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 are two medicinal cannabis products approved for use in Australia for specific clinical conditions: nabiximols (Sativex) and a cannabidiol (Epidyolex).
  • Other medicinal cannabis products are available in Australia but they are unapproved.  There are a number of pathways prescribers can use to access unapproved products they consider clinically appropriate for a patient. 
  • Prescribers are responsible for providing prescriptions in accordance with relevant state and territory legislation, and the TGA approval.

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 thinking about using medicinal cannabis and have questions about the different products available, such as:

  • Is medicinal cannabis legal?
  • What conditions can it be used to treat?
  • where can I buy it?

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 health professionals

Information about access

This content was developed with funding from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

  • 25 Aug 2022
  • 29 min 14 sec
  • 25 Aug 2022
  • 29 min 14 sec

Podcast: TGA access to unapproved goods access

Dr Caroline West, medical advisor and GP, NPS MedicineWise talks to Dr Jess Tidemann about the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) and how GPs can access unapproved therapeutic goods, such as medicinal cannabis.

Further reading

Accessing unapproved products

Information about prescribing

Someone living with a health condition that has not responded to standard approved treatments may wish, along with their health professionals, to consider trialing medicinal cannabis products.

NPS MedicineWise has prepared a series of evidence summaries for prescribers on the following:

Other resources of interest include TGA medicinal cannabis guidance documents and prescribing guidance documents (for NSW patients within current regulatory frameworks and clinical practice)from the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE).

Download or print the NPS MedicineWise process flowchart or evidence summaries

Information about dispensing

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 resources to inform and assist pharmacists in streamlining the dispensing process for prescription 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