Street vs Medical Cannabis
Medical vs street (illicit) cannabis
The obvious difference between *street cannabis and medical cannabis is quality control. As street cannabis market is, by definition, illegal, regulatory bodies do not impose standards or testing requirements as mentioned above. Please note: Products that patients can simply buy online also are considered illicit as this is not within Australian regulation and do not go through the same testing processes.
In contrast, medical cannabis in Australia is highly regulated to ensure patient safety and consistency of product formulation.
A number of safety concerns result from the lack of quality control of street cannabis. Without complete chemical analysis in a certified laboratory, the composition of street cannabis is essentially unknown. It follows that concentrations of the psychoactive element, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), may be significantly higher than expected, increasing risk of adverse events.
Products containing higher than expected THC levels are also a concern of patients who wish to be medicated with products containing zero THC so they can be assured they will not fail a drug test for driving or work purposes.
In addition, there is the issue that street cannabis may also contain microbes, pesticides or other nasties which may put patients with low immune systems at further risk.
*'street cannabis' refers to any product which is not certified in a laboratory and regulated by a regulatory medical agency.
Strict testing of Medical Cannabis medicine in Australia
Australia has some of the strictest quality requirements for therapeutic goods globally thanks to the Australian Government’s commitment to providing a safe product to patients. All medical cannabis therapies produced within Australia must satisfy the strict labelling and quality requirements of Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93 (Standard for Medicinal Cannabis) (TGO 93). TGO 93 is a standard that specifies minimum quality requirements for medicinal cannabis products and ensures all products are free from pesticides, moulds, bacteria, heavy metals, etc.
All Little Green Pharma products must satisfy TGO 93 before they are released to market and, like any therapeutic good may be subject to testing by the TGA, Australia's regulatory authority for therapeutic goods, at any time to ensure compliance with relevant standards.
Along with the TGA compliance, Little Green Pharma also has all its medicinal cannabis produced in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility. This means the ratio of THC and CBD within each bottle is tested according to quality standards and is accurate to the millilitre. Illegal products are unable to have their product tested.
The strict testing and compliance requirements ensure Little Green Pharma products are highly sought after in global markets.