What you need to know about Medicinal Cannabis
Cannabis plants are used to produce a range of cannabis products, including medical marijuana. It is used to relieve the symptoms of several illnesses. Medicinal cannabis is being studied all over the world because of its potential to aid numerous ailments, but it is strictly regulated in Australia.
What is medicinal cannabis?
The cannabis sativa plant is used to make medicinal cannabis. Marijuana, which individuals consume to get high, is made from the leaves and buds of this plant. Medical cannabis is sometimes known as medical marijuana or medical cannabis.
Cannabis has been found to relieve pain, stop or decrease nausea, and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. This is due to the presence of phytocannabinoids in the body. The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors that regulates mood, memory, sleep, and hunger.
The cannabis plant is rich in 80 to 100 cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive component that makes people feel high. Cannabinoids with therapeutic potential have also been discovered. Some of the other cannabinoids are being researched internationally for their medical benefits.
Medicinal cannabis’ negative effects are currently being researched. They might include the following:
- difficulty concentrating
- problems with balance
- problems with thinking and memory
Medicinal cannabis is very tightly controlled. Nabiximols and synthetic cannabinoids are two types of medications that have been granted approval in Australia. These medicines are prepared with the intention of producing the greatest therapeutic impact while minimizing potential side effects. In some nations, crude cannabis (raw cannabis plant material) and cannabis oil are used as treatments. Both of these
Who may benefit from medicinal cannabis?
There hasn’t been enough study yet to show that medicinal marijuana is beneficial. However, it is being investigated as a possible therapy for some individuals with chronic or incurable illnesses who are unable to get relief from other treatments or to assist manage the adverse effects of other medicines.
Medicinal cannabis is currently being studied for the following applications:
- multiple sclerosis
- nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy
- non-cancer chronic pain
- palliative care
How can you access medicinal cannabis?
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the government agency that regulates the distribution of medicinal cannabis in Australia. Doctors can apply to the TGA to supply medicinal cannabis to specific patients through the Authorised Prescriber Scheme and Special Access Scheme. Patients may be able to obtain medicinal cannabis through a specialist doctor or their family doctor
You can’t apply to the TGA to acquire medicine yourself; only your doctor may do so. The physician must fulfill certain criteria, obtain permissions, and conform with relevant state legislation. However, the rules in each state are different, so you may or may not be able to access medicinal cannabis depending on them.
Your state’s law might be found here.
- ACT Health
- NSW Government
- Northern Territory Department of Health
- Queensland Health
- SA Health
- Tasmanian Department of Health
- Healthy WA
The Australian government amended the law this year to allow businesses to produce cannabis for research and create pharmaceuticals. Growing marijuana yourself or using it for non-medical purposes is still prohibited by law.
It’s also not recommended that you try to treat your problems with cannabis products or smoke “street” marijuana to see if it helps. In addition, it is against the law and you have no control over the dose or what may be in the product. Furthermore, there hasn’t been any research into any negative effects, and smoking of any sort can
Questions you should ask your doctor
- Could medicinal cannabis help my condition?
- Is it safe for me to use?
- Will it affect my other medications?
- Are there any side effects?
If you’re feeling unsure about what to ask, Healthdirect’s Question Builder can help. It may also be used to build a list of questions that could be printed or emailed, so you don’t forget anything important.
Alcohol and Drug Foundation (Medical cannabis), SA Health (Medicinal Cannabis Evidence Reviews and Guidance), Queensland Health (Patient guide to accessing medicinal cannabis), Epilepsy Action Australia (Cannabis for epilepsy), Therapeutic Goods Administration (Medicinal cannabis products)