The Role of Medicinal Cannabis: Navigating the Process for Effective Treatment

Medicinal cannabis has gained attention as a potential therapeutic option for managing various medical conditions. With its growing acceptance, it’s important to understand the role of medicinal cannabis in healthcare and how to navigate the process of accessing this alternative treatment. This blog post aims to provide insights into the science behind medicinal cannabis, eligibility criteria, the consultation process, associated costs, and the importance of seeking professional guidance.

Understanding the Role of Medicinal Cannabis:

Medicinal cannabis refers to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes. The plant contains numerous cannabinoids, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, such as pain perception, inflammation, and immune function. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, medicinal cannabis may provide potential relief and restore balance in the body.

Conditions That Medicinal Cannabis Can Be Prescribed For

Queensland laws do not limit what symptoms or conditions may be applied for by your doctor. When making a TGA application the doctor will need to supply sufficient scientific evidence that supports the use of medicinal cannabis for the particular symptom or condition.

Research continues to be conducted on the potential uses of medicinal cannabis. The scientific evidence base suggests that medicinal cannabis may be suitable to treat:

  • severe muscular spasms and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis
  • chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • some types of epilepsy with severe seizures
  • palliative care (cachexia, nausea and vomiting, pain)
  • some types of chronic non-cancer pain.

There is no evidence that medicinal cannabis is an effective primary treatment for cancer.

You should not:

  • consider medicinal cannabis as an alternative treatment for cancer
  • delay starting standard cancer treatments in favour of using medicinal cannabis.

Scientific Support for Medicinal Cannabis:

Scientific research has shed light on the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis in managing specific medical conditions. Studies have shown its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms associated with chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, nausea, and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, and certain psychiatric disorders. However, it’s important to note that the level of scientific evidence varies for different medical conditions, and further research is ongoing.

Navigating the Process of Accessing Medicinal Cannabis:

Accessing medicinal cannabis involves navigating a legal and regulatory framework. In Australia, authorized specialist prescribers and the Therapeutic Goods Authority play significant roles in the process. To determine eligibility for medicinal cannabis, certain criteria must be met, such as having a medical condition that has lasted more than three months and having experienced unsuccessful treatments or avoided treatments due to side effects.

The initial consultation with a specialist prescriber is a crucial step in the process. During this consultation, the prescriber will assess your medical condition, review your health summary from your GP, and consider your medication history. It’s important to bring along any supporting reports, such as scans or X-rays, to provide a comprehensive overview of your condition.

Costs and Medication Dispensation:

When it comes to the costs associated with medicinal cannabis, it’s essential to understand that they are separate from the consultation fees. The initial consultation typically lasts approximately 30 minutes and has a cost of $300, with a Medicare rebate of $76.95. Follow-up appointments are priced at $89.75, with a Medicare rebate of $39.75. It’s important to note that a $50 deposit is charged at the time of booking the initial consultation.

It’s crucial to remember that the cost of medicinal cannabis itself is not included in the consultation fees. The cost of the medication can vary and is influenced by factors such as the specific type of medication required and the dispensing pharmacy. Similar to any other prescription, only the pharmacy can provide and dispense medicinal cannabis.


As the acceptance of medicinal cannabis grows, understanding its role and navigating the process of accessing it becomes paramount. By exploring the science behind medicinal cannabis, meeting the eligibility criteria, and following the appropriate channels, patients can explore this alternative treatment option for managing their medical conditions effectively. It’s important to seek professional guidance from authorised specialist prescribers and healthcare professionals who can provide personalised advice and ensure the safest and most suitable treatment approach.

For more information, visit our Medicinal Cannabis page, or call our team on 07 5531 3205 to book a consultation.



Qld Health

Therapeutic Goods Administration 

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