CA Clinics has launched a new online service offering “fast and simple access to low-dose CBD without sacrificing personalised patient care”.
CA Connect users go through a virtual consult, a phone consultation with a cannabis practitioner and receive free follow-ups every two weeks.
They can choose from three care plans offering 15+ days of medication based on trial dosing (A$119), 30+ days ($199) or a $359, 30+ days option for patients who have titrated to the maximum daily dose of 150mg.
It is unclear whether patients who titrate up to a dose less than 150mg per day will be charged the same amount as someone taking the maximum dose.
A CA Connect spokesperson told Cannabiz: “Patients can select from three care plans. Maximum dosage is 150mg per day. Patients will titrate up their dose in accordance with prescribed instructions.”
There is a $59 processing fee if patients want to send their prescription to a pharmacy of their choice and CA Connect may receive a Medicare payment where applicable.
The company said the service gives patients access to low-dose CBD oil at a competitive price via a streamlined online ordering system with fast, direct-to-patient delivery.
While low-dose CBD is legal for sale over-the-counter without a prescription, there are currently no such products listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and available for purchase in pharmacies.
CA Connect said it is hoping to fill that gap by prescribing Australian-compliant, GMP-certified CBD products that may be compounded or branded.
Users are offered a choice of carrier oils (MCT, hemp or olive oil) and flavour enhancers, tailored treatment plans with no referral and an “easy reorder system”.
CA Connect head pharmacist Sara Kourkgy said: “It’s important that people who want to try CBD oil for a health concern are given advice from professionals and monitored so they positively benefit from this alternative treatment option.
“Our new online initiative offers a patient-focused customised care plan with ongoing management and follow-ups from trained health professionals.”
CA Clinics medical director Dr Nicholas Mabarrack added: “Patients often talk to us about accessibility and affordability, and so we’re helping to alleviate these issues.
“Low-dose CBD could be an option for those with anxiety, insomnia or mild chronic pain,” but he stressed patients should see their doctor or contact CA Clinics if their condition is more serious.
CA Connect said it was confident the new service complies with the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s guidance on medicinal cannabis advertising, which recommends against allowing patients to select their indication from a dropdown list.
“Patients are not selecting an indication, only a duration of treatment and any diagnosis they have previously received,” the spokesperson said.
“Treatment commences after consultation with their healthcare practitioner. If it is not suitable for the patient, the program will not commence and any costs will be refunded.”
Before patients complete their enrolment in the CA Connect service, they are given the opportunity to purchase supplementary terpene oils manufactured by ECS Botanics.
The website states these products may “support the management” of emotional stress, irritability, restlessness, aches, muscle and joint tension, sleep, and insomnia and “complement or enhance the effects” of CBD.
CA Connect said these statements also comply with TGA advertising regulations as “terpenes are made available as a natural health product, supported by educational content”.
The spokesperson added: “No advertising or efficacy claims are being made.”