Welcome to the RestoreMe FAQ. Embarking on a journey of knowledge and discovery, our FAQ guide is designed to shed light on the intricacies of medicinal cannabis in the vibrant landscape of New Zealand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can medicinal cannabis show up on a drug test?

Yes, depending on the components present in the medicinal cannabis product, it's possible for cannabinoids like THC to appear on drug tests. While CBD-dominant products are less likely to trigger a positive result, THC-containing products can potentially be detected, especially in more sensitive drug screenings. It's advisable to discuss this concern with your healthcare provider.

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and many other plants. They contribute to the distinct flavours and aromas of different cannabis strains. Beyond their sensory characteristics, terpenes also play a role in influencing the effects and potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Why does my GP refuse to prescribe medicinal cannabis?

GPs can have varying comfort levels or experience with prescribing medicinal cannabis due to factors such as limited knowledge about its efficacy for specific conditions, concerns about potential side effects, or lack of training in this area. Many doctors in New Zealand are reluctant to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Seeking consultation with a specialist or clinic specialising in medicinal cannabis might provide more insights and options for treatment.

What are the rules around driving and medicinal cannabis?

In New Zealand, driving under the influence of medicinal cannabis, like any other impairing substance, is illegal and highly discouraged. The effects of cannabis can vary from person to person, impacting cognitive functions, reaction times, and coordination. It's essential for individuals using medicinal cannabis to be aware of these potential effects and how they might affect their ability to drive safely.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) advises that if a person's driving is impaired due to medication, including medicinal cannabis, they should refrain from driving. It's crucial to follow healthcare providers' guidance regarding dosage, timing, and potential effects on driving ability. NZTA also recommends discussing any concerns about driving with a healthcare professional to understand the potential impacts and ensure safety on the road.It's essential to recognise that driving under the influence of medicinal cannabis can pose risks to both the individual and others on the road. Prioritising safety, adhering to medical advice, and being aware of personal limitations while using medicinal cannabis are critical aspects for responsible driving behaviour in New Zealand.

Can I fly domestically or abroad with my medicinal cannabis?

Flying with medicinal cannabis requires careful adherence to regulations. In New Zealand, domestic travel with prescribed medicinal cannabis is legal, provided it's carried in its original packaging with clear labels indicating the user's name, prescribing doctor, and dosage. However, international regulations differ widely, with some countries allowing medicinal cannabis with proper documentation while others may consider it illegal, risking legal consequences. Prior to travel, thorough research on both departure and arrival destinations' laws regarding medicinal cannabis is crucial. Contacting relevant authorities and airlines for clarity on permissions and required documentation is recommended. To ensure compliance and avoid legal issues, travellers should consult their healthcare provider, follow legal guidelines, and carry all necessary documentation when travelling with medicinal cannabis.For more information, including for travel to Australia, refer to this article.

What types of medicinal cannabis products are available in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, medicinal cannabis products can vary in form and composition. They may include oils, capsules, sprays, or dried flower products. These products often contain varying concentrations of cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), tailored to address specific medical conditions.

Does medicinal cannabis interact with other medicines?

As THC works on receptors in the brain, there is the potential for medicinal cannabis to have an additive sedation effect with other medicines that work on the brain such as antidepressants, alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids.

Most medicines are metabolised through enzymes in the liver. Some drugs will block others from being metabolised which may increase levels of the new medicine and others can speed up the process resulting in low levels.

There are a number of potential drug-drug interactions with cannabis-based medical products and other medicines or substances that are, metabolised through these enzymes. It is very important that the doctor knows all the medicines you are taking including any herbal remedies.

However, clinically significant drug interactions are rare and there is no drug that cannot be given with cannabis if necessary.

There are several medicines that do require extra monitoring if given with medicinal cannabis medicines:

-High dose CBD and clobazam
-Sodium Valproate and other anticonvulsants
-Chemotherapy agents

How long will it take to start working, and how long will the effects last?

It depends on how you administer it. If inhaling it starts working quickly, but wears off within a few hours. Oils take longer to work but last a lot longer.

Inhalation or smoking produces a quick response but wears off within several hours. It is good for rapid effect.

When using oils or soft gel capsules it’s important to start with a low dose and take it slowly – as the effects can be stronger and last much longer than through inhalation.

