CBD is increasingly becoming popular as a therapeutic and wellness product. If you’re looking to buy CBD oil or related medical cannabis products, its important to understand exactly what you’re getting so that you can make a safe and informed choice. CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of two well-known chemicals found in the cannabis/marijuana plant (the other being THC). While THC is best known for its psychoactive properties, CBD is completely non-psychoactive and is better known for its therapeutic effects, some of which are:

  • • analgesic
  • • anti-inflammatory
  • • anti-anxiety
  • • anti-spasmodic
  • • anti-epileptic
  • • anti-psychotic
  • • non-intoxicating (no “high”)

CBD can help treat symptoms for people who suffer from conditions such as:

  • • Epilepsy
  • • Chronic Pain
  • • Inflammation
  • • Insomnia
  • • Anxiety & Depression
  • • PTSD
  • • Fibromyalgia
  • • Irritable bowel syndrome

Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia?

CBD oil has been legal in Australia since 2016, however, CBD is classified as a schedule 4 drug, meaning it can only be legally obtained via a doctor’s prescription filled at a pharmacy. Most CBD products are not registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods which means doctors need to apply to the TGA via the Special Access Scheme (SAS) for each patient. Approval usually lasts for 12 months. Some doctors can prescribe under the Authorized Prescriber Scheme which means they don’t need to apply to the TGA to prescribe specific CBD products each time, however the process to become an Authorized Prescriber is time consuming and onerous so some doctors still prefer to prescribe via the SAS.

Is it Legal to Buy CBD Oil Online?

Many Australians buy CBD oil online from Europe and North America, with some products even containing “official” potency certificates.  Obtaining CBD this way is not only illegal but is often a waste of time and money as these products are often low quality and inconsistent. There are many false claims being made by such companies with some mentioned on the TGA website. You are much better off obtaining CBD oil via the legal access pathway established in Australia for the following reasons:

Consistency

Studies show that unregulated CBD bought online rarely contains the advertised amount of CBD. In one study, nearly 70 percent of CBD oils sold online were mislabeled. This would make finding your ideal dose very difficult given that each batch can vary widely. When you take CBD oil under the guidance of a doctor, the first step (called titration) is to start with a low amount and slowly increase the dose until you find your minimum effective dose. Once this is determined, you know exactly how many milligrams of CBD you need to take each time to get relief. How can you do this with unregulated oil if the concentration differs from batch to batch and may not even contain the advertised amount of CBD as on the label?

Safety

Products purchased online don’t have any quality assurance oversight and no regulatory standards for producing, testing, or labeling. Many of these products can contain harmful substances such as molds, toxins, heavy metals, bacteria, fungus, viruses, and pesticides. These products are not undergoing testing by the TGA to ensure strict conformity to medical grade quality standards. Considering most people use CBD as medicine, why take this unnecessary risk?

Price

Many people think buying unregulated CBD oil online is cheaper but this is often not the case as online CBD oils are often low quality and inconsistent. The regulated oils you get from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription are high quality, consistent, medical grade products. When comparing the price of CBD oils you need to calculate the amount of CBD in milligrams. For example a 50ml bottle of 10mg/ml CBD  contains 500mg of CBD. A 10ml bottle of 100mg/ml CBD  contains 1000mg. The 10ml bottle even though much smaller contains twice as much CBD as the larger bottle.

The price of legal CBD in Australia has dramatically decreased in recent years and can be sourced for as low as $0.10/mg. Legal products undergo strict compliance testing to ensure the advertised CBD content is accurate. When comparing to unregulated products, many of which have been shown to contain barely any CBD at all, is it a fair comparison when the unregulated products can print anything on the bottle with no oversight to ensure compliance?

How Much Does CBD Oil Cost in Australia?

The price you pay for CBD oil will depend on dosage which is different for everyone. The first step of the process is to start with a low amount and slowly increase the dose to determine appropriate dosing for each individual. On average most people pay between $4-10 per day for their CBD oil medication.

On a cost per milligram basis, many legal CBD oils are now available at between $0.05-$0.10 per mg, on par and usually cheaper than non regulated black market CBD oils. A larger bottle size does not necessarily mean better value. When comparing price you need to calculate the price per mg as oils can vary in concentration. For example, a 50ml bottle of CBD 50mg/ml will contain 2500mg of CBD. A 30ml bottle of CBD 100mg/ml contains 3000mg of CBD. The 30ml is much smaller yet contains more medication and you will need to take smaller quantities.

Is CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil the Same? 

Hemp and CBD are not the same thing. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous marketers use the terms interchangeably to try and capitalizes on CBD’s popularity. Hemp seed oil may definitely have health benefits (notably Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids) but there is so little CBD in hemp seed oil (~0.0075%) that a therapeutic effect is not possible. CBD is a controlled registered medicine in Australia so it cannot be legally sold directly without a prescription. Hemp seed products that contain less than 0.01% CBD are allowed to be sold directly without a prescription but 0.01% is an insignificant, far from therapeutic amount.

How much CBD oil do you need? What happens if you use too much CBD oil?

Everyone responds to CBD oil differently. After obtaining a CBD oil prescription, patients start with a very low dose and gradually increase the amount to determine the minimum effective dose needed to achieve a therapeutic effect. This process of gradually increasing the dose is called titration. CBD can interact with other medications so it’s best to conduct the titration process under the supervision of a doctor.

What Are The Different Types of CBD Oil?

There are generally 3 different types of CBD oils: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate.

CBD Full Spectrum vs CBD Broad Spectrum vs CBD Isolate

Full spectrum CBD oil comes from the full plant extract containing the complete profile of cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural compounds that occur naturally in cannabis. Many proponents of the ‘entourage effect’ believe the therapeutic potential is highest since all the compounds work synergistically to achieve better therapeutic outcomes. Full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC (usually 1-3%) This is generally not enough THC to cause any impairment, however, this small amount can still show up in saliva, urine and blood tests. Unfortunately, even prescribed medical cannabis does not currently exempt patients from roadside drug testing and patients who test positive could face legal sanctions.

Broad spectrum CBD oil is full spectrum CBD oil that undergoes further refinements to remove the trace amounts of THC. The final product still contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant, but does not contain any THC. Broad spectrum CBD oil is ideal for those Australians looking to benefit from the ‘entourage effect’ while still being legally able to drive without the risk of testing positive for THC.

CBD Isolate is a further refined product where all the other minor cannabinoids, terpenes and natural compounds are removed. As the name implies, CBD isolate is a singular extracted compound that only contains pure CBD. Isolate is widely prescribed in Australia given the strict roadside drug testing regulations that do not accommodate for full spectrum CBD products and until recently, there were not many broad spectrum CBD oils available. Recent changes in regulations to allow for CBD over the counter sales will only allow CBD Isolate products.

Can you get CBD oil from your doctor?

In most states in Australia, most GPs and specialists can prescribe CBD oil. However, they will need to apply under the special access scheme. If your doctor is unwilling to apply on your behalf or uncomfortable prescribing medical cannabis, they can refer you to our clinic. We do virtual consultations nationwide and in-person at our flagship clinic in Sydney. Click here to book an appointment or give us a call at (02) 9098 9128 or email us at info@acclinics.com.au and we can advise if medical cannabis could be an option for your condition. You can also contact us through our form on our homepage too.