Medical cannabis (also called medical marijuana) is cannabis prescribed to relieve the symptoms of a medical condition.
The cannabis plant contains compounds called cannabinoids, and the two most researched cannabinoids are:
- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- cannabidiol (CBD)
There’s a difference between medicinal and non-medicinal cannabis. Non-medicinal cannabis is the form that people use to get ‘high’.
Depending on the patient and medical condition, a product containing only CBD, or CBD and THC, may be suitable for the intended clinical benefit.
In Australia, the most common medical cannabis prescriptions are for chronic pain, anxiety and sleep disorder.
It is important to acknowledge that referring to cannabis as though it were one type of medicine is misleading as there are various forms that medicinal cannabis can take as well as a range of strengths and varieties.
Cannabis products that are legally acquired through a GP are highly regulated and adhere to strict pharmaceutical standards for safety and quality, unlike cannabis acquired through the black market.