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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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.

TGA Resources

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

Healthcare Professionals Guidebook(10 MB)
Download a PDF version of guidebook

Patient Resources

A Guidebook for Patients Prescribed Spectrum Therapeutics Products(5.8 MB)
Download a PDF version of the Patient Guidebook
Product Information Leaflet(24.1 KB)
Dowload a PDF version of the Product Information Leaflet

Product Resources

Explore The Spectrum

Understanding Medicinal Cannabis has never been simpler.

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Our Products

Choosing the right product for your patient.

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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


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 are analogues of THC (e.g., nabilone) or are mixtures of plant-extracted THC and CBD (e.g., nabiximols)

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 psychoactive effect.

CBD (cannabidiol) is another of the major active compounds in cannabis, and is non-psychoactive.

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 decarboxylated.

Terpenes and flavonoids

These are responsible for the variety of scents and flavours of different cannabis varieties. Terpenes may have direct physiologic 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.

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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
  • inflammation
  • appetite
  • metabolism and energy homeostasis
  • cardiovascular function
  • digestion
  • bone development and bone density
  • synaptic plasticity and learning
  • pain, reproduction
  • psychiatric disease
  • psychomotor behaviour
  • memory
  • 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.


  1. Endocannabinoids are produced in the postsynaptic terminal in response to cellular demands.
  2. These ligands travel through the synaptic cleft and bind to cannabinoid receptors (e.g., CB1) on the cell surface of the presynaptic terminal.
  3. 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).
  4. Neurotransmitter suppression changes the frequency of postsynaptic neuronal firing.

Methods of Administration


Ingesting cannabis oil from an oral dosing syringe or packaged in softgels ensures accurate dosing.



Vapourising 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. Vapourising reduces the loss of cannabinoids, and is a more efficient way of extracting chemically active constituents.


Smoking medicinal cannabis products is not recommended.

Side Effects

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 (Ref.: Anthony, JC et al. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2 (3), 244-268). (this reference is missing the year, please include)

Side effects from the use of medicinal cannabis include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Impaired short-term memory and information processing
  • Impaired attention
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia and anxiety (at high doses)

Contact Us

Still have questions?

Medical Information Line

1800 223 842

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