Healthcare Professional Resource Support
Whether you’re new to including medicinal cannabis in your practice, or have been prescribing for years, we’re here to support you with clinical information, access to training, and links to the latest research initiatives.
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Information and Resources for Healthcare Professionals
An educational platform dedicated for Australian healthcare professionals. By confirming that you are a member of the medical profession in Australia, you will be provided access to a range of healthcare professional and patient educational resources as well as information about how to prescribe Spectrum Therapeutics products.
Welcome to the Healthcare Professional Information and Resource Platform
We provide clinical information, patient information, access to training, and information about our products. We're here to support you whether you're new to medical cannabis or have been prescribing for years. Please note that medicinal cannabis products are not registered in Australia.
For further information about medicinal cannabis in Australia, please refer to the TGA website here.
Access the TGA Guidance documentation, 'How to Access Medicinal Cannabis - TGA Guide for HCPs here.
Office of Drug Control - Approved Manufacturers and Suppliers of Medicinal Cannabis. Find out more information here.
Healthcare Professional Resources
Explore The Spectrum
Understanding Medicinal Cannabis has never been simpler.
Choosing the right product for your patient.
Spectrum Therapeutics Products
If you have any questions regarding our products or pricing, please contact our Medical team on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our medical information hotline: 1800 223 842
Education for Healthcare Professionals
Spectrum Therapeutics provides a range of education, including accredited activities, to healthcare professionals via the Praxhub Education Platform.
- Cannabis in Pain Management, Presented by Dr Peter Georgius, Pain Medicine Specialist, FFPMANZCA Rehabilitation Physician, FAFRM MBBS, BMedSc
- Practical Considerations for Medicinal Cannabis in Chronic Disease Management - Sleep Disorders, Presented by Dr Irene Kharatishvili-Bredt
- Medicinal Cannabis and its Role in Gastroenterology, Presented by Dr Christopher Schneider BSc, MD, FRCPC, FRACP - 3 CPD Points
- GP Prescribing of Cannabinoid Medicines - First Do No Harm Presented by Dr David Gunn MD, CCFP, FCFP, FRACGP - 3 CPD Points
- Prescribing Medicinal Cannabis Presented by Dr Tamara Nation MBBS, PhD, FRACGP - 3 CPD Points
- Medicinal Cannabis in Palliative Care Presented by Dr Orit Holtzman BSc, PhD, MBBS - 3 CPD Points
- Medicinal Cannabis Where to Start Presented by Dr Peter Georgius, Pain Medicine Specialist, FFPMANZCA, Rehabilitation Physician, FAFRM, MBBS, BMedSc
- Vaping Cannabis: Viable Alternative or a Load of Hot Air Presented by Dr Joel Wren GP - 3 CPD Points
- The Role of Cannabidiol in Mental Health Conditions Presented by Dr Evrard Harris, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist - 3 CPD Points
- Cannabis in opioid related pain management - hope or hype? Presented by Dr Craig Thompson, MRCGP, FRACGP, FACRRM, MPHTM, CTH - 3 CPD Points
To access these accredited learning activities, visit Praxhub, and once registered search for the Spectrum Therapeutics organisation page where all our education is housed. Follow Spectrum Therapeutics via Praxhub and you will be notified of any new education activities and upcoming events.
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eLearning for Healthcare Professionals
Learn more about medical cannabis and how to integrate it into your clinical practice with our Spectrum Learning courses. Our course content is based on current evidence and best practices and has been developed by experts with years of experience educating healthcare professionals.
Course modules available are:
- Cannabis around the World
- Australian Medical Use - Minimising Risks and Maximising Benefits
- Product Training
- Medical Cannabis: For Australian Healthcare Professionals
Spectrum Academy Learning Series 2020
Spectrum Academy presents a pair of educational webinars, including presentations from global experts and experienced clinicians, on
the use of Cannabinoid-Based Medicine in the treatment of chronic pain.
Introduction to Medicinal Cannabis
The use of medicinal preparations of cannabis can be traced back over five thousand years, making it one of the oldest medicinal plants.
