Indications for the non-medicine-medical-product
The current law does not stipulate any condition and leaves this open to the physician’s discretion.
The former law stipulated: end-of-life care, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, epilepsy, or a debilitating symptom of another condition. In the past, the physician, would submit documentation to Health Canada, who in turn issued authorization to possess Marihuana to the patient. Health Canada is no longer involved in this way, and physicians are no longer compelled to disclose the medical condition to Health Canada. This places responsibility squarely on the one profession – Physicians.
Prescription cannabinoids (not cannabis leaves) – These are Health Canada approved drug products containing constituents of cannabis or similar compounds and are approved in Canada for patients not responding to conventional treatments for pain, spasticity, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients with anorexia associated with weight loss, and for the management of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.
Current Medical Association guidance documents indicate Marihuana use mainly for severe neuropathic pain not responding to other treatments and state that dried cannabis is not an appropriate therapy for anxiety or insomnia.
Potential use based on clinical use and experimentation are numerous. If you are interested, click here.
Dosage Forms of the non-medicine-medical-product
As already mentioned, only dried cannabis can legally be provided to patients. The label should indicate the percentage of THC and CBD, and it should not be sold in any dosage forms (not in capsules/ suspensions/ cigarettes etc.)
Mode of Administration of the non-medicine-medical-product
For Inhalation or oral consumption, also may be administered in vaporizers or teas. Ideally, medical marihuana should not be smoked.
I learned that patient’s using marihuana do not have the same privacy laws protecting them that other patients have. If a police officer approaches a pharmacist for drug information about patients, a warrant is needed or patient consent required for the information to be released. However, when an RCMP officer requests such information from a farmacist, a response is required within 72 hours as to whether an individual is in fact a client or care giver of a client as well as the dose provided to the client. The farmacist only has to make reasonable efforts to determine that the requester is in fact an RCMP officer. The information disclosed must be used solely for investigation in concern or to uphold the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Act & Regulations.
The current law limits the amount a patient can legally possess to 150 grams or 30 x the daily dose (whichever is less) and limits the day supply to 30 days, so farmacists can not sell more than that maximum amount within 30 days, with this period being based on the date of sale. Most patients receive a dose of < 3g/d. Physicians and Nurse practitioners may also receive supplies from licensed producers to transfer to patient. Under the new law, nobody is allowed to grow Marihuana (Except those grandfathered by the previously mentioned injunction, who have a valid Authorization to Possess prior to March 21, 2014)
Health Canada does inspect these licensed dealers for safety purposes. Patients can contact their producer to verify various other specific preferences ranging from organic requests to mechanization and many more specifics.
For more on the inspection process, click here.
Drug Coverage For the Non-Medicine-Medical-Product
Financial assistance may be available through government or insurance healthcare benefit programs or compassionate pricing might be offered by the producer.