We are no longer in the dark ages of medicinal cannabis. Many cities and countries throughout the world have legalised medical marijuana after years of prohibition. Ever since, this natural plant-based medicine has sprouted as a potential treatment option for symptoms associated with chronic conditions.
They can be expensive and buying weed in Brisbane isn’t exactly as simple as going to the store. In Australia, only those with valid medical prescriptions can access medical marijuana.
The two main active ingredients found in medicinal marijuana are THC and CBD. They are naturally occurring cannabinoids that form the basis of all cannabis-based treatments. THC is a psychoactive substance, so it’s the cause of the high many know weed for. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and produces no such effect.
As the research on marijuana grows, the market continues to expand. We are not quite in a place where the treatment is universally affordable, but accessibility is steadily increasing.
How much does medical marijuana cost in Australia?
The cost of buying medicinal cannabis is often mentioned as one of the stumbling blocks to accessibility. As plant-based treatments are not subsidised by the Australian Government, users bear the full cost.
The amount you end up spending on medical marijuana is dependent on a few factors. These include:
- The type of product
- The concentration of CBD and/or THC
- The frequency of use
- The cost of production and shipping.
Dosage also plays a role in the overall cost of treatment. The condition and symptoms of the user will guide a medical practitioner on the correct dosage to prescribe.
As local production increases, the costs of medical marijuana are likely to reduce as import fees will no longer be a factor.
What about the black market?
Purchasing cannabis from the black market in any form should be avoided at all costs. Not only are there potential legal consequences, but significant safety risks too.
As the unauthorised purchase of medical cannabis is illegal, buying CBD or THC from an underground source can lead to hefty fines and even prison time in certain cases.
There is also no way of knowing what ingredients are included in the products for sale. The chances of bacteria, contaminants, or any other type of harmful toxin being included are significantly higher. As such, there may be immediate and/or long-term health consequences.
The costs of black-market cannabis products are also not notably cheaper than legal products. For the best results, experts strongly advise sticking to the legal market.
How to buy medical marijuana
So how do you actually purchase medicinal cannabis? The first step is to consult with a qualified medical practitioner. If a doctor believes it is the clinically appropriate thing to do, they will write a prescription for medical cannabis.
It’s important to note that CBD and THC shouldn’t be used as first-line treatments. Instead, they should only be considered in cases where mainstream medicine is failing to provide the necessary relief.
There should also be some evidence to suggest that medical marijuana can work for the patient’s condition and symptoms. A medical practitioner will review a patient’s circumstances and grant prescriptions on a case-by-case basis.
Medicinal cannabis isn’t always the right option, and doctors may refuse prescriptions if they believe the risks are too high. Cases where doctors are more likely to be hesitant include whether the person is:
- a child or teenager
- currently on blood thinners.
If a prescription is granted, you could access treatment at a local pharmacy. As the laws surrounding cannabis differ slightly from state to state, you should be sure to review the legal requirements of your area.
The types of medical cannabis products
CBD and THC come in a range of different product types. As stated above, this has a direct impact on the final cost.
The most popular types of medicinal cannabis products are:
- Oils & Tinctures: The cost is largely dependent on the ingredients and dosage strength of the product. The CBD and/or THC is extracted and stored in a dripper bottle.
- Edibles: As edibles use a wide range of different ingredients, the costs will vary widely. Popular options include gummies, brownies, and cookies.
- Vape: A once-off payment will need to be made for the device, and the costs thereafter will depend on dosage and frequency of use.
- Drinks: CBD can also be infused into drinks such as water, coffee, and tea. The costs are impacted by the type of beverage and concentration of cannabidiol.
A doctor can advise patients on what product may work best for them.
The costs of medicinal cannabis may still be an obstacle to access, but affordability is steadily increasing. As local production grows, the costs are likely to decrease.
The amount you end up spending on medical marijuana is dependent on a number of factors such as the product type, concentration of CBD and/or THC, the frequency of use, and the price of shipping. As the government does not subsidise medicinal cannabis, patients need to bear the full cost of the treatment option.
Only those with valid medical prescriptions can legally access medical marijuana in Australia. Authorised doctors will judge the suitability of the plant-based medicines on a case-by-case basis. A prescription will only be granted if a doctor believes it is the best move for ongoing treatment.
A range of different CBD and THC-based products are available. As such, the costs can vary greatly. For example, an edible’s cost is largely influenced by its ingredients.
Looking to find out more about the costs of medical marijuana? Feel free to give us a call. Our qualified experts are more than happy to help.