Medicinal cannabis has been made available to patients in Australia since 2017. It is not approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) because there is not enough research evidence for its use. Nevertheless, it is legally available to be prescribed by doctors to patients under what is called a Special Access Scheme (SAS).
There are five areas for which TGA considers there to be sufficient medical evidence for use of medicinal cannabis products. None of these are in the field of mental health disorders.
However, Dr Natalie Krapivensky has carefully reviewed the scientific literature and has been gradually trialing the use of medicinal cannabis oils in the treatment of depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders and chronic pain. We found that the oils are well tolerated and effective, but ongoing use is often precluded by the cost which is approximately $350 per month. There are no subsidies and no rebates.
Dr Krapivensky has lectured nationally and internationally on use of medicinal cannabis in mental health disorders and is pleased to offer consultations to those patients who are interested to find out more about this emerging therapeutic tool.
MediBrain offers consultations in Melbourne office or nationally via internet utilizing Medicare items available for TelePsychiatry consultations.