Depending on your metabolism, and how recently you’ve eaten, medicinal cannabis oil and soft gels can take 1-3 hours or longer to start working. The effects can then last 6-8 hours or longer – which is particularly useful at night, when longer periods of relief may be required.

Our doctor will help decide which method is best for you.

Is medicinal cannabis safe?

The risks of taking Medicinal cannabis, particularly CBD are very small. Your doctor will start with a low dose and increase it until the desired effect or the maximum daily dose is reached.

As part of the consultation, our Doctor will take into consideration your medical conditions, the medication you are currently taking, and whether you have any allergies to medication.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the main active ingredients found in the cannabis plant, with more than 100 cannabinoids having been identified. These ingredients are similar to the endocannabinoids produced by the human body and can be used in prescription medications.

Two of the most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but all the cannabinoids have therapeutic potential and research is still determining the real value of them. Cannabis also has terpenes which have therapeutic potential and are useful to be combined with CBD and THC to achieve different effects.

What conditions can be treated?

Medicinal Cannabis can treat a wide range of conditions. To find out more book a consultation now.

Typical ailments might include:·
- Chronic Pain,
- Fibromyalgia,
- Migraine,
- Anxiety,
- Insomnia,
- Epilepsy,
- Spasticity,
- Multiple Sclerosis,
- Nausea / Vomiting From Chemotherapy,
Skin conditions

What do I do if I have a reaction to medicinal cannabis?

If you experience symptoms like anxiety, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, or fainting, it’s important not to panic. Focus on your breathing, stay hydrated, eat something, and find a safe place to relax.

If you experience a severe reaction – such as chest pain, or persistent vomiting or dizziness – call 111, or go directly to the nearest hospital. Let your doctor know as soon as you’re able to.

What is medicinal cannabis?

Medicinal cannabis is a range of medicines sourced from the cannabis plant and made up of cannabinoids, the naturally occurring chemicals found in the plant. Medicinal cannabis is just like any other prescription medicine that your doctor might prescribe, and can be legally prescribed in New Zealand. It is used to treat a wide range of ailment.

Medicinal cannabis can only be prescribed by a Registered Medical Practitioner and is dispensed by pharmacies. In New Zealand medicinal cannabis is available in a number of pharmaceutical products such as oils and dried flower which are produced under strict controls with specialist manufacturing equipment. Like other medicines, medicinal cannabis must meet international pharmaceutical standards and are rigorously tested for safety.

What is recreational cannabis?

Recreational cannabis is usually high in THC and taken for the psychoactive effects to get a ‘high”. It is most commonly smoked or baked into cookies or cakes.

It is illegal in all forms. It cannot be grown, sold or consumed under the current laws.

The only exception is for palliative patients who have a medical certificate from their GP or specialist.

What is wrong with growing and smoking my own cannabinoid or buying recreational cannabis to treat myself?

Self-medicating with cannabis is likely to result in you not getting the right ratio of the major components THC and CBD. The ideal ratio is different for each medical condition you are trying to treat. This is why proper medical cannabis formulations need to be developed and doctors need to prescribe these formulations.

Growing your own is likely to result in high levels of THC and is illegal. Importing product is also risky as you don’t know what is actually in the medicine.

What’s the difference between THC and CBD?

THC (or delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active ingredient in cannabis. It’s responsible for many of the pharmacological effects of cannabis – including its psychoactive effect.

CBD (or cannabidiol) is cannabis’s second major compound. Unlike THC, it doesn’t cause the intoxicating or euphoric symptoms. In fact, it helps counteract these effects. CBD alone can treat a number of conditions.

CBD is a non-psychoactive non-addictive chemical compound found in cannabis. It is extracted from cannabis plants as an oil which can be taken orally, or rubbed onto your skin. CBD does not give the user any “high” effect or any other form of intoxication. We use this CBD oil to create treatments for a wide variety of ailments.

Who shouldn’t take medicinal cannabis?

Women who are pregnant or are breast feeding should not take medicinal cannabis. Neither should peoples suffering from Schizophrenia or unstable psychiatric conditions and where there is a high risk or family history of psychosis.

There are also some conditions such as epilepsy or spasticity where it is important to see a specialist first and talk to them about whether medical cannabis is an option for you.