannabis treatment can still access CBD oil through a doctor’s prescription.

The Cost of Medical Cannabis

As most medical cannabis products haven’t received approval from the TGA, they’re generally not part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This means you’ll likely need to pay for medical cannabis out of pocket, averaging around $250 to $300 per month based on your prescribed dosage and form. Additionally, appointments with prescribing doctors usually range between $80 and $150.

However, some private health providers include medical cannabis in their General Treatment or Extras plans. For coverage, the prescription must be obtained through the Special Access Scheme or the Authorized Prescriber Scheme. Private health insurers vary in their coverage, typically offering a yearly maximum and possibly limiting the cost per prescription. As a result, ongoing prescriptions might not be fully covered for a complete 12 months.

Strains

The Future of Medical Cannabis in Australia

In the foreseeable future, there’s a growing likelihood of increased research on medical cannabis and its therapeutic advantages in Australia. Early findings have shown promise in using medical cannabis to alleviate various chronic conditions. As scientific exploration expands, more breakthroughs are expected in understanding its potential for treating a diverse range of health issues.

If you’re dealing with a condition that you believe could be eased by medical cannabis, consider scheduling an appointment with your general practitioner or a specialized medical cannabis clinic. Since its legalization in 2016, a considerable number of Australians have embraced medical cannabis, and this community is expected to expand further. As awareness grows and more individuals recognize its promising prospects, the use of medical cannabis is anticipated to rise in Australia. This surge in interest could potentially pave the way for enhanced accessibility and further studies, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of its medical applications.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.