The first step for patients wanting access to medicinal cannabis involves a consultation with an experienced doctor. If deemed appropriate based on your medical history and condition, the doctor will then apply for approval through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on your behalf.
This process is somewhat convoluted and may be a bit overwhelming for many patients and doctors alike. Finding a doctor with an understanding of cannabis products and the TGA application process will ensure a smoother journey for both parties.
Select your state or territory below to get started on finding an experienced cannabis medical practitioner in your area.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is medical cannabis legal in Australia?
Yes, there are legal pathways for Australian patients seeking medicinal cannabis therapy. However, it's not as easy as getting a normal prescription from your GP. Most cannabis products are yet to be approved on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, meaning doctors will require approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) prior to prescribing most cannabis products.
Can any doctor prescribe cannabis?
In most Australian states and territories (with the exception of Tasmania), most qualified medical practitioners are able to prescribe medical cannabis products. Despite this, finding a doctor who is willing to prescribe medicinal cannabis may be an accomplishment in itself.
Why won’t my doctor refer/prescribe cannabis products?
There is a severe lack of cannabis-related education for medical professionals. Only recently are doctors and clinics starting to open up on medicinal cannabis treatment options. Some common concerns for doctors include risks associated with mental health, negative side effects, lack of controlled trials and general stigma surrounding marijuana itself.
Whilst medicinal cannabis has only recently become mainstream in Australia, there is already plenty of evidence supporting the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. But without large scale randomised control trials the majority of specialists will always be sceptical.
Due to the reasons above, coupled with the involved TGA application process - many doctors are yet to be familiarised with medicinal cannabis.
What conditions can medicinal cannabis be prescribed for?
The TGA website does not restrict the approval of medicinal cannabis to specific medical conditions, provided your doctor has the appropriate knowledge on product and the condition being treated.
Some medical conditions that have been approved by the TGA include (but not limited to):
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Palliative care indications
- Neuropathic pain
- Spasticity from neurological conditions
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
What types of cannabis products can I be prescribed?
Currently, only inhalation or orally administers products are available in Australia. The most commonly prescribed products are dried cannabis flower or cannabinoid oils such as CBD oil / THC oil. Cannabinoid oils can either be isolates, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum and are usually applied under the tongue in a tincture form.
Using a vaporizer is the preferred method for consuming dried cannabis flowers.
Where can I find out more information on accessing medicinal cannabis?
The TGA is Australia's regulatory authority for therapeutic goods, including medicinal cannabis products. You will find most of the information on their access to medicinal cannabis products page.
Feel free to check out a list of topics we’ve covered in the cannabis education section of our website: