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Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis

Since 2001, medical cannabis (also known as marijuana) has been a legal treatment option in Canada for certain health conditions, including arthritis. An estimated two thirds of Canadians who use cannabis for medical purposes do so to help manage arthritis symptoms.

"Medical cannabis" refers to any products (either natural or synthetic) made from cannabis or its active ingredients, and intended for health purposes. In Canada, the only legal source of medical cannabis products is from a Licensed Producer.Health Canada’s rules governing access to cannabis for medical purposes are called the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Important notes:

  • While medical cannabis is legal for use in Canada with a physician's order, medical cannabis is not a Health Canada-approved treatment. To date, there is limited clinical evidence on the relative benefits and risks of medical cannabis on the treatment of arthritis.
  • Persons under age 25 should not use medical cannabis.
  • This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute the advice of a physician. Consult your physician or other relevant health professional for specific information on personal health matters to ensure that your individual circumstances are considered.
  • The Government of Canada is planning to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes in July 2018. PLEASE NOTE: Self-medicating with recreational cannabis is NOT a safe substitute for receiving medical cannabis from a licensed producer under the direction of your physician.
  • The Arthritis Society is a leading advocate for research into the use of cannabis for medical purposes, and for the needs of people who use cannabis for medical purposes. For more information, see Advocacy, below.

Education Resources

These resources can help people living with arthritis understand medical cannabis and its place among the potential treatment options for management of arthritis symptoms.

The Arthritis Society thanks the following sponsors for their support of our medical cannabis education and research initiatives: