Public/Patients

What are cannabis and hemp?

Cannabis and hemp are two related but genetically different plants which are grown for different purposes.  Cannabis is typically grown for its pharmacological effects, while hemp has traditionally been cultivated for industrial purposes and does not contain significant amounts of the hallucinogenic compound found in Cannabis.

 

What is medicinal cannabis?

Medicinal Cannabis is cannabis and cannabinoids (compounds which act on the endocannabinoid system including those from the cannabis plant), which are prescribed for use by a physician to treat a condition or symptoms of a condition.   

 

What is the Endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system is a natural part of the body which regulates balance between a number of other body systems.  It achieves this through receptors, which can be thought of as a lock, endocannabinoids, which can be thought of as a key, and a number of supporting enzymes which regulate the amounts of both of these elements.

 

What are cannabis nutraceuticals?

In some areas of the world, cannabis, and the hemp plant that is absent THC (hallucinogenic compound), are regulated differently. The category of nutraceuticals is designed to assist in the health and wellbeing of people who do not have serious medical conditions.  They do this by supplementing the body’s own system which has natural cannabinoids known as the endocannabinoid system. This supplementation assists the body in restoring balance, or homeostasis, between various systems. In Australia, products containing cannabinoids are currently regulated as prescription medicine and cannabis nutraceuticals are not available.  Please check locally with your pharmacist to see if they are available in your country.

 

How can I get access to medicinal cannabis in Australia?

Access to medicinal cannabis in Australia is via physicians. Please refer to the TGA information page here for further details.

 

How can I get access to medicinal cannabis in my country?

Unfortunately, regulations vary significantly from region to region in the world.  Please speak to your physician for questions about access to medicinal cannabis.

 

What is the difference between THC and CBD products?

Both D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are cannabinoids, in particular plant-based chemicals from cannabis. THC was identified as the agent responsible for the hallucinogenic effects of cannabis but also provides therapeutic effects via the endocannabinoid system.  The endocannabinoid system is a group of receptors, natural cannabinoids, and associated enzymes which function to maintain balance, or homeostasis throughout the body. CBD is non-hallucinogenic, and acts through a variety of systems, including the endocannabinoid system, in different ways than THC. 

 

What are the different ways that I can use medicinal cannabis?

A variety of different forms of medicinal cannabis are available including vaporisation, oils, tinctures, capsules and lozenges.  It is not recommended to smoke cannabis due to the health problems associated with smoking.  For more information on what form is most appropriate for your use please speak to your doctor.

 

Where can I find out more information?

Please speak to your doctor for more information, or the TGA here.