Frequently Asked Questions on Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis
Medical-cannabis

Medical cannabis has been used recently as an alternative medicine for the treatment of cancer and cancer-associated comorbidities. There is a lack of awareness among the patients and healthcare professionals regarding the use of medical cannabis due to the lack of proper information. Some of the frequently asked questions by patients and healthcare professionals about medicinal cannabis are given below.

Frequently asked questions for patients

  • What is Medical cannabis?

Medical Cannabis or medical marijuana is a plant either in a raw or dried form or an extract or preparation made from Cannabis Sativa, or Cannabis Indica for medical use prescribed by physicians for their patients.

  • Is it legal for me to use medical cannabis as medicine in India?

In India, while trade and consumption of cannabis is banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, calls for legalizing its use for medicinal purposes have grown stronger over the years.

  • How can I get access to medical cannabis products?

Access to medicinal cannabis is used for a legal product prescribed by an approved doctor and dispensed by an approved pharmacist.

  • Do I need to have a prescription for purchasing medical cannabis?

Yes, a prescription from an authorized doctor and dispensed by an approved pharmacist is needed for purchasing medical cannabis.

  • Who should I refer to for medical cannabis?

A specialist medical cannabis doctor such as Cannadoc is referred  for medical cannabis.

  • What are the benefits of medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis work against growth of cancer, prevent its spread, and improves the chances of survival with the help of treatments

  • My doctor doesn’t recommend medical cannabis? Should I get a second opinion?

Lack of clinical evidence and a paucity of medical professional knowledge of cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) do not allow the recommendation of medical cannabis. Hence, a second opinion is suggested in this case.

  • What is the cost of medical cannabis?

The medical cannabis cost for Rs 8999 as per the Indian currency.

  • Is it safe to buy medical cannabis products online?

Yes, buying medical cannabis products online is safe while following all the legal protocols under the specialist recommendations and approved prescription.

  • Does medical cannabis help in reducing pain?

Medical Cannabis may ease certain types of chronic pain, including pain resulting from nerve damage and inflammation.

  • Is medical cannabis safe for diabetic patients?

Yes, medical cannabis is safe for diabetic patients as it stabilizes blood sugar levels and other complications of diabetes.

  • Does medical cannabis help reduce stress and anxiety?

Yes, medical cannabis helps reduce stress and anxiety due to high Tetrahydrocannabinol levels that help in reducing stress and anxiety.

  • Can medical cannabis help prevent cancer growth?

There is no reliable evidence that medical cannabis can prevent cancer growth.

  • Can medical cannabis worsen and even potentially cause psychotic disorders?

Appropriate dose is recommended for medical cannabis. The daily use and use of high THC potency cannabis increase odds of developing a psychotic illness and of earlier onset of psychosis.

  • Can medical cannabis cause short-term memory and affect cognitive functioning?

Medical cannabis causes impairment in cognitive functions on a number of levels ranging from basic motor coordination to more complex executive function tasks, such as the ability to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, remember, and control emotions and behavior.

  • Can medical cannabis affect the heart or lungs?

Marijuana in medical cannabis makes the heart beat faster and can make blood pressure higher immediately after use. Hence, it could lead to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and other vascular diseases.

  • Is it safe to take medical cannabis along with other medicines?

Yes, it is safe to take medical cannabis along with other medicines. CBD causes some minor unwanted symptoms and toxicity when taken along with other medicines.

  • Does medical cannabis have adverse effects?

Medical cannabis has some possible side effects including increased heart rate, dizziness, impaired concentration and memory.

  • What should I do for any adverse effects due to medical cannabis?

If medical cannabis causes any adverse side effects, directly reach to your specialists and follow the medical treatment in severe cases. Follow the instructions given by the experts.

Frequently asked questions for healthcare professionals

  • Can any doctor prescribe medical cannabis?

No, not any doctor can prescribe medical cannabis. Only the specialist can apply to the government for approval to prescribe medicinal cannabis for any medical condition.

  • What approvals are needed to access medical cannabis products?

TGA approval is required for the supply and importation of the medicinal cannabis product and is through the TGA Special Access Scheme or Approved Prescriber Scheme, both of which allow access to unapproved therapeutic goods.

  • What type of medical cannabis available in India?

The  purified and standardized form of medical cannabis is available in India.

  • Are there any clinical trials on medical cannabis?

Over the last few years, doctors have launched small-scale CBD studies and CBD clinical trials to find other potential uses for the compound.

  • How can medical cannabis help cancer growth?

Medical cannabis does not help in cancer growth.

  • How can medical cannabis prevent stress and anxiety?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)  appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses and increase anxiety at higher doses. CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses that have been tested.

  • Is it safe to recommend medical cannabis to advanced-stage cancer patients?

Yes, it is to recommend medical cannabis to advanced-stage cancer patients. A number of small studies found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer in chemotherapy during advanced stages of cancer.

  • Is brand substitution of medical cannabis products permitted?

Pharmacists are only able to substitute medicinal cannabis products provided the active ingredients, concentration, quantity and any other specifications (i.e. dosage form) are the same, and the prescriber has not indicated that brand substitution is not permitted.

  • Is it possible to get addicted to medical cannabis?

 While most people who use medical cannabis occasionally, they do not develop an addiction.

  • What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the type of chemical in marijuana that causes drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.

  • What is the recommended CBD:THC ratio of medical cannabis for cancer treatment?

The recommended concentration of CBD is in the ratio CBD:THC ratio of 1:1

  • What is the best method to administer medical cannabis?

The most efficient administration route of medicinal cannabis is by inhalation.

  • Do regulatory bodies approve medical cannabis for treatment?

The federal government still considers it illegal, but some states allow it to treat specific health problems. The FDA, the U.S. agency that regulates medicines, has approved one cannabis-derived drug product cannabidiol to treat certain seizure disorders.

  • Is it possible to have an adverse effect due to an overdose of medical cannabis?

Yes, it is possible to have an adverse effect due to an overdose of medical cannabis. It impacts mentally, heart related and leads to pale skin.

  • What are the health risks of using medical cannabis?

The health risks of using medical cannabis includes impaired driving, increased risk of stroke and testicular cancer, brain changes that could affect learning and memory, and a particularly consistent link between cannabis use and mental illnesses involving psychosis.

  • Can medical cannabis be prescribed for patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatment?

Yes, medical cannabis is prescribed for patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatment as it is  helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

  • At what stage of cancer medical cannabis is usually recommended to patients?

Medical cannabis is usually recommended to the patients at any stage of cancer. It is recommended with the cancer treatment to get relief from the side effects.

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