MEDICAL MARIJUANA MELBOURNE

Questions, answers & prescription access?

Commonly asked questions and answers about medicinal marijuana.

What is medical marijuana?
What conditions does it treat?
How to access via legal prescription?
You need to book an appointment with a doctor to discuss.

This information provides some useful answers to commonly asked questions about medical marijuana in Melbourne, Australia. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor about why it may be recommended for you.

WHAT IS MEDICAL MARIJUANA
CONDITIONS IT TREATS
WHO MAY ACCESS
WHAT ARE THE COSTS
CAN I TAKE WITH OTHER MEDS
WHEN IS IT NOT RECOMMENDED
DRIVING
LEGAL ISSUES
APPOINTMENT BOOKINGS

What is medical marijuana?

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.

Medical marijuana 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.

Medical marijuana 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 approval in Australia?

Medicinal marijuana 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.

Medicinal Cannabis Moonee Ponds

Please note – Medical marijuanas 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.

Who can access in Australia?

If your doctor believes medicinal marijuana 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.

Medical Marijuana Melbourne, Moonee Ponds

 To access medicinal marijuana, patients must gain approval from Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia. Your doctor will undertake a consultation with you to help determine eligibility and if approved, provide medical evidence to support your prescription.

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

Call (03) 9976 4200
BOOK A GP ONLINE

How to access?

In most cases, medicinal marijuanas 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.

medical marijuanas melbourne consultation

How long will it take to get approval – The approvals are usually obtained on the same day if a complete application is submitted including the verified current medical condition/s 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 are the cost?

The cost of medicinal marijuanas 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?

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 marijuanas are 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.

Taking 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.

Your doctor will be able to give you the professional medical advice if medical marijuana is suitable in your specific situation in conjunction with any other medicines you are taking. 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA MELBOURNE – LEGAL ISSUES

Is medicinal cannabis / medical marijuana legal in Australia?

Yes – Prescribing of medicinal cannabis / medical marijuana 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.

Regulation 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.

Are medical marijuanas legal for smoking and can I grow my own?

Is cannabis / marijuana 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 / medical marijuanas – 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.

Medical Marijuana Melbourne, Moonee Ponds

 To access medicinal marijuana, patients must gain approval from Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia. Your doctor will undertake a consultation with you to help determine eligibility and if approved, provide medical evidence to support your prescription.

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

Call (03) 9976 4200
BOOK A GP ONLINE
Medical Marijuanas Melbourne – Moonee Ponds

Our doctors see patients from all over Melbourne for professional health advice in relation to medical marijuanas. Our patients commonly come from North Melbourne including Moonee Ponds,  Ascot Vale, Aberfeldie, Essendon, Brunswick West, Flemington, Maribyrnong, Essendon West, Neddrie, Essendon North, Strathmore, Pascoe Vale South, Coburg, Brunswick, Brunswick East, Carlton North, Kensington and Maidstone.