When CBD oil also known as medical cannabis became legalized in Australia in 2015, it allowed greater product availability to patients and consumers. Clinicians were now able to provide alternative therapeutic medicine as a healthcare treatment. Despite this, the laws surrounding cannabis oil legalization are still subject to state laws, and complex regulations that can make accessibility challenging.
Fortunately, there are companies, regulators, and lawmakers working together to streamline the process to improve policy and clarity for the public. With so much knowledge, legalities, and many changes taking place, it’s ideal for CBD consumers to understand essential information for proper consumption purposes.
Here are five things to know about CBD oil in Australia:
1. CBD Oil Products in Australia
Therapeutics Goods Administration of Australia (TGA) has a localized definition of what constitutes CBD oil as a therapeutic medicine. All the medicinal CBD are categorized into oil products made from cannabis extracts that contain CBD and THC such as hemp oil, and those with little to no CBD such as hemp seed oil extract.
Due to the products having different concentrates, strengths, and potencies, they each have varying levels of regulation with the unapproved products under the most control. So far, the types of specific CBD oil Australia approved products by the TGA registry contain cannabidiol, cannabis extract, full spectrum CBD oil, Delta-9 THC, CBD isolate, and broad-spectrum CBD oil. They can come in the form of creams, nasal sprays, oil tinctures, edibles, food ingredients, and topical creams among others can be ingested, inhaled, or rubbed into the skin.
2. Conditions of Usage
The TGA provides the regulation, policy, and framework surrounding the use and application of medical CBD oil. They have outlined several conditions under which the oil can be used during treatment. These include epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, nerve pain, chronic pain related to cancer, chemotherapy, terminal illnesses, and palliative care.
However, there are exceptions under the Special Access Scheme (SAS) that allow medical practitioners to acquire therapeutic medicine such as CBD oil in treating other conditions. These include insomnia, depression, and neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s where patients showcase severe symptoms that don’t respond well to regular medication and treatment. In this case, the CBD oil can be prescribed on an individual patient case basis through a physician and even though they’re technically marked as ‘unapproved’ and ‘special access’.
3. Online Purchases and Overseas Shipments
Purchasing CBD oil online is caught up between legal and illegal classifications because many cases have exceptions and different governing rules that change from each state. This, however, hasn’t stopped CBD oil companies from selling online and creating a burgeoning competitive market that has helped reduce the costs of CBD oil to about $4 to $10 or $0.10cents per milligram.
It’s advised that consumers making online purchases should ensure the products have a manufacturer certificate label on them. In terms of overseas shipments, only Australians with an overseas doctor or specialist prescription can import it provided they qualify for travelers’ exemption.
4. How to Buy CBD Oil
Accessing CBD oil in Australia can be tricky as laws, limitations, strict access, and exceptions for special cases are still undergoing constant changes and regulation. This tends to confuse consumers, cannabis manufacturers, and companies alike. For the most part, CBD oil is still mostly legally available for purchase in Australia through a physician’s prescription as they’re classified as a schedule 4 drug.
This means a doctor or Authorized Prescriber or AP needs to take the SAS pathway to get it at a pharmacy or cannabis clinic. More recently, the TGA has down scheduled low dosage CBD oil products such as those used for pain management into schedule 3 but many products haven’t been made available yet under this title. What this did change is AP’s allowance to prescribe without the need to fill out the forms of the SAS pathway and the extensive process where products can be bought over the counter in some cases.
5. Where to Buy CBD Oil
Thus, once a patient has been given a legitimate prescription for medical CBD oil, they can purchase it at a chemist’s warehouse, cannabis clinic, pharmacy, or approved dispensary. Once a prescription is presented, the patient can then choose the CBD oil of their choice. While many products are still unregistered and unlisted by the TGA, those that are regulated undergo strict testing for quality assurance and safety.
Furthermore, manufacturers need to produce an authorized certificate to qualify the product for market purchase. Additionally, each product needs to contain at least 98% cannabidiol and 2% or fewer other active substances. At this time, it’s only legal to grow cannabis for CBD oil extracts in the Australian Capital Territory such as Canberra under certain conditions. Otherwise, only specific organizations such as medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies are allowed to become growers once approved.
The most important thing to know about CBD oil in Australia is that it has been legalized for public medical consumption and purchase. Consumers can obtain their chosen CBD oil through a prescription by a medical professional and buy it at authorized cannabis centers that include clinics, dispensaries, companies, manufacturers, and pharmacies.
CBD products are still under regulation and many are unregistered with the TGA, which is why buyers should check for quality labels and certificates. Furthermore, Australians and travelers to Australia are permitted to import CBD oil provided that they have a prescription from an overseas doctor. In the end, it’s always best to check in with local state laws before buying products to stay in compliance.