Frequently asked questions
General Information on Medical Cannabis
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, which patients take for medical reasons, after interacting with and obtaining authorization from their health care practitioner.
What is the difference between dried cannabis and cannabis oil?
Along with the differing ingestion methods, cannabis oil is processed by the body differently than dried cannabis. This results in a gradual onset of effects 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.
Is medical cannabis right for me?
Your family physician will help you determine if medical cannabis is the correct approach for your medical condition. If your family physician is not comfortable prescribing medical cannabis, or giving you a referral to a clinic, please contact one of our dedicated clinics that are equipped with physicians who specialize in medical cannabis therapies.
What are the different forms of medical cannabis?
Dried Cannabis can be consumed orally or by inhalation (vaporizing). The route of administration will depend on physician recommendation and availability through the licensed producer.
Cannabis Oil can be consumed orally (under the tongue) or mixed with food. Cannabis oils, provided by licensed producers, cannot be vaporized due to the carrier oils used.
What are 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. Studies have also shown some cannabinoids to have analgesic, anti-nausea, appetite stimulant and anti-spastic effects. CBD does not cause psychoactive effects. It is reported to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic properties.
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.
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 patient portal to consult with our healthcare team.
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).
Are prescription cannabinoids and medical cannabis covered by OHIP and private insurance?
Some prescription cannabinoids (such as Nabilone) are covered by OHIP and private insurance companies. Medical cannabis is currently not covered by OHIP. Several private insurance companies do offer coverage for medical cannabis under specific conditions. If you have private insurance or deal with Veterans Affairs our physicians can help with applying for coverage.
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 1 LP?
Your medical document, similar to a traditional prescription, may only be used to register with one Licensed Producer. If you wish to register with another Licensed Producer due to product availability, you can request an additional medical document or may cancel your registration with the original Licensed Producer and send the original medical document to a new Licensed Producer.
Who has access to the patient's registry list?
Health Canada will maintain a confidential list of “qualified patients” and “approved caregivers” to whom the department has issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other identifying information on the list must be confidential and are not subject to disclosure, except to:
(a) authorized employees of the department as necessary to perform official duties of the department; or
(b) authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies, only as necessary to verify that a person is a lawful possessor of a registry identification card.
How will I receive my medication?
After your patient account has been approved and you have placed your first order, your medication will be discreetly shipped to you directly from GMP Corp. in an approved medical cannabis container.
What if I do not want to smoke medical cannabis?
Many patients choose to consume medical cannabis by using a vaporizer, taking it in oil form or pill form. Smoking dry cannabis flower produces carcinogens. Please consult with your Doctor or Healthcare Practitioner for more information or speak to our Care Team to learn more about the latest medication delivery methods.
How much medical cannabis can I possess?
Patients may possess a one month’s supply of cannabis or 150 grams, whichever is less.
Are there daily amount and duration restrictions under ACMPR?
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
Legal Status of Medical Cannabis
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 or 19 years of age to receive medical cannabis, depending on provincial regulations. However, most of the medical literature has recommended against the use of cannabis in individuals younger than 25 years.
What are the legal sources of medical cannabis?
The only legal access to medical cannabis in Canada is through Health Canada approved Licensed Producers.
Can I travel with my medical cannabis?
Traveling with medical cannabis is permitted within Canada. Be sure to store your cannabis in its original prescription bottle with patient details (i.e. prescribed amount/limit, patient ID).
If you’re flying, call the airline ahead of time to ensure you won’t run into any security delays.
If you're travelling internationally, please refer to the regulations established by your destination country.
How do I know your medical cannabis is safe/chemical free?
At GMP Corp., the health and safety of our patients is our top priority. We hold ourselves to the highest quality standards, including above and beyond what is currently mandated by Health Canada for our industry.
What does the product label mean when it shows Actual vs. Potential?
The actual potency (THC and CBD) is the percentage of cannabinoids that the dried flower possesses as it occurs in its original dried state (i.e. – if you were to consume a dried cannabis bud without heating it).
Does 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.
Is medical cannabis covered by Health Care Benefits?
Currently, medical cannabis is not covered by most insurance plans. However, medical cannabis may be claimed as a medical expense for tax purposes.
Is medical cannabis covered by my health plan or private insurance?
Some insurance companies do offer medical cannabis coverage. These are considered on a case-by-case basis.
What if I am a Canadian Veteran or First Responder?
Medical cannabis for Canadian Veterans and RCMP Officers is typically covered by insurance.