Frequently Asked Questions

Suitability of medicinal cannabis as a treatment option for patients is assessed on a case-by-case basis. To book a consultation, please provide your health summary, consent and referral form (if being referred by a doctor) to us either in person on via email .

Please note that your medical information will be treated as strictly confidential.

Medicinal cannabis is not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which makes it more expensive than other PBS-approved medications. While the cost of medicinal cannabis will vary from patient to patient depending on dose and frequency, we recommend patients who are in a private health fund and/or who are DVA patients speak to their provider to see if some of their treatment costs can be covered. The total cost of your health care may also be reduced via medication review. Please contact us to understand more about this.

Southern Cross Cannabis Clinics take pride in being a leader in the care of patients being treated with medicinal cannabis. When you access our clinic, you can expect our doctors to spend time understanding your health concerns and providing you with information about medicinal cannabis. During your initial consultation, our doctors will evaluate your medical history and develop a specific treatment plan. Our doctors will also seek permits or applications to the TGA and State Health body on your behalf to access medicinal cannabis if you are eligible. The application process can be complex and time consuming.

Full details of our fee structure for our medicinal cannabis services are provided in the Costs sub-tab.

Driving under the influence of THC is illegal in Australia. Your suitability to drive depends on the type of treatment you have been prescribed, and this should be discussed with your doctor.

The cannabis plant produces natural compounds called cannabinoids that can help regulate our body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for many key physiological functions, including mood, memory, energy, metabolism, and immunity. These compounds can be extracted from the plant and used in medicine to help alleviate a host of symptoms. The cannabinoids that are in greatest abundance in cannabis (and used most in medicine) are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (cannabidiol).

There are different delivery methods for medicinal cannabis, however pain relief is typically experienced within 15-30 minutes and can last for up to 8 hours or more.

Medicinal cannabis can be taken in a variety of ways depending on the clinical indication. These include:

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    Oral – e.g. through a spray, oil drops, or capsules
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    Vaporisation – e.g. by using a specialised medical device that heats the cannabis flowers and causes the release of cannabinoids into a vapour form, which is inhaled
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    Topical – patches, gels, or creams

The primary method for taking medicinal cannabis is orally as an oil drop.

The smoking of cannabis is strongly discouraged as this can create an abundance of toxic compounds that can cause cancer.

Most interactions occur when cannabis is combined with medications that can cause drowsiness. As THC can have sedative effects, adding it to other medications can compound the risk of sedation. Drug interactions will be discussed during your clinic assessment.

The main goal in using medicinal cannabis is to achieve good relief of symptoms without making the patient feel euphoric or ‘high’, and ideally doing this with minimal or no side effects. However, there are some potential side effects that may arise from the THC component of medicinal cannabis which include:

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    Drowsiness/fatigue
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    Dizziness
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    Dry mouth
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    Cough/sputum/bronchitis (when smoked)
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    Anxiety
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    Nausea
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    Cognitive effects

It is not advisable to take medicinal cannabis while pregnant or breast feeding. Also, children, teenagers, and patients with a history of psychosis/schizophrenia, or unstable heart disease should avoid products containing THC.

There is some evidence in the scientific literature to suggest that cannabis has a low risk profile for addiction, with lower rates of addiction in regular cannabis users than in users of alcohol, tobacco, and even caffeine.

It is illegal in Australia to grow cannabis for your own personal use and acquiring it on the black market can bring with it with a multitude of problems (outside of its illicit status). Firstly, street-sourced products can fluctuate wildly in potency from one batch to another which makes consistent dosing and titration difficult to achieve. Secondly, street-sourced products can often be contaminated with bacteria, mould, heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides that can be harmful when consumed. Use of a pharmaceutical-grade cannabis medicine eliminates these issues.

To learn more about your eligibility for consultation/treatment, how medicinal cannabis could assist you, our fees and other important information, please visit the Patients tab.

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