Medicinal Cannabis | Medicinal Cannabis Clinic | Canndoc

Cannabis

How Do Doctors Recommend Taking Medical Cannabis?

Outside of the plant-based medical field, when thinking about cannabis use, most people will get an image inspired by television or movies of a person smoking the plant to get “high”. Naturally, this is a turn-off for many patients because, firstly, these films instil negative associations regarding how these people are seen in society and secondly, smoking is bad for you. 

Thankfully, no doctor specialising in treatment using medicinal cannabis will ever recommend it be smoked. 

We have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions to help break some common myths and bring to light how medicinal cannabis is actually prescribed by doctors and used by patients. Below we endeavour to answer these questions in as much detail as possible so that you can feel comfortable and confident before seeking out this treatment. 

How can you take medical cannabis?

As we touched on above, the smoking of medicinal cannabis is never advised by doctors. In fact, doctors find great pleasure in successfully converting patients from the use of smoking cannabis to vaping; it is referred to as ‘harm minimization’. Smoking, in any form, releases toxic compounds which can damage the lungs and cause uncomfortable side effects such as coughing, sputum and bronchitis.

Instead, there are a variety of alternative ways that medical cannabis can be used. The two primary methods are: 

Oral 

Most often, patients will receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis that can be taken orally. Oral solutions come in the form of capsules, oil drops and sprays. 

Vaporisation 

Using a special device called a vaporiser, patients can inhale the vapour from the cannabis flower to get its effects. Unlike smoking, these devices heat the cannabis flower and release the cannabinoids into a vapour. Patients simply inhale. This vapour “smoke” is not the result of burning the flower. Thus, it does not release toxic compounds as smoking does. 

Topical creams, patches or gels can also be prescribed. These are for direct application and can have some therapeutic benefits, but they are not so commonly used. 

What’s the most common way doctors recommend taking medical cannabis?

Cannabis specialist doctors work closely with patients to understand their illness or ailments, as well as their medical history and current prescriptions. The means by which doctors recommend patients take medicinal cannabis will, depend on the clinical indication, as well as the preference of the patient. 

Where possible, doctors want their patients to feel comfortable, both in the effects of the treatment as well as how it is taken. We mentioned above the two most common ways to use medicinal cannabis. Below we will look at how these two ways of taking medicinal cannabis work on the body to paint a picture of what scenarios may apply to which kind of treatment. 

Oral treatments

Oral treatments, any kind of medicinal cannabis solution which is taken orally and absorbed in the stomach, are slow-releasing treatments. After an oral treatment has been taken, it can take somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes for any effects to be felt and then it has long-lasting therapeutic effects. The peak of the effects can be felt around two to four hours after being taken, and the total length of time where patients can still feel the treatment is up to eight hours. For this reason, many patients commence on a regime of morning and night doses, so as to last throughout the day as well as while they sleep. 

Vaporisation treatments

Vaporised medicinal cannabis is absorbed differently from oral treatments. Inhaling vapour bypasses the digestive process, and instead, it is absorbed in the lungs. Because it is not metabolised in the same way through the stomach, it is absorbed much faster in the body, and the effects are felt very soon after use. The effects of vaporisation will typically be felt within 90 seconds and reach the full peak of the effect in just 15 to 30 minutes. The total time effects are felt from vaporisation is between two to four hours. Just as the effects release quickly, they will also pass quickly – when compared to oral treatments. 

How is medicinal cannabis different from marijuana?

On the surface, medicinal cannabis and marijuana are the same. But that does not mean that recreational (illegal) marijuana is a good alternative to medicinal cannabis. They may come from the same plant, but the means by which they are produced can make them very different by the time they reach the hands of the patient. 

Both feature the same properties: cannabinoids. These naturally occurring chemicals are what have made cannabis/marijuana such an important plant in the sphere of plant-based medicine. The most common of these chemicals are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

Where medicinal cannabis and street marijuana begin to really differ is in how they are produced. The Therapeutic Goods Association regulates medicinal cannabis. They are responsible for overseeing strict guidelines that approved medicinal cannabis cultivators have to follow. These cultivators grow medicinal cannabis plants and produce all of the solutions, withdrawing specific compounds — be it THC or CBD — to provide regulation approved capsules, sprays, oils, vaporisable flowers and other solutions and doses. 

