Medicinal Cannabis

cannabis photo.jpg

Medical cannabis can be legally prescribed in Australia by a registered doctor. Under Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) guidelines, these doctors must apply for TGA approvals with each patient’s specific use of medical cannabis.

Medicinal cannabis is cannabis prescribed at controlled and titratable doses, to relieve the symptoms of a medical condition, such as chronic pain, severe anxiety, poorly controlled insomnia, fibromyalgia, palliative care and myriad of other conditions (which can be discussed with a doctor).

For some people with chronic or terminal illnesses, conventional medicines don’t work, or don’t work as effectively as medicinal cannabis. Also, for some patients, conventional medicines may work but cause debilitating side effects that cannabis can help to relieve. It is important to note that medicinal cannabis may not work for you and that it is just one alternative treatment to conventional management.

It is standard practice to have tried conventional therapies that would be considered first line treatment or reasonable alternative second line treatment as outlined by the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines. During your consultation you will be asked which of these conventional treatments you have already tried and why (if discontinued) it wasn't effective for you. This information is important to decide on appropriate management and to also formulate a medical history to submit in the TGA application for medicinal cannabis.

Cannabinoids:

(extract from: https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/medicinal-cannabis)

The main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which acts on specific receptors in the brain known as cannabinoid or CB1 receptors.

Research has found that the cannabis plant produces between 80 and 100 cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. The two main cannabinoids that have therapeutic benefits are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). There have been claims that other cannabinoids have therapeutic properties, but these have not yet been proven.

The main difference between the two cannabinoids is that THC has strong psychoactive effects, meaning it makes a person ‘high’, whereas CBD is thought to have an anti-psychoactive effect that controls or moderates the ‘high’ caused by the THC. CBD is also thought to reduce some of the other negative effects that people can experience from THC, such as anxiety.4

The psychoactive effects of THC, such as euphoria and feeling relaxed or sleepy, are well known, but it also has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as preventing and reducing vomiting.

Consultation for Medicinal Cannabis:

A consultation with a Myelin Prescriber will include:

- a thorough medical history

- 'may' include an examination

- 'may' include further pathology or imaging request

- eligibility assessment

- explanation of costs involved

It is advised you bring the following before your consultation:

- health summary of medical diagnoses/conditions you may have

- list of medications and dosing instructions (currently taking)

- list of treatments (if known) you have "already" tried for you proposed condition you are seeking medicinal cannabis for

- recent blood results and imaging (if available) in the last 12-24 months

Once you are deemed eligible for medicinal cannabis, a permit application to the TGA will need to be submitted which may take 1-3 days to be approved (so this means you wont be issued a script until this has been approved).

A follow-up consult will be required to issue the prescription.

There are many cannabis-only and cannabis+THC products available, an explanation of what may suit you will be provided. This can be changed to other formulations if it doesn't suit you in some way. These products come in many forms: oils, sprays, flowers, capsules.

Note: if a THC product is prescribed/used, you will be unable to drive according to state and government laws. In this instance if you are unable to commit to not driving, we can choose a cannabis-only formulation. If ceasing THC products and switching to cannabis-only, the THC can still be detected on a roadside drug test from 1-4 weeks depending on your fat stores and metabolism.

Costs:

Initial Consultation:

Non-concession: $200 after Medicare Rebate.

Concession Holders: $150 after Medicare Rebate.

Follow-up in the first month (~weekly): Bulk Billed* (with eligible medicare cards)

Subsequent consultations / script consults:

Non-Concession: $100 after Medicare Rebate.

Concession Holders: $80 after Medicare Rebate.

Contact:

Any queries, please email: cannabis.myelin@gmail.com

Bookings:

Book Online using the Book Online Link in the toolbar.

Consultations will either be conducted Face-to-Face at the East Melbourne Clinic (see Locations) on Sunday; or,

at the GP clinics from Monday - Friday (see Locations).