Is it Legal to Buy CBD Oil in Australia?
As of February 1, 2021, you can now legally buy CBD oil in Australia over the counter and online, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) down scheduling low-doses of CBD oil from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3. This essentially means CBD oil is now a pharmacist-only medicine, allowing consumers to purchase it without a doctor’s prescription. The approved daily dose is currently at 150 mg.
As expected, companies are now in a huge rush to get their CBD products on shelves and into online stores. It is estimated that the Australian CBD oil market will exceed $200 million in just one year.
However, eager suppliers will first have to get their products approved by the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before they can be sold to consumers, with some early movers already approved for online sale.
So with CBD oil set to become readily available in Australia, let’s find out a bit more about what it is and what are the benefits.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the chemical compounds found in the plant Cannabis sativa, better known as marijuana. Unlike THC, which is another chemical compound in Cannabis, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. Put simply, it doesn’t get you ‘high’.
CBD oil has instead become popular for its therapeutic properties. While research is limited, early studies suggest that it may hold therapeutic potential for helping with issues like epilepsy, insomnia, PTSD, anxiety and depression.
It’s worth noting that some suppliers use the terms CBD oil and hemp oil interchangeably. However, there are major differences in their composition and properties. Hemp oil can be sold over the counter as it doesn’t contain a significant amount of CBD to produce any therapeutic effect. It does, however, contain significant levels of healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
What are the legalities around CBD oil?
Since 2016, CBD has been a controlled registered medicine. This meant that it could only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. At the time, most CBD products were not approved by the ARTG. This meant that doctors needed to get approval from the TGA via the Special Access Scheme (SAS) every time a patient required the drug.
Since legalisation on February 1, 2021, the TGA now allows low doses of CBD oil to be sold on pharmacy shelves and online.
There still remain some hurdles for CBD suppliers to clear, however. To get approval from the ATRG, companies must show that their CBD products are safe, effective and of high quality.
The second issue is the approved daily dosage. Experts say that the approved 150 mg daily dose is not enough to give patients the therapeutic result that they are looking for. This has raised some doubts regarding the efficacy of the CBD products that will be hitting the Australian market.
Should you buy CBD oil online?
Buying CBD oil online from approved Australian companies is completely legal. However, it’s illegal in Australia to obtain CBD oil via online overseas providers. Besides being illegal, it’s also risky. Since other jurisdictions are not so strict about quality control, you could be buying unregulated or poor quality products when you purchase from overseas.
Studies found that a significant number of CBD oil products sold online are mislabeled. This means that the advertised amount of CBD in such products are often inaccurate. This makes it difficult to properly find your minimum effective dose. The quality control standards may not meet the high Australian standards, so you could also end up with a product that isn’t safe for usage.
For these reasons, it’s best to get Australian-made CBD products that are regulated and approved by the ATRG. This will ensure that the products that you’re using are of high quality and, more importantly, safe.