More than 500 natural compounds have been identified and isolated from Cannabis sativa. This includes the medicinally important cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other non-cannabinoid constituents. These compounds are produced in high concentration in the glandular trichomes, which are the hair-like, resin-secreting glands found on the surface of the female cannabis flower.
There are more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, which interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors:
- Endocannabinoids – naturally produced in the body
- Phytocannabinoids – found in many plants, but in highest concentrations in cannabis
- Synthetic cannabinoids – includes pharmaceuticals that have the same chemical structure (e.g., dronabinol) or are analogues (e.g., nabilone) of cannabinoids.
THC (delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the main active ingredients in cannabis. It is responsible for many of the pharmacological effects of cannabis, including the intoxicating effects.
CBD (cannabidiol) is another of the major active compounds in cannabis, and is non-intoxicating.
Watch How Cannabis Works
Activation of Cannabinoids
Inactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) in the raw plant must be decarboxylated to the neutral phenols (THC and CBD) to interact with the endocannabinoid system. This occurs when dried cannabis flowers are heated. Many commercially available oils are already decarboxylated.
Terpenes and flavonoids
These are responsible for the variety of scents and flavours of different cannabis varieties. Terpenes may have direct physiological effects as well as interacting with cannabinoids to create the unique properties of individual cannabis varieties. This is known as the entourage effect, a theory that describes the potential interactions between major cannabinoids, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant constituents.
The Endocannabinoid System
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a ubiquitous lipid signaling system that plays an important role in the regulation of homeostasis throughout the human body. The ECS consists of endogenous receptors, ligands, and metabolic enzymes.
It has been implicated in:
- neural development
- immune function
- metabolism and energy homeostasis
- cardiovascular function
- bone development and bone density
- synaptic plasticity and learning
- psychiatric disease
- psychomotor behaviour
- wake/sleep cycles
- the regulation of stress and emotional state
The ECS consists of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, two endogenous agonists (or endocannabinoids), and endocannabinoid synthesising and degrading enzymes. CB1 receptors are found in highest concentration in the central and peripheral nervous system and in the gastrointestinal tract. CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system, including the tonsils, spleen, lymph nodes, and circulating lymphocytes and neutrophils.
While present throughout the CNS, the concentration of cannabinoid receptors is low in the brainstem, specifically the area responsible for cardiorespiratory drive.
Activation of CB1 receptors
This schematic of a neuronal junction shows the activation of CB1 receptors by endocannabinoids. This retrograde signalling regulates neurotransmission in a precise spatio-temporal manner.
- Endocannabinoids are produced in the postsynaptic terminal in response to cellular demands.
- These ligands travel through the synaptic cleft and bind to cannabinoid receptors (e.g., CB1) on the cell surface of the presynaptic terminal.
- Once stimulated, cannabinoid receptors activate a signaling cascade that suppresses the release of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft (e.g., glutamate, GABA, dopamine, and cholecystokinin).
- Neurotransmitter suppression changes the frequency of postsynaptic neuronal firing.
Methods of Administration
Ingesting medicinal cannabis oil from an oral dosing syringe or packaged in softgels ensures accurate dosing.
Vaporising is a way to inhale the bioactive components of medicinal cannabis without burning the plant material. Cannabis is heated to a temperature that volatilises, without combusting, the cannabinoids and other plant constituents. Vaporising reduces the loss of cannabinoids, and is a more efficient way of extracting chemically active constituents.
Smoking medicinal cannabis products is not recommended.
Like all other medicine, medicinal cannabis can also have side effects. The risk of dependence following prolonged use of medicinal cannabis has not been sufficiently studied, but the experience of drug research shows that cannabis is less addictive than comparable pain medication if misused (Anthony, JC et al. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. 1997;2(3):244-268).
Side effects from the use of medicinal cannabis include:
- Dry mouth
- Impaired motor skills
- Impaired short-term memory and information processing
- Impaired attention
- Increased appetite
- Paranoia and anxiety (at high doses)
Still have questions?
Medical Information Line
1800 223 842