Information for Health Care Practitioners - Medical Use of Cannabis

If you are a licensed health care practitioner and you want to know more about the use of cannabis for medical purposes (for example, pharmacology, potential therapeutic uses, contraindications, adverse reactions etc.) the following resources will provide you with scientific and medical information to help you in discussions with your patients.

Health care practitioners should consult their provincial or territorial health care licensing authority's guidelines and policies before authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

In addition, the College of Family Physicians of Canada has published preliminary guidance on authorizing dried cannabis for chronic pain and anxiety, which can be found here:

If you and your patient conclude that cannabis for medical purposes is an appropriate option for her/him, you will need to complete a medical document (or other document containing the same information).

For additional application requirements, you can direct your patient to the section

When you discuss daily amount of cannabis with your patient, it is useful to remember that the recommended daily amount dictates the total amount the patient will be authorized to possess or produce.

Various surveys published in the peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature have suggested that the majority of people using smoked or orally ingested cannabis for therapeutic purposes reported using the equivalent of up to three (3) grams of dried marijuana per day.

While there are no restrictions under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations on the daily amount that you may authorize, there is a possession limit of the lesser of the equivalent of 150 grams or 30 times the daily amount of dried marijuana.

Daily amount expressed in grams of dried marijuana

You must indicate on the medical document the daily amount that you authorize expressed in grams of dried marijuana.

If the patient chooses to access either fresh marijuana or cannabis oil, from a licenced producer, the producer will determine the amount of fresh marijuana or cannabis oil that is equivalent to a given amount of dried marijuana by taking into account the dried marijuana equivalency factor established by the licensed producer.

If the patient chooses to produce cannabis him/herself or to have it produced by another person, the patient and the designated person, if any, are required to manage their possession or storage limit based on the amount of fresh marijuana, cannabis oil or other products that are equivalent to a given amount of dried marijuana. As such, five (5) grams of fresh marijuana is determined to be equivalent to one (1) gram of dried marijuana and the amount of products that is equivalent to a given amount of dried marijuana is calculated by taking into account the weight of fresh or dried marijuana that was used to make the products.

For fresh marijuana and cannabis oil sold or provided by licensed producers, information about the equivalency in dried marijuana will appear on the product label. The information is also available on the licensed producer's website.

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