Medicinal Cannabis


Cannabis treatment from a medical perspective.



Medicinal cannabis is a treatment derived from cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.



Depending on the strain of medicinal cannabis, each will contain different ratios of the cannabinoids THC and CBD. 

CBD is not psychoactive and has been used in pain management with anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects. It may be useful in the management of pain, seizures and may have anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects

THC, can produce psychoactive effects at higher doses and is responsible for some of cannabis’ medicinal effects including the reduction of nausea and vomiting and muscle pain as well as improving sleep and appetite.



Medicinal cannabis has been prescribed to treat a number of chronic medical conditions. These include, but are not limited to: Chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, epilepsy, cancer pain, palliative care, movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease

The use of medicinal cannabis may be a treatment option in other conditions if conventional treatments and drugs have been unsuccessful with your case. 



Each state and territory will have their own laws regarding the prescription and dispensing of cannabis for medical purposes. You can talk to your doctor to see what is available to you.

Before prescribing medicinal cannabis, your doctor will assess your individual circumstances to decide if the treatment is appropriate for your condition. This will include your medical and family health history, and any current medications that you may be taking.

If your doctor believes medicinal cannabis is a suitable treatment, an application will be submitted on your behalf to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to request access to the medicine. 

Following approval from the TGA, you will receive a prescription from your doctor for a partner pharmacy which can dispense the medicine for you. The medicinal cannabis will be ordered by the pharmacy to be collected in the days following. 

In the years since the Australian Government has allowed the prescription of medicinal cannabis it has experienced increased affordability and access due to the significant increase in production and manufacturing capacity. Today, medical practitioners are increasingly likely to prescribe medicinal cannabis as a viable treatment option and alternative to prescribing opioids. 



Medicinal cannabis products from an authorised prescriber are available in a variety of forms based on your symptoms. This includes, oils, liquids, oral sprays, gels or creams and raw (botanical) cannabis to be vaporised. 

Whilst cannabis medicines may relieve one condition or symptom, this does not mean the same product or dose can be used to treat any other conditions or anyone other than yourself. 



The cost of medicinal cannabis depends upon the type of product required and the dose prescribed. Medicinal cannabis products have been made more available in recent years due to increased manufacturing, making it more affordable. 

However, the Commonwealth Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) does not list medicinal cannabis products. Patients must fund the cost of treatment themselves to access medicinal cannabis in Australia.

Your private health fund may cover the costs of medicinal cannabis depending on your level of insurance. Contact your provider directly for more information on non-PBS listed prescriptions. If you are a DVA healthcare cardholder, you may be eligible to receive non PBS-listed medications. 



As with all prescription medicines, the use of medicinal cannabis products can cause various side effects. The extent of these side effects depends upon the type of medicinal cannabis product and individuals conditions and medications. CBD and TCH products can cause decreased or increased appetite, diarrhoea, dry mouth, fatigue and sedation, fever, vertigo, and nausea and vomiting. 

Evidence has revealed that THC has been associated with convulsions, feeling high, depression, confusion, hallucinations, paranoid delusions, psychosis, and cognitive distortion.

Please note taking medicinal cannabis may affect your ability to drive.


To learn about medicinal cannabis from a medical perspective, make a booking online to chat to Dr Madhu Lakshmaiah at our Mango Hill clinic.