Medical Cannabis  >

What is medical cannabis?

What is medical cannabis?

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis treatment is a new and innovative area of medicine in Australia. If you are exploring alternative treatments for chronic pain, sleep problems, or conditions that affect your mood or appetite, alternaleaf is for you

Until recently, when the word cannabis was mentioned in Australia, it used to be associated more with recreational drugs than with recognised medicine. In 2016, this has changed, and the Australian government has legalised the prescription of cannabis-based medication.  So let’s start with the elephant in the room. How do you know this is safe?   


Medical cannabis is grown in a controlled environment, with attention to the soil, water, light conditions and nutrients. That’s because it results in cannabis with mostly useful components and minimal amounts of less effective chemicals.

“When you use prescribed, legal and officially recognised medical cannabis, it is an entirely different process compared to a cannabis  product you would buy on the streets of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or any other major Australian city (or in regional Australia, for that matter).”

- Dr Phillip Burell, MBBS FACRRM, Authorised Prescriber Alternaleaf 

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Today, it is filling an urgent need for a safe and effective treatment alternative, where conventional medications fail. The plant's compounds (so called cannabinoids) interact with our body's natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), which manages several functions, such as pain, mood, sleep and appetite. Many doctors have not been taught about the ECS and are often unfamiliar or sceptical about it, in addition to the confusing world of a new industry that consolidates medical cannabis under the umbrella of street cannabis, hemp and CBD oil. However with the change in regulation across the world, we see an increasingly better understanding of medical cannabis and growing clinical and anecdotal evidence that show the positive impact it could have in managing chronic conditions. We’re here to support you to discover, explore and learn about medical cannabis and to provide you with a new perspective.

Controlled medical cannabis has predictable levels of cannabinoids and these are the components that are now recognised as a reliable treatment method for specific symptoms. You will now understand why it is important to make sure that the cannabis-based medication you use, comes from a controlled and legal environment. That is the only way to make sure the dosing is correct and that your medical cannabis treatment complies with Australian standards and is 100% safe.

How can I access medical cannabis in Australia?

In Australia, medical cannabis can only be prescribed by under the regulations set out by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Patients must have a prescription from a qualified doctor and approval from the TGA to access medical cannabis. With alternaleaf, you can be sure you are getting the best in cannabis care. We work with Authorised Prescribers who can, in many cases, streamline your access to medical cannabis if you are eligible.

To find out if you're eligible for medical cannabis, take our complimentary screening today

Learn more about medical cannabis

We have prepared resources for you with the aim to equip you with the resources you need to make more informed decisions about medical cannabis treatment. Dive in to some of our guides and FAQs, and learn more about medicinal cannabis in Australia.