Street marijuana, on the other hand, due to its illegal nature, is not grown under any regulations. This means that users rarely know how it is produced. There are many different kinds of plants, all producing different effects, and many growers of illegal cannabis will use certain chemicals or growing methods to increase the high effect from the THC. This is not a positive alteration, and these growers are not skilled to understand how this impacts users. Furthermore, illegal marijuana is most often sold to users in plant form, where it is expected it will be smoked. Which, as mentioned, can produce adverse reactions and side effects in the body.

Why smoking cannabis for medical purposes is not recommended

The harmful effects of cigarette smoking are well known in Australia, and as a result, cigarettes have been heavily taxed and regulated. Smoking, in any form, has these extremely harmful side effects. That too goes for cannabis. 

Because of the many therapeutic benefits of cannabis, there is a tendency to forget that smoke in any form — including burning food in your kitchen — releases toxic compounds, irritants and carcinogens that can damage your lungs or worse. Cannabis has significant benefits, but smoking it remains harmful. Adding to the potential danger of smoking cannabis is how it is inhaled. Unlike when someone smokes a cigarette, cannabis is often inhaled deeper and held for longer. This increases the exposure to tar, toxic compounds, irritants and carcinogens. 

The negative consequences of smoke inhalation mean that no medical doctor specialising in cannabis treatments would recommend it be used in this way. 

How to access medicinal cannabis in Australia

Since 2016, medicinal cannabis has been regulated in Australia, with states all adopting their own controls on how patients can gain access. As of 2021, most states afford access to patients who have not found relief or results through other traditional, conventional lines of treatment. 

Authorised organisations, such as Cannadoc, are then the means through which patients can obtain a legal medicinal cannabis prescription. In some cases, GPs may be able to source legal cannabis. This applies to those that have gone through the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme. However, most GPs will simply refer patients to medical professionals that specialise in cannabis treatments, such as Cannadoc. 

Patients seeking to explore medicinal cannabis as a treatment option can do so via two potential paths:

  1. GP referral
  2. Self-referral.

Those who have a General Practitioner can simply request a referral to see a cannabis specialist. Patients can even supply our referral form to make the process easy for the GP to submit if they deem the patient to be eligible. 

Those who do not have a regular GP, or do not feel supported by their GP for whatever reason, can complete an eligibility test to check they meet the criteria to be considered as a patient, which will then allow them to self-refer. 

Who is eligible for medicinal cannabis in Australia

There is no black and white answer to this question, unfortunately. Medical cannabis is a treatment option for patients with which conventional medications have proven unsuccessful.  In saying that, there are still criteria that need to be met in order to be deemed eligible. 

Most commonly, medicinal cannabis is prescribed for those with: 

  • Anxiety
  • Epilepsy 
  • Insomnia
  • Neurodevelopmental Conditions – e.g. Autism
  • Spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic non-cancer pain:
    • arthritis
    • lower back pain
    • neck pain
    • other neuropathic pains.
  • Cancer related pain 
  • Chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting 

Every case is carefully assessed, full medical histories are complete, and a comprehensive understanding of all existing treatments — medications, vitamins and everything else — is compiled before any recommendations are made. This level of critical assessment is essential to ensure that any treatments are safe and provide optimal results.  

If you would like to understand more about medical cannabis and whether it could be a treatment option for you, please contact Cannadoc on 1300 944 033 or email us at info@cannadoc.com.au. Our team of medical doctors are here to offer you all the advice and support you need to get the relief you deserve.

What Is Medical Cannabis, and How Does It Work?

Although cannabis has only just begun to receive mainstream recognition for its medicinal applications internationally and in Australia, it’s been around for all of recorded history. There are mentions of its therapeutic use in many corners of the world from as early as 2900 BC, and it’s been studied and recommended by modern science since the 1840s. 

While there were many years where government regulation had to catch up to scientific research, we are now in an age where those who can benefit from medicinal cannabis can access it through legal means. As this is quite a new turn of events, patients have a lot of questions, which we will endeavour to answer below. 

What is medical cannabis?

Medicinal cannabis, or medicinal marijuana, as it’s also commonly known, is a plant-based treatment that can be used for a variety of diseases or conditions. The properties making this plant so powerful for healing are the naturally occurring chemicals, known as cannabinoids, which have different effects on the body. Although cannabis has more than 100 different cannabinoids, it’s delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) that are predominantly used in medicinal treatments. 

