Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent plant-based medicine questions and answers
We conduct online video consultations. Here’s how to make the most of it:
- Log onto the link sent to you via sms and email at your appointment time
- Ask for help during your consultation if you need it
Not all patients or conditions are suitable for plant-based therapies. According to TGA guidelines, there must be some evidence that this treatment can be applied to your condition and that you have exhausted conventional therapies. However, please still call us on 1300 991 477 to discuss your case further.
DVA Card Holders may be eligible for medication and consultation rebates by the DVA. Patients must present a letter of support from their pain specialists. This is typically for pain or associated conditions. Each case is assessed and funded by the DVA based on its own merit.
Medication is not generally covered by insurance but we recommend consulting your private insurer to check your individual policy.
There are different kinds of plant-based therapies, and some or all may not be suitable for your condition. If any of the following apply to you, please discuss with your doctor:
- Allergic to any ingredient used in a cannabinoid product
- Have unstable cardio-pulmonary disease or cardiovascular disease
- Have previous psychotic or concurrent active mood disorder
- Have severe feelings of anxiousness and low moods.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
Relative contraindications: These conditions may not necessarily prevent prescribing plant-based therapies, though should also be discussed with the medical practitioner.
- Drug, alcohol or nicotine dependence
- Paediatric and elderly patients
- Individuals with a past medical or family history of schizophrenia
Legality and quality
Legal ingredients in plant-based medicine have to meet the quality assurance standards mandated by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration)
Under the Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93, all cannabinoid-derived ingredients used to make medicinal products are tested for potency, microbiological contamination, toxins that could come from the plant and any residual pesticides. They must also come from a 100% natural source.
Prescribing plant-based medicine correctly can only be done if the prescriber knows the exact concentration of active ingredients in a product. This means doctors can monitor reactions, side effects and alter doses accordingly. Illegal products such as many that can be bought online without a prescription may have varying amounts of active ingredient, or no active ingredient at all.
Yes. Post-approval consultations are important for discussing your therapy plan and to monitor if you are progressing appropriately. To find out more, please call us at 1300 991 477.
Once the CA Clinics team has received your prescription from our doctors, we proceed to complete the TGA application form known as a SAS-B. We include details such as the condition being treated, previous medications tried and the name of the treating doctor.
Everyone is different, but the known possible side-effects from prescribed plant-based treatments include fatigue and sedation, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, fever, decreased or increased appetite, dry mouth, and diarrhoea. Depending on the compound and formulation, there may be a chance of psychotropic effects such as feeling ‘high’.
Please discuss the formulation with your doctor, as this may impact your ability to drive or operate machinery.
This is a guideline only, and not legal advice. Laws can change, or vary from state to state. Please discuss with your doctor about your personal situation and state laws.
Patients who are being treated with plant-based therapies that contain the cannabinoid THC should not drive or operate machinery while being treated due to the risk of their cognitive and motor skills being impaired.
All states in Australia have Mobile Drug Testing (MDT). The NSW Centre for Road Safety website states THC can typically be detected in saliva by an MDT stick for up to 12 hours after use. This could vary for each patient depending on the dose being administered. Drivers will be penalised if they test positive for THC at a roadside MDT.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, but can still cause symptoms which may impair a driver such as drowsiness, fatigue and lowered blood pressure. There is a higher risk of these symptoms when CBD is taken with other medications or at high doses. Patients treated with CBD oil are advised to check with their state government’s health guidelines and doctors about their ability to drive. Certain CBD medications may also contain traces of THC.
The current approval timeline to be approximately 1-2 days, but allow up to 5 days. Timelines vary by state and by the complexity of the condition being applied for.
The first and currently only cannabinoid product listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is Epidyolex® for the treatment of Dravet syndrome.
To be considered for inclusion on to the PBS, a product must first be registered and approved for use by the TGA. To get approval by the TGA, a company has to submit many clinical trials that take years to complete. Some clinical trials for medicinal cannabis products are underway.
Please see our pricing guidelines here.
We respect that your time is valuable and we appreciate that you understand ours is too.
If you provide at least 72 hours notice, there is no cancellation fee and the deposit is fully refundable.
With less than 72 hours notice, there is a $50 cancellation fee and the deposit is not refundable.
If you don’t attend a confirmed appointment, the full appointment fees apply.
Please be advised, all cancellations must be made using the cancellation link provided in your booking confirmation email, or via phone.