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Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis can be a useful medication in a multitude of chronic medical conditions where conventional treatments have failed.

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.

Demystifying common concerns and understanding health benefits

Will I get a ‘high’ from medical cannabis?

In clinical practice this is the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve - the main goal is to achieve good relief symptoms without producing a ‘high’. This is accomplished by starting at very low doses and slowly titrating up to effective therapeutic levels.

Is medical cannabis addictive?

There is some evidence in 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.

Will I develop tolerance to medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis users tend to quickly develop a tolerance to its side effects (over a few days), but not to its beneficial effects. So over time, escalation in dose is not generally needed, and often patients can maintain a stable daily dose for many years.

When should I not use medical cannabis?

It is not advisable to take medical cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, children, teenagers, and patients with a history of psychosis/schizophrenia, or unstable heart disease should avoid products containing a cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

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.

Dr David Feng is our Specialist GP who prescribes medicinal cannabis.

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