THC is the chemical known to give the “high” feeling that is usually associated with cannabis use, and CBD is often considered the medicinal component. Both, however, have medicinal benefits, and both can be used for treatments tailored to individuals and their needs or particular preferences. Rest assured, patients who are prescribed THC treatment will not experience the psychoactive effects that recreational users often chase.

While medicinal cannabis comes from the same type of plants as the commonly known recreational cannabis, the primary difference is that medicinal cannabis is heavily regulated and comes exclusively from the Cannabis sativa plant. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Association is responsible for overseeing how medicinal cannabis is accessed and ensures that strict guidelines are followed by approved cultivators, who have been producing medicinal cannabis in Australia since 2016. 

How does medical cannabis work?

The natural compounds mentioned above — cannabinoids — can help regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This connection between the plant and our own endocannabinoid system allows these natural chemicals to bind to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors and produce different effects. 

The ECS’s role in the body is to keep us in homeostasis – balance. Chronic pain, anxiety, disease and other ailments throw off this balance, and it’s the role of the ECS to bring it back.

Responsible for some of our key physiological functions, such as metabolism, immunity, mood, memory and energy, medicinal treatments that benefit the endocannabinoid system can have positive impacts on the aforementioned: metabolism, immunity, mood, memory and energy. 

Medicinal cannabis producers extract these beneficial compounds from the plant so that patients get dosages that deal directly with their particular ailment. The cannabinoids most beneficial for the endocannabinoid system are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (cannabidiol).

What is medical cannabis used for?

In Australia, medical cannabis is considered a treatment option for those who have not found results through traditional solutions. It has garnered the most impressive results for the treatment of epilepsy and relieving nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. In addition, it is widely prescribed for those suffering with: 

  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathic pains
  • Spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Epilepsy in adults.

Patients with chronic pains make up the largest portion of medicinal cannabis users, followed by sufferers of anxiety. and then for treatment of epilepsy. 

How do you take medical cannabis?

Most patients are happy to learn that the smoking of medicinal cannabis is strongly discouraged. The majority of prescriptions will be an oral solution, but there are a number of other ways medicinal cannabis can be taken, which is best will and will depend on the clinical indication. The primary solutions include: 

Oral 

Oral prescriptions could take the form of sprays, oil drops or capsules. These are absorbed slowly in the body and take around 30 to 90 minutes before the effects are first felt, and can take between two to four hours before the effects reach their peak. Oral treatments can last around eight hours.

Vaporisation 

Vaporisation uses a special device that heats the cannabis flower, releasing the cannabinoids into a vapour form which is then inhaled by the patient. Vaporisation does not create the toxic compounds that smoking does, making it a safe alternative while offering the same rapid absorption into the body. The effects of inhaling the vapour will come within the first 90 seconds, with full effects able to be felt anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes later. Vaporisation lasts between two to four hours. 

Topical

For direct application onto the problem area, patches, gels, or creams may be recommended. 

Is medical cannabis legal in Australia?

Medicinal cannabis has been legal under the Australian Federal Government since 2016, and the means to supply medicinal cannabis has matured since then. Today, through the Therapeutic Good Administration, approved providers operate around the country to offer cannabis solutions that follow strict guidelines to ensure quality and safety. 

Legal medicinal cannabis is only accessible through a medical doctor in Australia. Patients are typically recommended to get a GP referral to visit a clinic, such as ours, to meet with medical doctors specialising in medicinal cannabis treatments. These protocols are important to ensure that patients are receiving holistic healthcare, as many patients who suffer from pain, anxiety, and other conditions may be receiving other traditional treatments. Most conventional medications are completely safe and complementary to use in conjunction with medicinal cannabis.

With a prescription from your doctor, an approved pharmacy will distribute the medicinal cannabis solution right to your door for both convenience and discretion. 

Are there any side effects with medical cannabis?

As with all medicinal treatments, there are certain side effects that patients may experience. In the case of medicinal cannabis, these side effects are most often from the THC component. THC is psychoactive, which may sound concerning, but psychoactive substances are very common in daily life. Alcohol, for example, is psychoactive, and so is caffeine. 

One interesting observation of medicinal cannabis is that users often develop a tolerance to its side effects quite quickly, while the therapeutic dose retains the same effects, which means that side effects, for some patients, will reduce in a short period, but the dose can remain stable and effective for years. 

