What you need to know
The information you need to make confident cannabis choices
We’re dedicated to helping you find the right treatment on your journey to better health.
To make medical cannabis easier to understand and access, we’ve developed a range of patient resources designed to help you make confident medical cannabis choices.
We’re here to help you so please contact our team for further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medicinal (or medical) cannabis refers to the use of cannabis or cannabinoid products that are prescribed by a medical professional to help alleviate symptoms of medical conditions or pain. It is highly regulated and cannabis medicines produced by a pharmaceutical company adhere to strict standards in regards to quality, safety and production.
Cannabis as a medicine does not include products used as a recreational product.
“Medical cannabis” is an all-encompassing term for anything from dried cannabis flowers, cannabis oils, capsules, tablets to oromucosal spray. Common to all of these products is that they contain either parts of the cannabis plant, active substances from the plant or synthetic cannabinoids, and that they are used for treatment of illness.
Over 200 conditions have been approved in Australia by the TGA to use medicinal marijuana as a treatment.
Having said that, there is no set list of eligible health conditions that can be considered by the TGA. A doctor and the relevant health authorities need to approve its use for the patient considering individual circumstances and if there is evidence or research showing therapeutic benefit from the use of medical cannabis in patients with a similar medical condition. A doctor can prescribe medicinal cannabis only after established treatments have been trialled and / or have been unsuccessful (with the exception of palliative care).
To see a graph of which medical conditions have been approved for use of medical cannabis by the TGA please visit their webpage- https://www.tga.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis-special-access-scheme-category-b-data
Yes, these two terms are used interchangeably.
Medical cannabis has been legal in Australia since 2016.
As medical cannabis is a relatively new healthcare treatment option for Australian doctors, some practitioners may lack experience or not be comfortable prescribing medicinal cannabis. As most medicinal cannabis products are currently not registered, the regulatory framework also imposes different and generally more challenges and time-consuming requirements than those applicable to TGA-approved and established products.
If you would like assistance in finding a prescriber who is open to medical cannabis as a treatment option then please call our Customer Care team on 1300 703 999 for assistance.
A prescription must be provided by a medical professional, whether a GP, nurse prescriber or a specialist.
All medical practitioners and nurse prescribers are eligible to prescribe medicinal cannabis products.
Your prescriber should have appropriate qualifications and/or expertise to treat the condition for which the proposed product would be used. If your prescriber is not a specialist in the condition and is submitting an application, then depending on the circumstances, the TGA may ask for a report from the appropriate treating specialist on the use and suitability of the medicinal cannabis product for you and your particular condition.
Your prescriber and dispensing pharmacist should explain how to use LGP medicines. However, further information is available at How to use LGP Products
Private rebates are at the discretion of the individual health fund. It is recommended that you contact your fund or health insurer to discuss your cover and options.
HIF is the industry leader regarding cover and rebates for medicinal cannabis. HIF will pay a benefit towards medicinal cannabis products if your Extras cover includes Pharmacy. The benefits are payable from 9th September 2020. Find more here Medicinal Cannabis And Treatment Access (hif.com.au)
Medicare may cover your consultation with your GP or specialist, however this will depend on the fee policy of your medical practitioner and the type of appointment (telehealth and new patients may not be eligible for a rebate).
Download our Steps to Access Guide
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