Under the current Australian regulations, not everyone can access plant-based therapies. To qualify, you must have:
If you meet those criteria, then TeleGreen Medical’s doctors can discuss the pros and cons of plant-based therapies with you.
Back in 2016, the Australian government legalised the prescription of cannabis for some medical conditions.
Medicinal cannabis is cultivated carefully for its useful components, grown in a controlled environment to ensure appropriate conditions and nutrients. It is then manufactured into a stable medication with controlled dosing. This sort of cannabis is not a recreational drug sold on the black market – it is a carefully produced medication prescribed by a licensed doctor.
Cannabinoids are substances found in cannabis. The two key ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These can be isolated and turned into medications which your TeleGreen Medical doctor may prescribe for you.
These plant-based therapies work by interacting with your own endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex system that regulates many functions in your body, helping you manage your sleep, mood, body temperature, appetite and pain, to name just a few.
Your body is constantly adjusting to your environment, for example, regulating your temperature according to your surroundings. When you take cannabinoids, they essentially take over this regulation, giving your body additional tools to help regulate your system, with an aim to ease your symptoms .
You’re doing this with a medication that has been carefully produced with predictable levels of cannabinoids under the care of an experienced doctor. To be clear, this is not like taking unpredictable recreational drugs
What would you like to know about plant-based therapies or TeleGreen Medical?
This is still an evolving area of medicine. Here’s what we know so far.
|Condition||Evidence to support the use of plant-based therapies||Reasons for caution|
|Epilepsy||Several studies suggest benefits of cannabidiol for children and young adults with drug-resistant epilepsy.||Few studies for adult epilepsy.|
|Multiple sclerosis||Nabiximols (extracted from cannabis) are registered for the treatment of muscle spasticity associated with MS. |
Ten studies looked at the benefits of other cannabinoids and 5 found that they may help relieve pain and spasticity and may improve sleep and bladder control.
|The other 5 studies were inconclusive or showed no positive benefits.|
|Chronic pain (non-cancer)||Some evidence suggests that cannabinoids can reduce nerve-related pain but the improvement may be small.||Insufficient evidence to judge whether medicinal cannabis is effective in treating pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia.|
|Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer (CINV)||Only a small number of studies showed relief from symptoms of CINV. The quality of evidence is low and most studies compared medicinal cannabis against outdated treatment options rather than current standards of care.||Should only be prescribed if other options have failed.|
|Palliative care||Few studies available. May interact with other medications.||More research is needed. Only prescribe after standard treatments have failed.|
TeleGreen helps by providing convenient access to qualified, experienced doctors who can assess your condition, review your current treatments, advise on whether medicinal cannabis might help and, if so, prescribe it to you and post the medication.
No. You can make a direct appointment if you wish.
You can also be referred to us by your GP, psychiatrist or pain specialist. That can be helpful because it means we receive information about your current treatment from your existing clinical team. We then write back to them to make them aware of our treatment so that you receive joined-up care.
Maybe you feel that way because you associate cannabis with the widespread harm caused by illegal drugs. This is different, though. Medicinal cannabis is not part of a damaging and illegal trade. It is produced carefully to meet the same standards that other medicines must meet.
If you do have some uncomfortable feelings about taking medicinal cannabis then:
Yes, there are side effects to all prescription medications, including the ones you may be taking right now.
The potential side effects of medicinal cannabis include:
Yes. Whenever you start any new medication, whether it’s conventional or alternative, your doctor should review with you in a few weeks to see if it’s working well.
That’s how we do things at TeleGreen Medical. If we start you on plant-based therapy, we will explain the potential benefits and side effects, remain available to you if you need advice, and meet you for a follow-up appointment to see whether the treatment is helping you and whether you’re experiencing any side effects.
From there, we can decide together whether you should continue the medication or adjust treatment.