Some of the common side effects of THC are:  

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive effects. 

Other side effects can occur when medicinal cannabis is combined with other medications that cause drowsiness. This is one more reason why it is so important to work with medical doctors for cannabis prescriptions. The team at Cannadoc work with your GP and you to get a full picture of your treatment and design a complementary solution with minimal side effects.  

When users smoke cannabis, which is the most common way to take illegally sourced cannabis, the most common side effects are coughing, sputum and bronchitis. Smoking medicinal cannabis is not advised. The damage from toxic compounds in smoke is counter to the benefits one would try to achieve through the use of medicinal cannabis. 

It’s important to remember that THC does impair cognitive functioning, which means it is dangerous to drive or work with heavy machinery. Driving while impaired by THC is illegal, regardless of your legal prescription and use. 

How do you get medical cannabis in Australia?

Medicinal cannabis can only be obtained through an Authorised Prescriber, such as Cannadoc. Some GPs may be able to source legal medicinal cannabis through the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme, but most will offer a referral to a provider like ours, who is able to consult with patients on the best treatment solution. 

At Cannadoc, we have two routes patients can take to find treatment through us:

  1. You can get a referral from your General Practitioner
  2. You can go through our self-referral pathway.

If you want to ask your GP for a referral, you can simply share our referral form and ask them to fill out your information if they deem you to be eligible. 

Should you seek to self-refer, you can go through our eligibility test to check first if you meet the eligibility criteria. 

No matter which path you take to the Cannadoc team, we complete a thorough evaluation to assess your medical history. We develop a comprehensive understanding of your situation and tailor treatment plans that meet your specific needs. This ensures that your prescription complements existing medications and other therapies to provide optimal results. 

Depending on your State, permits and applications may be necessary. Both of which we help you to navigate in order to get access to your medicinal cannabis. 

If you believe medicinal cannabis could be a helpful treatment plan for your illness or ailment, contact the team at Cannadoc, and we can guide you further with advice and support. Contact us on 1300 944 033 or email info@cannadoc.com.au to learn more.

Telehealth & Digitization: Benefitting the Medical Cannabis Industry

Just as the medical cannabis industry in Australia gains momentum, the digital revolution within the medical industry has also begun. These two developments have benefitted both patients and doctors alike, and as more and more patients seek information on medical cannabis, these innovative digital technologies are facilitating this process in so many ways.

If you are a first-time patient, or a patient already receiving medical cannabis treatment and want to discover more about the benefits and advantages of a Telehealth consultation, read on to find out more.

What are Telehealth Services for Medical Cannabis?

Telehealth services for medical cannabis enable patients to access medical cannabis treatments in a remote way. The process involves using telecommunication to carry out a diagnosis, prescribe treatment or educate patients about the potential medical cannabis treatment options available to them. This means if you are unable to visit a medical cannabis clinic in person you can still be attended by your medical cannabis doctor and have your consultations from home.

Telehealth services for medical cannabis are usually carried out through a phone call or an online meeting via the internet. Although the preferred way to have your Telehealth consultation is via videoconferencing, whichever method you select, you will speak to a doctor who will advise you on the potential medical cannabis treatment options available for your specific health condition.

There are various Telehealth service companies available, which facilitate the process of being attended by a medical cannabis doctor.

How Can I Access Medical Cannabis with a Telehealth Consultation?

Accessing medical cannabis via Telehealth is usually done through referral. Patients are only eligible if they have been approved for this treatment by a medical practitioner. Your doctor will refer you to a medical cannabis doctor and, once you have received access, your medical cannabis clinic can arrange consultations either face-to-face, via videoconference, over the phone or by Telehealth. This will even include selecting a local pharmacy to enable easy access to your medicines.

How does Telehealth Help Patients Seeking Medical Cannabis Treatments?

Using Telehealth services is beneficial in many ways. Not only can those who live in remote locations benefit from being able to easily attend their consultations, it is also cost-effective and convenient, eliminating the need to travel great distances on a regular basis for many patients.

Telehealth services also enable patients to access medical cannabis treatments even if they have physiological difficulties or problems moving around. This means, even if you are physically impaired, you can attend your consultations without any complications.

