Frequently Asked Questions
What is medical cannabis?
Medical cannabis refers to the range of products derived from the whole cannabis plant or its extracts. These products contain a variety of active cannabinoids and terpenes that patients take for medical reasons after obtaining authorization from a health care practitioner. There are different types of cannabis plants including: Indica, Sativa, and a range of hybrid mixes. Within these plant types there are specific cultivars or “strains”, each with a unique profile. All cannabis used for medical treatments contain several complex compounds, the most notable of which are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Is medical cannabis legal?
Yes. When the Cannabis Act came into force on October 17, 2018, use of cannabis, medical or otherwise, became legal across Canada.
HOW MUCH DOES MEDICAL CANNABIS COST?
The cost for medical cannabis is set by the individual Licensed Producers. Current cost ranges between $5 and $15 per gram of dried cannabis or extracts. This will depend on the Licensed Producer selected and whether or not you qualify for compassionate care programs (note: not all Licensed Producers have these). Most patients will use less than 1 gram a day.
IS MEDICAL CANNABIS COVERED BY PROVINCIAL HEALTH OR INSURANCE?
While medical cannabis consultations or appointments with a qualified doctor are covered by most provincial healthcare plans, the cost of the medical cannabis is generally not covered.
As private insurers begin to recognize the value and benefits associated with cannabinoid therapy, some now offer coverage for specific conditions, so it is worth checking periodically with your benefits provider. Additionally, some insurance companies will cover medical cannabis through a HSA (Health Spending Account).
It’s worth noting that even if medical cannabis isn’t covered by your health insurer, it may still be more of a cost-effective option than using other prescription products with a co-payment insurance plan.
Finally, if you deal with Veterans Affairs or are in a position to request Compassion Pricing, our physicians or educators can assist you with the process of applying for coverage or discount in pricing.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CONDITIONS CANNABIS IS PRESCRIBED FOR?
- Chemotherapy-induced Nausea and Vomiting
- Chronic pain
- HIV/AIDS related Anorexia and Nausea
- Multiple Sclerosis (Pain/Spasticity)
- Palliative Care of Cancer Patients
HOW DO I GET AN APPOINTMENT?
There are two methods of becoming a patient at Canabo to book an appointment. Firstly, our clinic accepts patients who have been referred to the clinic by their physician or a medical specialist. After your physician completes the Patient Referral Form and shares it with the clinic, an intake team member will contact you to book an appointment. Secondly, you can complete a self-referral form on this website and electronically submit it. Once received, an intake team member will contact you to schedule an appointment.
CAN I JUST WALK INTO THE CLINIC AND WAIT TO SEE A DOCTOR?
No, all consultations are appointment-only. Please complete the self-referral form so that our intake team can contact you to schedule an appointment.
WHAT IF MY PHYSICIAN WON’T REFER ME?
Please complete a self-referral form.
HOW MUCH DOES A CONSULTATION WITH A DOCTOR COST?
You should never pay for a Medical Authorization document for medical cannabis. At Canabo Medical Clinics, there is no fee to see a physician at our clinics if you have valid provincial health insurance. During your initial visit you will receive a consultation with a physician as well as a free introductory cannabinoid education session with one of our trained cannabinoid educators.
HOW LONG WILL MY APPOINTMENT BE?
Our appointment length may vary depending on the nature of the visit. Most physician consultations are roughly 30 minutes. If prescribed, you will also see a patient educator which could take up to 20 minutes. Follow-up appointments are generally significantly shorter. We recommend allowing between 1 hour to 1 ½ hours for your appointment.
HOW LONG AFTER SEEING A DOCTOR WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY MEDICAL CANNABIS?
This will depend on a number of factors, including the current volume of referrals at your selected Licensed Producer. Traditionally, it can take anywhere from 1 to 7 business days to fully process your registration. Once registration is confirmed and you order the medication, you can receive the product as early as 1-3 days after ordering. Some Licensed Producers offer same-day or next-day shipping along with instant verifications which can result into your receiving your medication the next day. Your Patient Educator will be more than happy to inform you on these options.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAIN FOR MY CONDITION AND SYMPTOMS?
The therapeutic effects of cannabis vary according to the content and ratio of THC and CBD compounds of the specific strain type. An Educator will assist you in choosing the strain and ingestion method best suited to help you manage your specific symptoms and conditions.
ARE THERE DAILY AMOUNT AND DURATION RESTRICTIONS FOR MEDICAL AUTHORIZATIONS OBTAINED UNDER THE CANNABIS ACT REGULATIONS?
Yes, there is daily amount prescribed and a prescription duration that the physician prescribes based on the consultation with the patient. In our experience, most patients receive maximum health benefits from less than 1 gram (or the equivalent dose in extracts) a day. While most initial medical authorization documents are written for 3 to 6 months, a medical authorization can be written for up to 12 months
WHAT IS A LICENSED PRODUCER?
Under the Cannabis Act, medical cannabis patients are required to purchase their medical cannabis from a Licensed Producer or LP. Licensed Producers are regulated by Health Canada and follow strict quality control guidelines. Once a physician prescribes a Medical Authorization document, you are required to select and register with a Licensed Producer, which you can then place an order with.
CAN I ORDER FROM MORE THAN ONE LICENSED PRODUCER?
Yes, the Medical Authorization document can be sent to more than one Licensed Producer, provided you do not exceed the total authorized amount that was prescribed.
HOW DO I STORE MEDICAL CANNABIS?
It is recommended that you store your medication in a cool and dark area, out of reach of children, teenagers, and pets.
CAN I TRAVEL WITH MEDICAL CANNABIS?
Medical cannabis is still illegal in many parts of the world but you can travel with it within Canada only. Canadian prescriptions do not authorize patients to use medical cannabis in other countries.
CAN I GET A LICENSE TO GROW AT HOME?
Documentation to apply with Health Canada to grow your own cannabis is given on the physician’s discretion. Please let the booking team member know if this is your intention so you can be booked with the right physician.