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Medical cannabis has been legalized in many countries, including Australia, and is known to reduce dependence on opioids. It can also provide relief from stress and pain, as well as other potential medical benefits. However, it can lead to addiction and larger doses over time, and there are still some unknowns about its long-term effects.
It is important to see a doctor for medicinal cannabis as it is legally produced and adheres to strict quality standards. It can only be prescribed by a doctor and contains known doses and concentrations. Street cannabis is not the same as medicinal cannabis, which is standardized medical grade cannabis plant derived, semi-synthetic or synthetically produced cannabinoid products developed in a controlled environment for medicinal use.
Access to medicinal cannabis in Australia is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and can be obtained through three pathways: a doctor or nurse practitioner can request permission to prescribe, an Authorised Prescriber can prescribe, or patients can take part in clinical trials.
It is illegal for patients taking cannabis medicines that contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to drive, as THC can affect cognitive and motor skills necessary for safe driving. Driving with any THC in the blood system is a criminal offence in Australia, with no exemption for medicinal cannabis patients.