The advantages of Telehealth also include the fact that medical cannabis prescriptions are easier to access. This means repeat prescriptions can be easily issued without the need to travel to a medical cannabis clinic or attend your consultation in-person.

Taking all of these benefits together, Telehealth is also a stress-free experience. If you are a first-time patient looking for advice on potential medical cannabis treatments, the fact that you can attend your consultation from the comfort of your own home is an additional bonus.

How do Cannabis Telehealth Services Compare to In-Person Appointments?

Telehealth services are different from in-person appointments in that your online doctor cannot assess your physical health or carry out a physical health examination. For this reason, ruling out an in-person consultation altogether should be avoided. This is not to say that Telehealth should never be used, but that in-person appointments are also important as well.

As mentioned, in a similar way to in-person appointments, a medical cannabis doctor can still prescribe medical cannabis via a Telehealth service. This means, although you shouldn’t neglect to have an in-person consultation with your medical cannabis doctor, each service is similar in terms of receiving your prescriptions.

There is also no need to wait in a doctor’s office beforehand to be seen, which means that medical cannabis Telehealth services are usually faster than in-person appointments. This is beneficial for those who may work long hours and need to schedule a consultation with a medical cannabis doctor without losing time.

Although in certain circumstances an in-person visit might be more appropriate, Telehealth is considered particularly useful if your medical cannabis doctor is familiar with you or already knows your medical history.

How are Medical Cannabis Prescriptions Provided Via Telehealth Services?

In addition to having the option of receiving your prescription by post, through medical cannabis Telehealth consultations you can opt for an electronic version. The digitisation of medical cannabis prescriptions has made it significantly easier for patients to receive them. This means that your prescriber can instantly send your ‘image-based prescription’, which is https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-the-health-and-disability-sector/providing-health-care-remotely-during-covid-19#how-to-provide-prescriptions-and-prescription-medication-via-telehealth a digital image of the paper prescription, to your the pharmacy of your choice.

What are the Advantages of Digitised Medical Cannabis Prescriptions?

There are various benefits of receiving electronic medical cannabis prescriptions via Telehealth. Not only do they eliminate the need to handle and store a physical paper prescription, they also support electronic medication charts in hospitals and make the process of dispensing medicines more efficient and decreases potential dispensing errors.

How do Costs Compare for In-Person and Telehealth Medical Cannabis Consultations?

The costs of Telehealth for medical cannabis consultations are usually cheaper than an in-person consultation. This is because less money is spent on travelling to your medical cannabis clinic. The initial, comprehensive consultation at cannadoc.com.au, for instance, costs $290 with a referral. There is also a self-referral option that costs $340, which requires a few additional steps such as obtaining medical reports.

Final Thoughts

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the demand for medical cannabis is steadily increasing, and with more and more patients trying to access medical cannabis, the benefits of Telehealth in this context are numerous. Not only can you cut travel costs and travel time, you can also have your medical cannabis consultations from the comfort of your home. Find out more about medical cannabis Telehealth consultations here.

People Also Ask

What is the difference between digitisation and Telehealth?

While digitisation encompasses the use of technology to provide appropriate prescriptions to patients, Telehealth usually refers to the telecommunications that practitioners use to provide health care remotely. Telehealth is a wide-ranging term that also includes consultation services, patient education and information given remotely.

Cannabis vs. Hemp: Understanding the Key Difference

The Cannabis Sativa species produces both cannabis and hemp. For this reason, people have had some difficulty distinguishing between these products for many years. Not only do producers and marketers of these products often conflate the terms ‘cannabis’ and ‘hemp’ without knowing the difference, the many years of prohibition of these products has not helped. It has directly led to a lack of knowledge about cannabis vs hemp. This is another factor that makes it difficult to understand their key differences.

But it is still incredibly important to know how to distinguish between them, particularly if you are considering medical cannabis as a potential treatment. They are different in terms of their usages, properties, and characteristics, which we will explore and examine in this short post.

The Difficulty of Classifying Cannabis vs Hemp

Classifying cannabis and hemp is difficult for various reasons. In addition to the lack of knowledge available about these products, across the globe there are different laws to classify cannabis vs hemp.

Although it is generally accepted in the US that hemp is classified as containing less than 0.3 percent THC, in Europe this defining percentage was (until recently) 0.2 percent. In Europe however, this has recently changed, and percentages are now the same as the US. There are also some exceptions to this law. In Europe for instance, not all cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent THC is classified as hemp. The plant strain needs to come from an EU approved hemp list.

