Frequently Asked Questions
How can we help you?
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent medical cannabis questions and answers
We conduct online video consultations through an application called Coviu. Here’s how to make the most of it:
- Log onto Coviu 10-15 minutes early
- Ask for help during your consultation if you need it
- Feel free to call us days before the appointment to practice using Coviu
Patients who do not have conditions listed in Screenings are less likely to receive TGA approvals for treatment. However, you can still call us at 1300 991 477 to discuss your case further.
Rural patients and Concession Card Holders are eligible for Medicare rebates. These include aged pension and disability support pension card holders.
DVA Card Holders are eligible for medication and consultation rebates by the DVA. Patients must present a letter from their pain or psychiatry specialists. This is typically for chronic pain or chronic pain and associated conditions (eg. PTSD). Each case is assessed and funded by the DVA based on its own merit.To find out more, please give us a call at 1300 991 477.
Medication is not generally covered by insurance as it is not on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. But we recommend consulting your private insurer to make sure.
You may not be eligible for THC prescriptions if the following points apply to you:
- Allergic to any ingredient used in cannabinoid product
- Have unstable cardio-pulmonary disease or cardiovascular disease
- Have previous psychotic or concurrent active mood disorder
- Have severe anxiety
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
Relative contraindications: These conditions may not prevent prescribing THC, though should also be considered by the medical practitioner.
- Severe liver or renal disease.
- Drug, alcohol or nicotine dependence
- Paediatric and elderly patients
- Individuals with a past medical or family history of schizophrenia
Legality and quality
Products prescribed by our doctors are legal in Australia and typically purer, unlike illegal counterparts which may not contain the ingredients they claim. Medicinal cannabis has to meet the quality assurance standards mandated by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration).
Under the Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93, all cannabis used to make medicinal cannabis products is 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. Any other products that are sold in Australia (usually illegally) do not have to be tested and there is no way to know if it is safe to use.
Prescribing cannabis means knowing the exact concentration of active ingredients in a product. This means doctors can monitor reactions and alter doses with precision, limiting risks.
On the other hand, there is no way to tell how much active ingredients other cannabis products contain. All products prescribed by our doctors have to be tested with results shown to the TGA before they can be used to treat Australian patients.
Yes. Post-approval consultations are important for discussing new medication and dosage. 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 the condition being treated, previous medications tried and the name of the treating doctor.
The known possible side-effects from our prescribed medications include fatigue and sedation, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, fever, decreased or increased appetite, dry mouth, and diarrhoea. THC-containing compounds are also known to potentially cause the psychotropic effects typically associated with cannabinoids such as feeling ‘high’.
Patients who are being treated with medications that contain THC should not drive or operate machinery while being treated. The reason for this is that THC can affect cognitive and motor skills necessary for safe driving.
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 taking CBD products are advised to check with their state government’s health guidelines and doctors about their ability to drive on medication.
CA Clinics estimate the current approval timeline to be approximately 3 to 4 days. We have recently seen approval responses more typically be 48 hours. Timelines vary by state and by the complexity of the condition being applied for.
No. Medicinal Cannabis is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
To be considered for inclusion on to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the 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, but they are many years away from having enough data for a TGA submission.
A full list of our pricing is found on the Services Price List here.
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A one-off compliance fee of $250 is payable after the initial consultation.This covers the associated costs of making applications to the TGA and the associated back-office administrative duties.
Note: The cost of your Screening Appointment is deductible from the compliance fee.
We respect that your time is valuable and we appreciate that you understand ours is too. Any cancellations that occur 48 hours or more before appointments can re-book at no additional cost. Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the appointment may result in a cancelled booking fee.
Our treatments usually require TGA Special Access Scheme approvals. Conditions that may be approved by the TGA include but are not limited to:
- Chronic pain
- Cancer pain
- Spinal pain
- Mood disorders (PTSD, anxiety, depression)
- Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting
- Eating disorders (anorexia, cachexia)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sleep disorders
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (crohns, colitis)
The TGA requires that there is some evidence that the recommended treatment will work for your condition before they approve it.
The first step in their journey is to complete an online questionnaire where trained medical professionals will evaluate whether your condition is appropriate for treatment.