Commonly asked questions about medicinal cannabis including


This article provides some useful answers to commonly asked questions about medicinal cannabis. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor about why medicinal cannabis may be recommended for you.

What is cannabis and medicinal cannabis?

Cannabis (often called marijuana) comes from the cannabis plant. It contains the active ingredient delta-9 TetraHydroCannabinol (THC), which affects brain function and can alter perception and mood. The flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant can be dried, then smoked or eaten for the psychoactive (or high) effects of THC.

Medicinal cannabis is cannabis that is specially prepared and prescribed to relieve the symptoms of certain medical conditions.

For some people with chronic or terminal illnesses, conventional medicines may not work or cause sever side effects. Medicinal cannabis may provide an alternative to help relieve a number of chronic conditions.

The cannabis plant contains over 100 compounds that are called cannabinoids and mimic the naturally occurring cannabinoids found within the human body. The most common and abundant cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The therapeutic and pain-relieving properties of these compounds may help to relieve the symptoms of many chronic conditions.

Medicinal cannabis comes as a pill, oil, nasal spray or some other form of cannabis plant extract. Medicinal cannabis is being researched worldwide due to its potential to help a number of conditions. Its use is very highly regulated in Australia.

What conditions have received medicinal cannabis approval in Australia?

Medicinal cannabis has been approved for use for over 40 conditions in Australia. Approvals are granted on a case-by-case basis depending on a patient’s individual situation.

Some conditions for which medicinal cannabis has been approved include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Refractory paediatric epilepsy
  • Palliative care indications
  • Spasticity from neurological conditions
  • Anorexia and wasting associated with chronic illness (such as cancer)

To understand whether you may be eligible for medicinal cannabis therapy, please speak to one or our qualified doctors.

Please note – Medicinal cannabis cannot be prescribed for the treatment of cancer. However, it may be considered for treatment of symptoms related to cancer or side effects of cancer treatment.

Medicinal Cannabis Chirnside Park

If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment:

Call (03) 9726 6290

Who can access medicinal cannabis products in Australia?

If your doctor believes medicinal cannabis is an appropriate therapy for your medical condition, in theory, any patient may be prescribed medicinal cannabis.

State regulations may limit prescriptions for certain conditions, to certain doctors or for certain forms of medicinal cannabis.

Eligibility to be prescribed medicinal cannabis is assessed on an individual basis by taking into account many factors in a patient’s history. This is best conducted by a doctor experienced in medicinal cannabis assessment and prescribing.

How can patients access medicinal cannabis?

In most cases, medicinal cannabis for therapeutic purposes can only be prescribed by a medical practitioner with an appropriate approval. If a doctor is not authorised to prescribe medicinal cannabis products or is not sufficiently familiar with cannabis prescribing, he or she can refer their patient to one of our experienced doctors. Once applications are finalised and approved, all medicinal cannabis products are dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

What is involved in the application – Once you have been evaluated by a doctor and prescribed a medicinal cannabis therapy, one of our care navigators will assist the doctor in completing the government application form. The form requires us to include the condition being treated, what other treatments have been tried in the past and the name of the GP or specialist that has been treating the patient.

How long will it take to get approval – The approvals are usually obtained on the same day provide a complete application is submitted including the verified current medical conditions from the patient’s current doctor. We advise patients obtain this to expedite the process.

Where can I obtain my medicinal cannabis – Medicinal cannabis products can be obtained from a registered pharmacy. Our team will work with a pharmacy that is convenient to the patient.

What is the cost of medicinal cannabis?

The cost of medicinal cannabis products can vary from $30 to $100 per patient per week, depending on:

  • The nature of the condition being treated
  • The product required and;
  • The dosage of the required product.

Medicinal cannabis products are not currently subsidised by the Commonwealth Government. Some Health insurers may pay a portion of your prescription costs.

Can I drive while being treated with medicinal cannabis?

We advise that patients receiving cannabinoid medication should not drive, work at heights, operate heavy machinery or work in situations where intact reaction times are critical for safety. This is because treatment with cannabinoids can impact response times.

Please discuss medicinal cannabis potential side effects with your doctor.

Medicinal cannabis is not recommended in the following situations:

The following conditions are not compatible with medicinal cannabis including:

  • Allergy, hypersensitivity to cannabis or parts of the medication (e.g., the carrier oil).
  • Patients who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or currently breastfeeding.
  • Patients with certain psychiatric conditions such as psychosis.

Are medicinal cannabis treatments safe to take in conjunction with other medications?

It is best to seek professional health advice when discussing issues around medications. This includes specifics on medicinal cannabis and interactions with your other medications.


Is medicinal cannabis legal in Australia?

Yes – Prescribing of medicinal cannabis to patients has been legal in Australia since November 2016. Individual states also have separate legislation regarding details of approvals and conditions that patients have that may be approved.

Medicinal cannabis remains a highly regulated drug in Australia and growing or using cannabis without the relevant licences or authorised prescriptions remains illegal.

Is medicinal cannabis regulated in Australia?

Medicinal cannabis in Australia, is regulated by the Commonwealth Department of Health through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Office of Drug Control (ODC).

Regulations are in place to ensure high-quality, consistent and standardised medications are available for Australian consumers.

Is medicinal cannabis legal for smoking and can I grow my own?

Is cannabis legal for smoking –  No. Patients will not be able to access medicinal cannabis products for use via smoking products. There are potential harms in the inhaled form, which include carcinogens from smoke and by-products of heat and combustion.

For similar reasons, we don’t currently endorse vaped products.

Can I grow my own medicinal cannabis – No, you cannot legally grow your own cannabis for medicinal use, even if it has been prescribed by an authorised medical practitioner. In most cases, medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes can only be prescribed by a medical practitioner with an appropriate approval.

Medicinal Cannabis Chirnside Park

If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment:

Call (03) 9726 6290

Our doctors see patients from all over North Melbourne for medicinal cannabis consultations including Chirnside Park, Lilydale, Wonga Park, Croydon North, Yering, Coldstream, Mount Evelyn, Kilsyth, Croydon, Warranwood, Warrandyte, Warrandyte South, Montrose. Park Orchards, Ringwood, Ringwood North and Ringwood East.