What is Medicinal Cannabis?
Medicinal cannabis is any product that contains cannabis or components derived from cannabis that is prescribed by a doctor to treat the symptoms of a medical condition.
Medicinal cannabis products generally include one or both of two key components – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC and CBD are the two main cannabinoids responsible for most of the medicinal benefits of cannabis. There are other components of cannabis that may also positively affect health and symptoms.
What is the Difference between Medicinal Cannabis and Street Cannabis?
Unlike cannabis that is grown and sold illegally, the quality and purity of medicinal cannabis is carefully controlled. This means the components and dose, and therefore the effects, are more predictable, consistent and controlled. It also means the products are not contaminated (for example with mould or solvents).
Who is eligible to use Medicinal Cannabis?
Buying and using medicinal cannabis is legal in Australia, under certain circumstances. Legal medicinal cannabis products are only available for people who meet specific eligibility criteria if they are prescribed by a doctor who follows the correct process. The prescribing doctor needs to justify to a regulatory government authority (the Therapeutic Goods Administration – or TGA) why the person needs medicinal cannabis.
The TGA then decides whether to approve the prescription or not. Access to medicinal cannabis by way of TGA approval is not limited to a specific list of conditions or symptoms. However, a person needs to have had their condition for at least three months in order to be eligible. They must also have tried conventional medical treatment, which either did not work for them or gave them adverse side effects.
What are the Reasons for using Medicinal Cannabis?
Plant-based therapies like medicinal cannabis may be a valid treatment for a number of health conditions. Some of the health conditions include sleep and insomnia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, PTSD, palliative care, endometriosis, chronic pain, cancer and anxiety. To find out more about medicinal cannabis as a suitable treatment option for you, please contact one of our consultants.
How is Medicinal Cannabis used in Queensland?
Medical cannabis is available in a number of formats which means prescriptions can be administered in a number of ways. Method of consumption, dosage, concentration and individual biological factors will all impact your response time to feeling the effects of medicinal cannabis.
The main ways to take medicinal cannabis are breathing in vaporised dried cannabis flower (works quicker; effective for shorter) or swallowing cannabis oil (slower effect but lasts for longer). Oils can also be added to lotions, gels or creams for topical application (quick but short-lasting effect).
The method used depends on the person’s needs. For example, if the person needs immediate relief from severe symptoms at a particular moment, vaporised products may be the preferred option. If the person needs longer-term control for ongoing baseline symptoms, cannabis oil may be the right choice. Some people use a combination of the above options as a form of medicinal cannabis treatment. Medicinal cannabis should not be smoked.
Accessing Medicinal Cannabis in Queensland
If you are interested in exploring whether medicinal cannabis is available and appropriate for you, the first step is to speak to your doctor or medical practitioner as the prescriber. If your doctor is willing to pursue this option but is not sure about the next steps, they (or you) can contact Cannatrek for information. If you believe you may be eligible to access medicinal cannabis, but your usual doctor(s) are not willing to pursue this option, you can contact Cannatrek and we can connect you with a doctor in Brisbane/Queensland who has experience in prescribing medicinal cannabis. If you are eligible for medicinal cannabis treatment and get in touch with us, we can streamline the process for you – from the first consultation, through TGA approval, to delivery of the prescribed product.
Who can Prescribe Medicinal Cannabis?
In Australia, the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) restricts the prescription of medicinal cannabis. The TGA allows doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis for patients who have not responded to conventional medicine or if their current treatment has unbearable side effects. As a regulatory healthcare body, the TGA needs to approve each patient’s prescription and does this via an application (called SAS-B) submitted by your doctor on your behalf, which includes clinical evidence and clinically justified reasons for your treatment, dosing routine, and length of treatment.
For the most up-to-date and accurate information on prescribing medicinal cannabis in Australia, visit the TGA website.
How is Medicinal Cannabis delivered?
Most pharmacies in Queensland can dispense medicinal cannabis products as long as they meet the Department of Health’s requirements. Even though most pharmacies in Australia can dispense medicinal cannabis, a doctor’s prescription is required which is only possible after the doctor receives approval for the patient from the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) through the Special Access Scheme (SAS-B Application).
How much does Medicinal Cannabis cost in Queensland?
The government does not subsidise the cost of medicinal cannabis for Queenslanders. Patients need to pay the full cost of products themselves. The cost will vary for each person, depending on the type of product, how much is used and how often it is used. Typically, the cost ranges from $30 to $100 per week. Patients also need to pay for associated medical treatments and appointments. For a small number of Queensland patients, Cannatrek may be able to reduce costs through clinical trials or concession-based discounts. However, this is not often possible.
Why choose Cannatrek in Queensland?
Cannatrek is a technology-driven Australian company specialising in the research, cultivation, manufacturing and delivery of medical cannabis.
Founded in 2015 by health economist Tommy Huppert, Cannatrek grew out of the philosophy that plant-based therapies can be an alternative way to help people not achieving results from traditional medicine. By 2017 Cannatrek was awarded the second cannabis research license placing it in a position to help provide a better quality of life to Australian patients.
Backed by medicinal licenses and 6 years of operation, Cannatrek manages the entire product lifecycle of plant-based therapies from growth and processing to distribution and sales. Using cutting edge digital platform technology, Cannatrek delivers information on plant-based therapies to eligible patients relying on an interconnected and trusted ecosystem comprising suppliers, doctors, pharmacists and patients.
Have more questions? Contact one of our consultants at Cannatrek today.
Cannatrek can support you with information and, if you are eligible, connect you to our network of doctors via our streamlined process for accessing medicinal cannabis. For more information, please speak to a medical practitioner or contact us directly on 1300 122 662. For general enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or for access-related enquiries email email@example.com.