Help & Support

Find answers to common questions and understand the various support services available to practitioners and patients

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is medicinal cannabis?

Medicinal cannabis refers to legal pharmaceutical products using parts of the Cannabis plant. Medicinal cannabis must be prescribed by a medical practitioner to relieve symptoms or treat a medical condition.

Chiefly, medicinal cannabis is the only legal pathway to cannabinoid-based medications. Further, there are several important reasons that legal, medicinal cannabis is better for your treatment than illicit cannabis.

  • There is likely to be a large variation in cannabinoid content, the presence of an unwanted cannabinoid, or even the lack of a specified cannabinoid. Further, illicit cannabis is often not suitable for many indications (Arnold et al, 2020).

  • Medicinal cannabis grown or imported into Australia needs to comply with strict regulations governing their quality eg contamination with pesticides, heavy metals and the like (TGA, 2017).

  • Manufacturers and compounding pharmacies are able to provide the ratio and strength of cannabinoids required for each indication. This also allows medical practitioners the control to choose the medication’s contents, and the assurance that this choice will be applied.

How is medicinal cannabis regulated in Australia?

In Australia, medicinal cannabis is regulated nationally by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Additionally, some permits are required on a state-level. The CANNect platform simplifies the permit process, supporting practitioner’s regulatory compliance through documentation completion and submission.

Legal medicinal cannabis products can only be acquired through a prescription from your medical practitioner, where they believe it may be beneficial for your condition, and can only be acquired after they have applied for the relevant Commonwealth and/or State permit approvals.

Recent changes to the scheduling of CBD mean that, in the future, low dosages of CBD will be available over-the-counter from a pharmacist. However, currently, no medications are available on the ARTG (Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods) to purchase. Medicinal cannabis manufacturers are working towards gaining ARTG listing. In the meantime, all access to CBD products are via prescriptions from your medical practitioner.

What are CBD and THC?

When discussing medicinal cannabis medications, practitioners generally refer to cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These are the most understood compounds within medicinal cannabis plant.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is useful in the management of seizures, pain, and may have anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects (TGA, 2017).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for medicinal effects such as reduction of nausea, vomiting, pain and muscle spasms as well as improvements in sleep and appetite (TGA, 2017). THC is psychoactive at high concentrations. Prescriptions are often lower doses, titrated on an individual basis to reduce unwanted side-effects.

Can I legally drive while being treated with medicinal cannabis?

It depends on the treatment.

Before you drive or use machinery, know how CBD affects you. Driving while on a course of CBD isolate is not illegal. As with any medication, do not drive or use machinery while your ability is impaired.

If you are prescribed medication containing THC, including CBD full-spectrum medicines which have trace amounts of THC, then you cannot legally drive if THC is present in your system. Current driving laws in all states require you to have zero THC in your system before driving.

Can I travel with medicinal cannabis?

When travelling domestically, each state has its own legislation on medicinal cannabis access. Before travelling check and understand the rules. You can find contact details for the state or territory you’re travelling to on the TGA’s website. We generally recommend travelling with a letter from your medical practitioner stating your prescription details, and ensuring your medication has its labels intact.


When travelling out of Australia, check that it is legal for you to take medicinal cannabis medicine into any countries you are travelling to and countries you are travelling through. As this is a Controlled Drug and its legal status will vary between countries. Driving while taking medicinal cannabis medicines might be illegal in some countries. Visit the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration website for more details on travelling with your medicinal cannabis medicines.

Honahlee also provides a concise guide to travel with medicinal cannabis medicines.


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