In Australia, hemp classification varies by state in that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) must be below 1 percent in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland and 0.35 per cent in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. Regarding hemp products sold in Australia, they must also meet strict requirements. For example, hemp seed oil must have a total cannabidiol (CBD) content of 0.0075% or less and a total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of 0.005% or less. If these cannabinoid amounts are greater than what is defined by the law, then the product is considered a scheduled therapeutic good.

Cultivation Method of Cannabis vs Hemp

One way that we can distinguish between these products is to recognise that cannabis and hemp are cultivated in different ways. Cannabis usually needs specific conditions (especially for pharmaceutical products) and tightly controlled variables such as temperature, light and humidity conditions. If these factors are not properly monitored, this can lead to disease and the eventual death of the plant. With this in mind, it is usually more expensive than hemp, which doesn’t require as much control or maintenance. Hemp is also commonly grown outside and has a longer growth cycle.

Usages of Cannabis vs Hemp

Although the popularity of cannabis for recreational drug use is indisputable, it is also considered a medicinal drug. Unfortunately, there is still not a lot of clinical evidence for doctors to access if they are interested in prescribing a medicinal cannabis product to a patient.

Hemp, on the other hand, is available in a large selection of products. It also takes various forms – from seeds to oils and capsules, and these many types of hemp are used in foods, body and skincare products, while some fibres are even used for fuel.

Uses of Cannabis Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

Cannabis oil is usually created through various extraction methods using the plants flowers from the Cannabis Sativa or Indica strains. Although it is similar to hemp seed oil in various ways it offers the addition of cannabinoids like CBD and THC. It usually comes with a certificate of analysis, which provides details of what the product contains. Also, whereas the benefits of hemp seed oil have been recognised for years for skincare and beauty regimes, cannabis oil is a product that is new to most markets.

 

Hemp seed oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plan, can be used for a range of foods as it provides an excellent source of nutrients such as omegas’ 3 and 6. Not only is hemp seed oil also rich in antioxidants, it is also an excellent source of protein.

Hemp Food Products

Hemp based foods are in high demand. The supply generally meets this demand around the world, with food products such as hemp seed spreads, energy bars and oil being produced and available to purchase from natural food stores.

Levels of THC in Cannabis vs Hemp: the Essential Difference

Cannabis refers to the Cannabis Sativa or Indica plant that is grown for its high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – (a psychoactive substance found in the flowers of the plant), hemp refers to a strain of Cannabis Sativa that contains at most, very small quantities of THC.

People Also Ask

Is Hemp Different from Cannabis?

Hemp and cannabis might be derived from the same plant (Cannabis Sativa), but they are used in different ways. Hemp can be used for creating textiles, fabrics, and can be used in food and skin products. Cannabis, on the other hand, is used for medicinal or recreational purposes.

Does Hemp Contain CBD?

There are certain strains of hemp that have high cannabidiol (CBD) content. Some manufacturers use these plants to produce CBD oil.

7 Things to Expect During a Medical Cannabis Consultation

If you have carried out in-depth research into medical cannabis you might have noticed that internet is filled with information. You might have even made the decision that this course of treatment is worth exploring. But one of the most frequent questions asked by patients before they begin medical cannabis treatment in Australia is what they can expect during the consultation process.

There are many things to anticipate before a consultation with a medical cannabis consultant, and it is important to be prepared, but the most reputable, fully qualified doctors will make the process as simple as possible.

If you are preparing for a consultation and feel slightly apprehensive or unsure about what it is likely to consist of, here are 7 things you can expect during a meeting with your medical cannabis consultant.

1. Expect Paperwork and Applications

paper work

Before your consultation with your medical cannabis doctor, which can last up to 45 minutes depending on various factors, you will need to fill out your registration paperwork and pay an initial cost. The costs charged by a medical cannabis consultant are for the consultation itself, paperwork fees to bodies like the Department of Health and/or application/s to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for permits to access. (Medical cannabis is regulated by the TGA.)

2. Prepare for a Discussion on Your Condition

After you have scheduled in your appointment with your medical cannabis consultant, and completed your registration paperwork, you will have your first consultation. This consultation might either be through a telehealth appointment or you might attend the clinic to discuss your course of treatment with your medical cannabis consultants face to face.

