Patient FAQ

Is medical cannabis the same thing as medical marijuana?

The term marijuana has become popularised within American culture due to its associated with the notion of getting ‘high’. Whereas in Australia the term cannabis has been used to help distance the medical benefits of marijuana from its recreational drug uses. Medical cannabis and medical marijuana are the same thing however, they are not the same as recreational cannabis/marijuana.

The major difference lies in the fact that medical cannabis/marijuana can remove or significantly decrease the intoxicating effect (the ‘high’) of THC - a cannabinoid present in the marijuana plant. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) has numerous medicinal benefits, but it can also have psychotropic side effects. The purpose of medical cannabis/marijuana is to utilise the cannaboids within the plant and help people afflicted with illness, pain and discomfort. The extent to which medical cannabis/marijuana helps illnesses is continuously developing with new research. To learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis/marijuana click here.

The connotations surrounding marijuana compared to cannabis is what continues to create the illusion that the two are different. The term cannabis is derived from the plant's scientific name and within Australia it is helping to reduce the stigma associated with the plant for its intoxicating effect and focussing on its potential medical benefits. There are now many medical cannabis products available that can offer patients the medicinal qualities of the plant, but not the psychoactive ones. To understand more about the different stands of cannaboids visit this link:

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