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Prescription Medical Cannabis -v- illicit/street cannabis

“Give me One Good Reason Why I should Swap from Street Cannabis to Medical Cannabis.”

I’ll give you three!

We hear quite often from people in the community that they are using illicit or street cannabis to self-medicate and that it's working pretty well and as a result they don't see a good reason to swap to medical cannabis. Consumers of illicit or street cannabis may be resistant to the idea of needing to go to a doctor, they might be growing cannabis themselves or buying from a friend. Some people say that they prefer to keep away from 'pharmaceutical companies' if at all possible. The argument for some isn’t enough that it’s just not a good idea to do something that’s illegal and that it’s better to access it legally. Read on! There is a misconception that prescription medical cannabis is the same as illicit or street cannabis, below are three important differences between a regulated prescription medicine and cannabis acquired illegally.

Active Ingredients and Dosage

The potential for profit in the sale of street cannabis is significant. Unfortunately that leads, just as it can in any other area of human enterprise, to a temptation to increase profits through a number of ways. With the sale of street cannabis, there are two main ways of doing this:

1. Diluting the active ingredient to create more volume; or
Adding substances to create more weight.

The variables are endless, in the world of street cannabis, you have no way of knowing:

These variables can all affect the final product and carry significant impacts on the management of symptoms from month to month.

Medical Cannabis companies who have import licences and products registered under TGO 93 are guaranteed to be of stated concentration and quantity for every batch. 

It is important for you to know that it is advised that any doctor with a patient swapping from street cannabis to medical cannabis should be aware of the increased potency. A ‘joint’ is regarded as usually containing an average of around 8.25mg of THC. In THC based medical cannabis products, one millilitre THC oil could contain up to or more than 20mg of THC. 

Now, it’s important to note that every patient is different and the type of medical cannabis product prescribed will be different depending on the symptom/s – whether it’s a product containing high doses of THC; a product containing a mixture of THC and CBD; or a high dose of CBD with a small amount of THC. The delivery of these products often differs as well usually in either an oil, capsule or spray.

With medical cannabis, not only do you get what you pay for, but you get it over and over and it has more active ingredients than its illicit counterpart.


Unscrupulous producers of illicit cannabis can make a lot of money by producing their crops faster and by having more weight of dried-flower to sell. There are many ways to grow crops faster, and many ways to increase dried weight, but a lot of them result in a worrying increase in potentially dangerous contaminants. 

Things that can adulterate during the growth of street cannabis can include:

Poorly dried or stored cannabis can contain:

These contaminants can be in themselves toxic or can cause distressing side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and headache. 

In stark contrast to street cannabis, medical cannabis is produced under stringent GMP (good manufacturing practice) conditions and is regularly tested to be safe and free of contamination.

It's a medicine

Medical cannabis is a valid therapeutic choice and that we are only just beginning to understand the benefits of this fascinating plant. The medical cannabis industry is committed to best-practice research and to developing the evidence base for medical cannabis. That undertaking requires significant scientific and educational resources. It is only by embracing the proven evidence-based therapeutic decision-making process, that we can hope to achieve that.


We are proud to work with our partners to deliver one of the most advanced cannabis genomic breeding programs in the world 

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