Frequently Asked Questions

We have summarized our most frequently asked questions below. Got a question we didn’t answer?

Medical Cannabis Questions

What is medical cannabis?

The term “medical cannabis” is used to describe products derived from the whole cannabis plant or its extracts containing a variety of active cannabinoids and terpenes. Patients use these products for medical reasons, after consulting with and obtaining authorization from their health care practitioner.

What is the difference between dried cannabis and cannabis oil?

Cannabis oil is ingested and processed by the body differently than dried cannabis. This results in a more gradual onset of effects resulting from cannabis oil in comparison to smoking or vaporizing dried cannabis. Patients report experiencing the effects of cannabis oil for a longer duration than smoked or vaporized dried cannabis.

What are the different forms of medical cannabis?

1) Dried Cannabis- Can be consumed orally (added to edibles or teas) or by inhalation (vaporizing or smoking). The route of administration will depend on physician recommendation and availability through the licensed producer.

2) Cannabis Oil- Can be consumed sublingually (under the tongue) or mixed with food. Cannabis oils, provided by licensed producers, cannot be vaporized due to the carrier oils used.

What are the Active Ingredients in Medical Cannabis?

The two main components of medical cannabis are 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC produces the psychoactive effects of medical cannabis. It also has analgesic, anti-nausea, appetite stimulant and anti-spastic effects. CBD does not cause psychoactive effects. It has neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic properties.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Medical Cannabis?

Information on side effects for therapeutic use of medical cannabis is limited. Some known side effects include euphoria, intoxication-like effects, dizziness, drowsiness, impaired memory, disorientation, dry mouth, and rapid heartbeat. This is not a complete list. If you or your loved one who is using medical cannabis experiences anything unexpected after using medical cannabis, please have them call 911 (if it is an emergency) or use our secure O Cannabis patient portal to consult with our healthcare team.

What are the most common conditions medical cannabis is prescribed for?

Medical cannabis is commonly used by patients who are experiencing the following symptoms:

Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis (MS)

Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord injury

Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord disease

Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from cancer

Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from HIV/AIDS infection

Does medical cannabis have a DIN?

Pharmacological cannabinoids such as Sativex® (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-cannabidiol) and Cesamet® (nabilone) have been approved for specific indications by Health Canada, however herbal medical cannabis has not gone through Health Canada’s drug review and approval process, nor does it have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN).

Is Medical Cannabis Addictive?

Research has shown the overall addiction potential of cannabis to be less than for caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol.

Questions about Using Medical Cannabis

How can I consume medical cannabis?

Patients can use dried cannabis in a variety of ways. Patients may choose to vaporize, smoke, or make edibles and teas with their medical cannabis. Cannabis oil can be applied directly under the tongue or incorporated into various recipes.

How do I obtain a prescription for medical cannabis?

It’s best to speak to your physician about why you want to try medical cannabis. If your physician is not comfortable prescribing medical cannabis, contact us for a complete list of prescribing physicians in your area. Once you have been assessed by a physician or nurse practitioner and it is determined that you are a suitable candidate for medical cannabis, a Medical Document will be sent to a Health Canada approved licensed producer on your behalf. 

What is a Licensed Producer (LP)?

A Licensed Producer (LP) is a company regulated by Health Canada that can legally produce and sell medical cannabis to patients in Canada.

Can I register with more than one Licensed Producer (LP)?

Your medical document, similar to a traditional prescription, may only be used to register with one LP. If you wish to register with another LP due to product availability, you can request an additional medical document or may cancel your registration with the original LP and send the original medical document to a new LP.

Can I travel with my medical cannabis?

Traveling with medical cannabis is permitted within Canada. Be sure to carry your registration documentation and store your cannabis in its original prescription bottle. If you’re flying, call the airline ahead of time to ensure you won’t run into any security delays.

Can I drive after taking my medical cannabis medication?

