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FAQs

What is CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are types of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, of which there are roughly 138 others. CBD is non-psychoactive, while THC is responsible for the psychoactive ‘euphoric’ effects of cannabis.

Is medical cannabis legal in Australia?

Medical cannabis has been legal in Australia since March 2017. Medical cannabis purchased online is not legal. Medicinal cannabis products can only be legally obtained from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription.

Do I need a health summary to be seen?

A health summary is essential as this allows the doctor to have a more comprehensive overview of one’s health history and tailor your prescription to your specific medical conditions and medications that you are taking

 

What is the difference between a referral and a health summary? What should a health summary include?

A referral is when your GP specifically endorses the use of medicinal cannabis products. Some GPs are not familiar with cannabis and understandably, may not feel comfortable with endorsing its use. In these instances, you can request that instead they provide you with your health summary which should include a list of all your medical conditions, medications that you are taking, allergies, recent blood tests and investigations relevant to the condition for which you are seeking help for

What does the process look like from the first call to when I receive the medicine?

A booking can be made with our lovely receptionists and you will be sent some information via email and pre-consultation forms to fill out (mandatory)

Your initial consult will be double appointment going through your symptoms, indications for cannabis treatment and choosing the right product for you. During that appointment an applications for medication is completed through either the TGA Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme, with a turn around time of around 48 hours

A subsequent (prescription) telehealth consult will be conducted once TGA approval is attained, and the prescription will be sent either via e-prescription to your phone or email, or if you attend our practice in person the prescription can be printed. This prescription can be used at any pharmacy that offers the popular products we know and trust (Cannatrek, Tilray, Aruma) and we will work with you if you have particular brand or formulation preferences

Your product can then be picked up from the pharmacy, or alternatively most pharmacies offer express post to your home for under $10. Total turn around time between initial consult and starting treatment is usually around 1 week at current

 

What happens if I do not achieve any benefits or results with medicinal cannabis?

It is important to understand that results will take time (weeks to months). Doses are titrated to achieve maximal clinical effect with minimal side effects. Different patients respond to different formulations in different ways and there is a degree of trial and error expected in order to find the optimal formulation for you. Nonetheless, in a small subset of patients, one may not achieve significant benefit despite months of trial and error

What are the costs for medication?

The average costs for medical cannabis is between $2 and $12 a day

How do I qualify for a medicare rebate?

If you have attended our practice physically within the past 12 months (including as a new patient), there will be a rebate for every subsequent consult

 

Does the doctor prescribe only specific products from certain Medicinal cannabis companies?

No, the doctors are able to prescribe all products which have been passed verification standards by the relevant authorities

 

Can I have alcohol and other illicit substances whilst on Medicinal cannabis?

It is not advised to have alcohol or other illicit substances whilst taking Medicinal cannabis as it can potentiate the side effects and cause more severe reactions.

 

Can I drive whilst on Medicinal cannabis?

This is a complex topic and should be discussed with your treating doctor. It depends on what type of Medicinal cannabis product you are taking. It is illegal for any patient being treated with medicinal endocannabinoids containing THC to drive while undergoing treatment.

 

Does Medicinal cannabis interact with other medications?

Interactions are possible and therefore it is essential that you have a health summary with an active list of all current medications which you are taking. Side effects will be closely monitored during your treatment including liver function as CBD/THC is metabolised by the liver

How do I administer cannabis oil?

Oils are taken via a dropper or a syringe which have measurements on them allowing you to see exactly how much you are taking. It is best taken with something fatty (ie peanut butter, avocado, yoghurt) for optimal absorption. A drop should be placed under the tongue, swirled in the mouth for 60-90 seconds then swallowed.

 

How do I take the cannabis herb?

The dried cannabis herb should ideally be ground and placed within a medically approved vapouriser which allows it to be heated at the optimal temperature for achieving the most efficient therapeutic effect.

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