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Medical Conditions

Scientific and clinical evidence about the efficacy of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids in treating symptoms associated with medical conditions is continuing to grow.

Opposite is a guide to the health effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids on patients [1]

However, there are many ongoing studies examining the effects of cannabis on these and other conditions, and new research projects are announced frequently. We’ll report on major new results as these are published in our News pages.

Further information and medicinal guidance documents are available on the TGA website 

Medical Conditions

Evidence

Chronic Pain

Conclusive/Substantial

Chemotherapy – induced nausea and vomiting

Conclusive/Substantial

Spasticity associated multiple sclerosis (MS)

Conclusive/Substantial

Epilepsy

Conclusive/Substantial

Sleep Disorders

Moderate 

Fibromyalgia

Moderate 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Moderate 

Anxiety

Limited

Anorexia

Limited

Tourette syndrome

Limited

Glaucoma

Limited

Depression

Limited

Arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders

Limited

Cancer

Inconclusive

Irritable bowel syndrome/disease

Inconclusive

Spinal cord injury

Inconclusive

Huntington’s disease

Inconclusive

Schizophrenia

Inconclusive

Wasting syndrome

Inconclusive

Anorexia nervosa

Inconclusive

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Inconclusive

Administration of Medicinal Cannabis

The method of administration impacts the onset and duration of action. It is common to choose the method of administration based on the required duration of effect and patient’s preference. The average dose of medical cannabis is generally divided between 5–8 inhalation doses or 2–4 oral administrations per day.

Physiological responses to cannabis-based medicine may vary from individual-to-individual.

Opposite are generally reported time effects of different methods of administration.

Source: Prof. N Lintzeris, Medicinal Cannabis Clinical Pharmacology, Learn More

Inhalation Ingestion
Time to onset 5 – 10 minutes 60 – 180 minutes
Maximum time of maximum effects < 17 minutes 2 – 3 hours
Time duration of effects 2 – 4 hours 6 – 8 hours
Number of times used per day 5 – 8 doses 2 – 4 doses

Vaporization is the optimal delivery method for dried flower cannabis. Unlike smoking, vaporization heats cannabis at lower temperatures, causing the cannabinoids to convert from a solid to a gaseous state with fewer toxins and higher bioavailability than smoking. There is no combustion of plant material, eliminating some of the health risks associated with smoking and side stream smoke (passive smoking). SAS approval of a medicinal cannabis product requiring inhalation is generally conditional on use with an appropriate vaporising device.

Benefit – Rapid action, advantage for acute or episodic symptoms (pain/nausea)
Drawback – Sativite has overcome some of the drawbacks of vaporizers with a new design portable herbal medical vaporizer, that is that is both easy to use and affordably priced.

It is recommended that each patient prescribed herbal cannabis, should also be prescribed one of these devices, as a reduced harm alternative to smoking.

This quality medical grade device is built for rugged long life, and can be discreetly carried in a pocket or handbag. Please contact Sativite for new breakthrough pricing, and delivery information.

Ingesting cannabis oil from an oral dosing syringe or packaged in soft-gels help to ensure accurate titration levels. Oils are made by extracting cannabinoids from cannabis plant material, often using CO2 or ethanol extraction methods.

Benefit – Less odour, convenient and discrete
Drawback – Titration challenges due to delayed onset

Dosage

There is no scientifically defined dose of cannabis for any specific medical condition. Dosing remains highly individualised and relies to a great extent on titration and method of administration.

The general recommended dose is equivalent to 1–3 grams of dried cannabis per day. However, patients are advised to start with a low dose (0.5–1 g/day), wait at least 4 hours before taking another and gradually increase dosages to achieve the optimal therapeutic outcome and reduce potential adverse effects. Where a patient has a chronic condition, higher doses (up to 1,500 mg/day CBD) are reportedly well tolerated [2]

The daily dosage of oral medical cannabis is generally divided into 2–4 administrations or a single dose prior to bedtime for longer duration of action compared to vaporization.

Patients initiating cannabis therapy for the first time are cautioned to begin at a very low dose and to stop therapy if undesirable side effects occur.
For patients with a longer history of using cannabis/cannabinoid, consider current consumption quantity and method of administration (inhalation, oral, or a combination).

Prescriptions

Medicinal cannabis products generally require approval from the Commonwealth TGA and a state health authority before they can be prescribed. The types of approvals required will depend on how the product is scheduled (either schedule 3/4 or schedule 8), and whether it is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

Excluding clinical trails, there are two pathways to prescribing medicinal cannabis to patients in Australia for products not listed on the ARTG[3], the Special Access Scheme and the Authorised Prescriber Scheme.

Special Access Scheme (SAS)

SAS refers to arrangements which provide for the import and/or supply of an unapproved therapeutic good for a single patient, on a case by case basis.

As the majority of medicinal cannabis formulations are not currently listed on the ARTG, doctors have to receive approval from the TGA through SAS to prescribe it to patients.

Further details are available from the Therapeutic Goods Administration web site

The application process involves providing a clinical justification for the medicinal cannabis product via:

  • Outlining the patient’s condition or symptoms
  • Explaining how previous treatments have failed or introduced side effects
  • Prescribing a specific medicinal cannabis product and dosage information

Before you prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients, you should be aware that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advises medical cannabis is not a first line treatment and can only be used after standard treatments have been unsuccessful and/or caused unacceptable adverse effects. Palliative care patients are excepted. 

There are no restrictions on the medical conditions for which a prescriber may apply via the SAS to access an unapproved medicinal cannabis product for their patient, provided the prescriber has the appropriate knowledge on the condition being treated and on the medicinal cannabis product they wish to prescribe.

Authorised Prescriber Scheme

For an Authorised prescriber; compliance and reporting administration is greatly reduced in contrast to the alternate SAS-B pathway generally used by cannabis prescribing Doctors.

Authorised Prescribers are able to prescribe unapproved therapeutic goods without individual SAS-B applications, for this reason it is important to have all available Medicinal Cannabis products under your authorisation.

At SatiVite we are conscious that Patients are your priority, so we have developed a stream-lined process to assist you with initiating treatment in the most timely manner. Please complete the registration form below and we will assist you to fast track your AP application  submission to the TGA.

Placing an Order

Please register below in order to access our restricted eScript Products which contains detailed product information, pricing and tools for managing and tracking your orders.

Once you have submitted your registration, and we have validated your details, we will send you an email with your login details and password.

Sativite will dispatch orders received before midday on the same day Monday to Friday., subject to all documents required being provided, the whole process can be completed within 72 hours of placing the order.

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