Medicinal cannabis: what you need to know

Information and resources for consumers and health professionals

 

For consumers, check out
 Medicinal cannabis, explained

Medicinal cannabis: what you need to know

Key points

  • Medicinal cannabis products are treated and regulated as medicines in Australia.
  • There is some evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis in conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy in children and young adults, chronic non-cancer pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and palliative care.
  • There is one medicinal cannabis product approved for use in Australia: nabiximols (Sativex) which is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe spasticity in people with MS.
  • Other medicinal cannabis products are available in Australia but they are unapproved which means that prescribers must use pathways to special access via the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
  • Each state and territory has slightly different laws and regulations governing access to medicinal cannabis products.
  • The TGA maintains a list of state and territory contacts.
 

Answering your questions about medicinal cannabis

There is a lot of interest in the use of cannabis as a medicine. You, or someone you know, may be considering using medicinal cannabis and have questions about medicinal cannabis products.

  • How and in what situations can they be used?
  • Is medicinal cannabis legal?
  • Where can it be accessed?

NPS MedicineWise has developed easy-to-read information about medicinal cannabis products to help you find answers.

Read more about medicinal cannabis

Download or print our frequently asked questions and infographic

Medicinal cannabis FAQs

Date published : 1 July 2020

 

Resources to support prescribers

Someone who is living with a health condition that has symptoms that are refractory to standard approved treatments may wish, along with their health professionals, to consider trialling medicinal cannabis products. Such conditions may include:

  • chronic non-cancer pain
  • epilepsy in children or young adults
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy
  • a condition requiring palliative care.

NPS MedicineWise has developed a series of resources to inform prescribers of the current evidence and to assist with the prescribing process.

These resources are based on the TGA medicinal cannabis guidance documents

Also read Australian Prescriber’s article on Prescribing medicinal cannabis, and listen to the podcast.

Download or print the process flowchart or evidence summaries

Prescribing guidance documents (for NSW patients within current regulatory frameworks and clinical practice) are available from the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE).

Download the NSW prescribing guidance documents from ACRE

 

Resources to support pharmacists

Pharmacists from across Australia often call Medicine Line to ask questions about how to access, store and dispense medicinal cannabis products.

NPS MedicineWise has developed a series of resources to inform and assist pharmacists in streamlining the dispensing process for medicinal cannabis products.

Download or print pharmacist resources

 

Current evidence

The TGA holds a list of bibliographies of major studies, including randomised controlled trials, used in developing their clinical guidance documents.

See the latest clinical evidence

 
 

Prescribing guidance

The NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance is a suite of resources intended to assist medical practitioners in their prescribing and management of cannabis medicines. 

This information is for NSW patients within current regulatory frameworks and clinical practice.

Download the NSW prescribing guidance documents from ACRE