Key messages

  • Information and resources to support medical professionals prescribe medicinal cannabis.

Medicinal cannabis data

Victorian medicinal cannabis approvals (Schedule 8)

Total number of schedule 8 applications for medicinal cannabis products approved by month since May 2017*

Total number of schedule 8 applications for medicinal cannabis products approved by month since May 2017 

(last updated: 31/03/2020) *Due to Covid-19, Victorian doctors have been permitted to prescribe 'schedule 8' medicines, including medicinal cannabis, without the need for a treatment permit until 27 September 2020. Data on Schedule 8 applications will not be collected during this period.

  Total S8 approvals by condition since November 2016*

 Total S8 approval by condition since November 2016

(last updated: 31/03/2020) *Due to Covid-19, Victorian doctors have been permitted to prescribe 'schedule 8' medicines, including medicinal cannabis, without the need for a treatment permit until 27 September 2020. Data on Schedule 8 applications will not be collected during this period.

Australian Medicinal Cannabis Study

The Victorian Office of Medicinal Cannabis, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, Lambert Initiative for Cannabis Therapeutics (University of Sydney), and   other Australian health departments/agencies is currently investigating the use, safety and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis products prescribed in Australia.

For more information and to view the results of the study so far, please visit the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Study page on this website.

Clinical Guidance and other key documents

The documents linked below may be used by Australian medical practitioners to help inform their decision-making about patient treatment options with medicinal cannabis products.

The provision of this information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of medicinal cannabis, or cannabis and cannabinoids generally, by the Department of Health and Human Services.

TGA Clinical Guidance documents

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), together with Victoria and other States, has developed a series of clinical guidance documents to assist doctors and patients to understand the evidence for the potential uses of medicinal cannabis.

These guidance documents have been based on evidence reviews conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) and cover the following medical conditions:

The TGA website also provides links to bibliographies of the major studies used in developing the guidance documents, all of which can be found on the TGA's website.

(last updated: 21 December 2017)

Other key documents

Health Canada

(last updated: January 2017)

Health Canada has prepared a document summarising peer-reviewed literature and international reviews concerning potential therapeutic uses and harmful effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

Please note that this document is not a systematic review or meta-analysis of the literature, and it has not rigorously evaluated or graded the quality and weight of the available evidence.

To access this document, visit Health Canada's website.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (US)

(last updated: January 2017)

The National Academies have prepared a report investigating the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

This report summarizes the current state of evidence regarding what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including effects related to therapeutic uses of cannabis and potential health risks related to certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries.

The access this document, visit the National Academies' website.

Training and education

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has developed a webinar series on understanding cannabis medicines. These webinars are presented by representatives from the RACGP, NSW Health and the NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service. 

Please note that Part 2 contains information specific to prescribing medicinal cannabis in NSW.

Accredited courses for medical practitioners about medicinal cannabis can also be accessed through the following providers:

Research and clinical trial updates

Research update

The Office of Medicinal Cannabis provides quarterly updates on current research evaluating the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis. This research update contains summaries of significant, peer reviewed journal articles relating to medicinal cannabis.

The articles included in this update have not been evaluated by subject matter experts and should be used as a complement to other reliable sources of information. The Office of Medicinal Cannabis does not endorse or give assurances as to the quality of the articles contained within this update.

Last updated: June 2020

CBD Safety Study

A Victorian Government sponsored study into the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a new formulation of cannabidiol (CBD) in healthy adults has now been published.

The new formulation demonstrated a favourable safety and tolerability profile, providing valuable evidence demonstrating the safety of CBD.

Access to the peer-reviewed paper is free and can be found here.

Clinical trial update

There are a number of clinical trials underway both internationally and in Australia exploring medicinal cannabis. The Office of Medicinal Cannabis compiles a quarterly update summarising recent clinical trials relating to medicinal cannabis, to provide an indication of research trends investigating the use of medicinal cannabis.

All domestic clinical trials must be registered on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR). You can search for relevant clinical trials on the ANZCTR website. Doctors that would like to receive alerts for when new clinical trials are registered with the ANZCTR can subscribe here.

The Office of Medicinal Cannabis also provides quarterly updates on current clinical trials investigating the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis. This clinical trial update contains summaries of trials currently underway relating to medicinal cannabis.

Last updated: June 2020

Available Products

The Office of Drug Control (ODC) publishes an updated list of importers and manufacturers of medicinal cannabis products on its website, which may assist in identifying products currently available in Australia. It is important to note that these products can currently only be accessed via the Authorised Prescriber or Special Access Scheme Category B. Please visit the Health Professionals page on this website for more information on choosing products and prescribing medicinal cannabis.

Factsheets

The Office of Medicinal Cannabis has prepared two printable factsheets summarising the access pathways for medicinal cannabis products in Victoria:

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, in collaboration with several other Victorian health services, has also developed factsheets for patients and doctors summarising general information about medicinal cannabis as a treatment for symptoms associated with cancer.