Cannabis Access Clinics - Frequently Asked Questions
1When is treatment with medicinal cannabis contraindicated?
Contraindications for medicinal cannabis treatment Products containing THC are generally not appropriate for patients who: Have a history of hypersensitivity to any cannabinoid or products used in manufacture (e.g. sesame oil). Have severe and unstable cardio-pulmonary disease (angina, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and arrhythmias) or risk factors for cardiovascular disease—THC acts through the CB1 receptors to decrease blood pressure, increase cardiac demand and causes vasodilation. In those who smoke cannabis, there is a four-fold risk of myocardial infarction in the hour following smoking in those patients with unstable ischaemic heart disease. Have a previous psychotic or concurrent active mood disorder or severe anxiety disorder. Are pregnant/breastfeeding—there are some reports of pre-term labour and low birth weight, and cannabinoids appear in the breast milk. Patients with a past history of adverse reactions to cannabis These patients may be able to use a CBD product with no THC. This will depend on the symptoms being treated. Relative contraindications These conditions may not prevent prescribing, though should also be considered by the medical practitioner. Severe liver or renal disease. Drug dependence, including nicotine and heavy users of alcohol or other medications especially other sedatives such as opioids and benzodiazepines Paediatric and elderly patients—little is known about how these patient groups react to cannabis. As metabolism in the elderly is slower it is likely they will be more sensitive to the pharmacological effects of cannabis. Treatment should therefore be commenced at very low doses and adjusted very slowly. Individuals with a past medical history of schizophrenia or family history of schizophrenia may be contraindicated for cannabis use. Cannabis may elicit schizophrenic episodes in patients who are predisposed to schizophrenia. Other Considerations: Patients should not drive or operate heavy equipment while impaired or participate in responsibilities and activities that require focus and attention such as childcare Care should be taken in prescribing medicinal cannabis products containing THC to patients under 25 due to the potentially adverse effects on the developing brain. A risk analysis should be undertaken prior to prescribing these products.
2I am already using cannabis, why should I use product prescribed by your doctors?
The medicinal cannabis products that are prescribed by our doctors in New Zealand have to meet the quality assurance standards that are mandated by the Ministry of Health. These are pharmaceutical grade products that have consent for distribution in New Zealand or pharmaceutical grade products have been manufactured by a pharmaceutical company overseas and are being legally imported into New Zealand. All medicinal cannabis products prescribed by our doctors have to be a known concentration so patients can be sure exactly how much active ingredients they receive with each dose. If the patient needs to increase the dose, they can do this very precisely, to see if the product delivers more benefit at the higher dose. With cannabis obtained through other channels, there is no way to be certain about the compostion of the product.
3What are the side effects of medicinal cannabis?
The known side-effects from medicinal cannabis treatment (both CBD and THC) include fatigue and sedation, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, fever, decreased or increased appetite, dry mouth, and diarrhoea. THC-containing compounds are also known to cause the psychotropic effects typically associated with cannabis such as feeling 'high'.
4What form does the medicine take?
Medicinal Cannabis can come in many forms including tablets, capsules, vaporisation, oils, or sprays.
5Does Cannabis Access Clinics only prescribe cannabis?
Medical Practitioners will always take a wholistic approach and recommend the best course of treatment for your condition. Cannabis Access Clinic Doctors have been additionally trained in medicinal cannabis, so are equipped to prescribe the most appropriate Medicinal Cannabis Medicine if appropriate for your condition.
6Where do I get my medicine?
Medicinal cannabis products can be obtained from any pharmacy. Our staff usually work with the pharmacy that is most convenient to the patient and will make sure that the price the patient pays is as low as possible.
7How much will it cost?
Cannabis Access Clinics charges an initial fee of $300. We request a 50% deposit from you at the time of booking. Follow up and ongoing monitoring consultations will be an out-of-pocket cost of $200 and $100 respectively. Medicinal Cannabis products are paid to your pharmacy and typically cost $200 and above per month depending on the dosage, indication and type of product being prescribed.