Medicinal cannabis: what you need to know

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, such as:

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


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 – visit them here. 


Frequently Asked Questions

NPS MedicineWise has developed a list of frequently asked questions about medicinal
cannabis to help you find answers. For your benefit they have provided a list of state and
territory resources at the end of these FAQs because each state/territory has slightly different
laws and regulations. Visit them here.


Is it suitable for you?

Medicinal cannabis may be suitable for some health conditions, where all other treatments have been unsuccessful. These include: • chronic non-cancer pain • epilepsy • nausea and vomiting • palliative (end-of-life) care • multiple sclerosis due to chemotherapy. Your safety is important. By following these 5 steps, you and your doctor can work together to reach the best decision for your health.


Reference & to find out more

NPS Medicinewise: Medicinal cannabis what you need to know

NPS Medicinewise: Medicinal Cannabis Explained


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