Note: At honahlee, we use the terms marijuana and cannabis interchangeably. Check out our cannabis vs marijuana article to learn more. In this article we used both words so that you can get comfortable with different terminology. It’s important to understand that medicinal cannabis and medicinal marijuana are the same thing. However the ‘correct’ terminology is medical cannabis.

The landscape

Medical cannabis is as tricky a space as adult use (aka recreational) cannabis. While medicinal marijuana is legal in Australia, many doctors don’t know enough about it to be comfortable prescribing it.

Studies show that a huge proportion of adult use (recreational) cannabis consumers actually are self medicating. Those who started as recreational users and are now medicinal users see the benefits. However, many people who are thinking about medicinal cannabis use don’t want to be perceived as ‘druggies’ or ‘pot heads.’ And, why wouldn’t they feel that way?

While cannabis becomes more accepted world wide, Australians perceive their homeland to be far behind. ACT was the first place in Australia to decriminalise cannabis and there is already talk of the territory laws being overturned by the Commonwealth. Cannabis is still a taboo topic and often the opposing sides make poor arguments as to why cannabis should and shouldn’t be legal.

Shortly after ACT passed the new cannabis law, the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said, “I don’t want to be sharing the road with a pot head.” Statements like these villianise cannabis. They also may stop people who can benefit from it from talking to their doctors about medicinal cannabis. The same statement could be made against alcohol and alcoholics, but drinking doesn’t receive this kind of press.

Talk about medical cannabis

The point here – if you’re interested in cannabis for medicinal purposes you should do everything you can to learn about the plant and its benefits and side effects. Cannabis is changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world with positive outcomes.

You should be comfortable talking to your friends and family about cannabis. And, you should most certainly be comfortable talking to your doctor about it. Yes, it’s still a drug so there are downsides. Yes, for most therapeutic purposes there needs to be more research. No, it will not cure every ailment you can think of. But you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your doctor to supplement or substitute your current medical routine with something natural if it’s going to help you.

In this guide you’ll learn everything there is to know about medicinal cannabis in Australia. This article is broken down into three sections followed by a medical cannabis FAQ:

  1. Definition of Medicinal cannabis and the legalities
  2. Medical conditions treated with cannabis, methods and side effects
  3. How to access medical cannabis in Australia

Once you’re done with this article you should be knowledgeable enough to talk with anyone about how medicinal marijuana works in Australia. More importantly, you’ll be able to speak with your doctor about whether medicinal cannabis is right for you.

We encourage you to share your knowledge and would love to hear about your journey with medicinal cannabis.