It depends on the treatment you have been prescribed. Your health practitioner will determine this at your appointment. As a rule of thumb, don’t drive while feeling intoxicated.

What If I Don't Want To Smoke Medical Cannabis?

Excellent! We highly recommend that you consume your medical cannabis by using a vaporizer, taking it in oil form or pill form. Smoking dry cannabis flower produces carcinogens. Please consult with your nurse practitioner for more information or speak to our Cannabis Educators for the latest and greatest medication delivery methods.

Does medical cannabis have an expiry date?

Until regulations change with Health Canada, the ACMPR does not require an expiry date to be included on bottles of medical cannabis . More information to follow as it becomes available.

Legal Questions

How much medical cannabis can I possess?

Patients may possess a one month’s supply of cannabis or 150 grams, whichever is less. Additionally, medical documents can be written for no longer than 12 months at one time.

Various surveys published in peer-reviewed literature have suggested that the majority of people using inhaled or orally ingested cannabis for medical purposes reported using approximately 1-3 grams of cannabis per day. In our experience, most patients will receive maximum benefit from using less than 1 gram a day. 

Why can’t I go to a pharmacy to fill my prescription for medical cannabis?

Various surveys published in peer-reviewed literature have suggested that the majority of people using inhaled or orally ingested cannabis for medical purposes reported using approximately 1-3 grams of cannabis per day. In our experience, most patients will receive maximum benefit from using less than 1 gram a day. There is a possession cap of the less than 150 grams or 30 times the prescribed daily amount. Additionally, medical documents can be written for no longer than 12 months at one time, though this is rare.

Am I getting a licensed card to carry my medical cannabis?

Patients may possess up to 30 times the daily quantity of dried medical cannabis specified in their medical document or up to 150 grams (whichever is less). In accordance with the ACMPR, a patient’s proof of authorization to possess medical cannabis is the client specific label with their details on each of their bottles and an appropriate piece of photo identification to demonstrate legal possession. Therefore, we are no longer required to supply our patients with a Patient ID card, and they are no longer required to carry one.

If I live in a temporary dwelling, am I eligible to use medical cannabis?

Yes, you are eligible to use medical cannabis. However, the facility or home where you are living may have prohibitions. Therefore, you must verify with the facility if using medical cannabis is permitted and under what circumstances or conditions.

Is medical cannabis legal in Canada?

Yes, medical cannabis is legal in Canada for patients who receive authorization from a physician or nurse practitioner.

What is the legal age to obtain a medical cannabis prescription?

According to Health Canada, a patient must be at least 18 years of age to receive medical cannabis. Patients under 25 years of age will require parental consent and a different appointment process.  However, most of the medical literature has recommended against the use of cannabis in individuals younger than 25 years. Please contact us if you would like more information.

What are the legal sources of medical cannabis?

The only legal access to medical cannabis in Canada is through Health Canada Licensed Producers, Some Canadians still have a personal production license, which grants them authorization to produce medical cannabis for personal use.

Can I legally purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary?

No. Health Canada and the Accesses to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) stipulate that medical cannabis can only be sold by a registered Licensed Producer (LP).

Is medical cannabis legal in Canada?

Yes, medical cannabis is legal in Canada for patients who receive authorization from a physician or nurse practitioner.

Financial Assistance Questions

Is medical cannabis covered by OHIP?

Some prescription cannabinoids (such as Nabilone) are covered by OHIP. Medical cannabis is currently not covered by OHIP. However, medical cannabis may be claimed as a medical expense for tax purposes.

Is medical cannabis covered by my health care benefits or private insurance?

Some prescription cannabinoids (such as Nabilone) are covered by private insurance companies. Several insurance companies do offer coverage for medical cannabis under specific conditions. Please contact us if you have questions about health insurance coverage for medical cannabis.

What if I am a Canadian Veteran or RCMP Officer?

Medical cannabis for Canadian Veterans and RCMP Officers is typically covered by insurance. Please contact us for more information.