The consultation includes discussing your health condition, your symptoms and how medical cannabis treatment works. You can expect to give information on your previous medical history while focusing on the particular condition to be treated with medical cannabis. If treatment with medicinal cannabis is not appropriate, we will let you know and provide alternative suggestions.

Your medical cannabis consultation also includes discussing the previous medications you have taken in the past for the specific condition you would like treated. It also includes a discussion on the medications that you are taking now, which is important as there is the potential for them to interact with medical cannabis.

3. Expect to Give Your Reasons for Considering Medical Cannabis

Part of your consultation will include a discussion on why you have considered taking medical cannabis. You might therefore want to prepare to describe the reasons why you have chosen this specific course of treatment. It might be that your previous medication options have had intolerable side effects or that they have been ineffective in treating your condition.

Also, as you are serious about this course of treatment, you should expect to give an outline as to what you expect from medical cannabis as a treatment. You can expect your medical cannabis consultant to ask about your expectations. In this case it is important to be prepared to refer to any research you have undertaken and describe the potential benefits of medical cannabis in relation to your specific condition.

4. You Will Learn About the Different Medical Cannabis Products

During your consultation with a medical cannabis doctor, you can also expect to receive the latest, most up to date information on medical cannabis. Medical cannabis consultants aim to provide you with a detailed explanation on exactly what medical cannabis is, in addition to how it is used.

 

Not only will you gain facts on the risks versus benefits, and the pros and cons of medical cannabis, your medical cannabis consultants will give you information on the science behind medical cannabis and the range of products available. This might include the benefits and drawbacks of things like capsules or medical cannabis oil.

You can also expect to learn about the uses of cannabinoids, potential medical interactions of medical cannabis and how to use it safely.

Medical cannabis can interact with other medicines, which is why it is essential to inform your medical cannabis consultant of the medications you are currently taking.

5. You will Receive a Treatment Plan and a Dosing Guide

plan

As part of your medical cannabis consultation you will receive a treatment plan, which the nurse or doctor will explain to you in detail. You will also be given information on dosing and be guided through the minimal effective dose. This is important as the minimal effective dose will enable you to continue with your daily life while ensuring that you are getting the best care.

6. Your Consultant will Discuss the Access Process with you

During your consultation with your medical cannabis consultant, part of the discussion will include information on the access process.

Access and approval of medical cannabis is usually granted via access schemes such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Special Access Scheme. Your medical cannabis doctor will apply to the TGA to confirm that your condition would be well treated with medical cannabis. Expect to receive details about the medical cannabis access process, in addition to the various steps involved.

7. Expect to Receive a Follow up in Four to Six Weeks for a Review of your Progress

Your medical cannabis consultant will also want to follow up with you and review your progress. You can expect to book another appointment in which you can discuss how you are progressing with your chosen medical cannabis products.

In addition to the specific medical cannabis products you have been taking, you will be able to review the dose of medical cannabis you have been prescribed. Your medical cannabis consultant will be able to make adjustments to your dosage in line with your progress if required.

People Also Ask

Where Can I Find a Medical Cannabis Consultant?

There are a range of medical cannabis clinics available to you in Australia. Cannadoc is one such example, and our reputable, fully qualified medical cannabis doctors and consultants are available to help you access the treatment you require for your condition. Our consultants can assist you whether you are based in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide. Contact us today to find out exactly how we can assist you with your treatment.

Getting a Referral: How to Talk to Your Doctor About Medical Cannabis

Opening up to your doctor about alternative treatments such as medical cannabis might be daunting for a number of reasons. You might be anxious about the fact that medical cannabis is a very new type of treatment in Australia, and both you and your GP might not have much experience in this area.

What this means for you as a patient is that you should undertake a bit of preparation before approaching your GP about medical cannabis and asking for a referral to our clinic. Because, as there are a few hurdles to clear when applying for medical cannabis, being prepared in this area is important.

Improving your health and getting your symptoms treated shouldn’t be stressful, but if you are concerned about how to talk to your GP about medical cannabis as a potential treatment, the information provided here will point you in the right direction.

Why Being Prepared for Your Consultation is Fundamental

Although talking to a GP about medical cannabis and being referred to a medical cannabis clinic in Australia might fill you with worry, being prepared always helps. Even though many doctors might be reluctant to prescribe medical cannabis, some patients are finding it is changing their lives for the better every day. And by approaching your doctor with the following facts, the appropriate mind set, and these tips, you will soon be on your way.

