Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia
Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia? With interest in medical cannabis piquing across the country, many ordinary Australians are surprised to learn that legal does not necessarily mean accessible when it comes to obtaining CBD oil. Read on to learn about the current legal status of CBD oil in Australia.
Current legal status of CBD oil in Australia
At the current time, CBD oil is legal in Australia, but only on prescription. Access is still difficult. You can’t just buy CBD oil over the counter like you can in places like Canada, the UK, and the United States. Legal access to CBD oil in Australia is still hampered by many restrictive rules and regulations.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol—also known as CBD—is a naturally occurring chemical compound (i.e. cannabinoid) found in cannabis plants. Along with CBD, the cannabis plant contains between 70-100 other cannabinoids.
Most people have heard of THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets people high. After THC, CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant.
Is CBD oil safe?
CBD is non-psychoactive and extremely safe, with no potential for abuse. The World Health Organisation (WHO) published an extensive report in 2017, noting that CBD oil is safe, well tolerated, and non-addictive.
CBD oil classified as prescription only in Schedule 4
Prior to 2017, cannabidiol was classified by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a controlled drug and prohibited substance. This means it was included in Schedules 8 and 9 of the Poisons Standard along with heroin and cocaine.
From 2017, CBD was reclassified as a prescription-only medicine and included in Schedule 4. But does that mean you can just head to your GP, get a prescription, and skip home from the local pharmacy with CBD oil in hand?
CBD is legal but inaccessible – navigating the Australian medical-cannabis system
Just because CBD is legal on prescription, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to get hold of.
Technically, CBD oil is legal on prescription in Australia, but the regulations are complex, and negotiating access is difficult.
How to get CBD oil on prescription in Australia
Finding a doctor to prescribe cannabis oil in Australia—let alone one that is well versed in its applications—is close to impossible.
There are two legal routes. Either:
- find a doctor who is an authorised prescriber (usually a specialist); or
- have your doctor apply on your behalf under the Special Access Scheme.
An authorised prescriber can prescribe medical cannabis to a whole group of patients, such as children with epilepsy. There are very few authorised prescribers currently, and most of these are paediatric neurologists in New South Wales. So if you are not a NSW-based child with epilepsy, chances are you will not be able to access CBD oil via an authorised prescriber.
Special Access Scheme
The Special Access Scheme (SAS) is where your doctor makes an application to prescribe based on your individual case. This is a time consuming administrative nightmare for most doctors who have neither the time or knowledge to navigate this complex system.
If you can find a doctor who is willing to navigate the Special Access Scheme, and your application is successful, you will find that the legal product is weak, prohibitively expensive, and not necessarily the superior whole-plant extract you had hoped for.
Finding a doctor to prescribe CBD oil in Australia
The Lambert initiative has information about the different access rules in each state. However, there are no official lists of doctors you can access. Word of mouth is probably still your best option.
“For the vast majority of Australian patients,
medicinal cannabis is little more than a pipe dream”
Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia if you have a prescription?
Conditions that qualify for legal medical cannabis in Australia
Once you can say you have exhausted all the pharmaceutical drugs they have thrown at you, the types of conditions that may qualify for medical cannabis under the SAS include (Source: TGA, April 2019)
- chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- refractory paediatric epilepsy
- palliative-care indications
- cancer pain
- neuropathic pain
- spasticity from neurological conditions
- anorexia and wasting associated with chronic illness (such as cancer).
Buying CBD oil online
If your application for access to CBD oil has been unsuccessful, your condition doesn’t qualify, or you can’t find a doctor to jump through the necessary hoops, Eternal Plants ships world-class CBD oil directly to Australia. We offer free delivery. All our CBD oil is whole-plant extract, organically produced, GMP certified, and lab tested.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia if you order it online?
We hope this article has answered your questions. If not please contact our customer support team.
Eternal Plants was founded by mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers just like yourself, who care about the health of their loved ones because we believe people need access to this miracle plant.