Gather as Much Information on Your Condition as Possible

The more you know about your health condition and the ways that medical cannabis might affect you, the better. So begin by researching your illness as much as possible. Be knowledgeable about your condition before approaching your GP and being referred to a medical cannabis doctor – this way, you will have more of an insight into your GP’s responses and questions.

You should also look into the benefits and potential disadvantages of using medical cannabis, specifically in relation to your illness and symptoms, and be prepared to potentially answer questions about your choice of treatment.

Approach Your GP with Appropriate Questions

Your list of questions will act as a guide and help you to find out more about the uses of medical cannabis in relation to your condition. They will also show that you are serious about this line of treatment and are committed to finding out more. Asking about things like side effects of medical cannabis, or its potential interactions with other medications you might be taking, are both important questions that shouldn’t be forgotten. Being familiar with these things will also assist the Cannadoc doctors during your initial consultation.

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You might also go a step further and ask about the most appropriate form of medical cannabis to take. If your GP is unsure ours doctors are experts in this space and will educate you thoroughly. Ask the right questions, as their referral to a medical cannabis clinic in Australia is important for your treatment.

Let your doctor know that you considering specialist medical cannabis doctor seriously.

Study Up on Types and Effects of Medical Cannabis

You might find it a challenge to discover information on the effects of medical cannabis but learning about its properties is another important step to take. As a relatively new treatment, medicinal cannabis has many unknowns. Learning about the way it affects the endocannabinoid system, for instance, requires a lot of research.

By being aware of the clinical trials and studies that have been undertaken into medicinal cannabis you will be able to understand the advice of your medical cannabis doctor at Cannadoc more easily. You will also be able to actively participate in the discussion concerning your quality of treatment.

It also helps to be conscious of the range of forms that medical cannabis can take and the possibility of ingesting it via different types of food.

Being knowledgeable on the pros and cons of medical cannabis can even go a long way to informing your GP where they might lack information. So, not only is approaching a medical cannabis doctor advised for further information via a referral, you should also provide your GP with the details of your medical cannabis clinic. This way, your GP can gain more information about medical cannabis.

Remind Your GP that Medical Cannabis is a Legal Medicine

The fact that your GP might not be completely knowledgeable about medical cannabis means that reminding them it is a medicine is sometimes necessary. The fact that it helps alleviate patients’ symptoms on a daily basis means it is a useful medicine that is regulated and approved by a medical body.

The fact remains, though, that medical cannabis was only legalised fairly recently in 2017. This means that reminding your GP that it is legal might also be important in some cases.

Highlight that Past Treatment Plans Have Been Unsuccessful

Once you have sufficient knowledge of your condition, medical history and ways that past treatment has been unsuccessful, you should use this as a basis to consider medical cannabis as a treatment.

The fact that past treatments have been unsuccessful is a requirement to be eligible for medical cannabis treatment, so being prepared with a log of your previous treatments is highly recommended. Having details on your past treatments, why they have provided slight relief versus why they have for the most part failed is a useful approach. With these details, your GP may refer you to a medical cannabis clinic in Australia, will also help you.

This means you should come prepared with your notes to help you explain each of your unsuccessful treatments. By describing the negative psychological and physiological side effects, for instance, you can make your GP aware that medical cannabis could be a better alternative to your past treatments.

Think About What You Expect from Medical Cannabis Therapy

 

As your GP will refer you to a specialist medical cannabis doctor such as Cannadoc, not only should you discuss your symptoms, you should consider your expectations of medical cannabis based on your research. Your medical cannabis doctor will validate your symptoms, and the more information you provide them with, the more of a case you can build to access a better quality of life.

Sharing what you expect to get from a medical cannabis treatment reinforces your commitment to alleviating your symptoms.

People Also Ask

What should I do if my GP knows little about medical cannabis?

If you find that your GP doesn’t know enough about medical cannabis, inform them that there are various sources and information available. You can carry out your own research and provide your GP with the details of a specialist medical cannabis clinic in Australia.

What should I do if my GP declines to support my requirements?

If your GP declines to help, don’t worry. You still have other options. You might choose to go to a different local GP and present your research to another doctor, or call our medical cannabis clinic in Australia directly to gain further information.