There are plenty of wild health claims about CBD oil’s properties (which have resulted in TGA fines in the past). There is also lots of anecdotal evidence that CBD helps with everything from insomnia, to chronic pain, to anxiety, to epilepsy. Clinical trial data backs up some of these assertions – but only at much higher dosages than the TGA has approved.
“If it’s going to be treated as a medicine, it needs to go through the processes medicines go through,” she says. “Other countries have used different pathways to make it available and they have different methods that aren’t as rigorous.”
That CBD is found in a plant subject to three seperate United Nations treaties is not the only thing that sets it apart from other medicines. It also differs because “we’re really talking about generic actives,” says Huppert. Rather than developing a new drug for a specific purpose, CBD manufacturers will have to run clinical trials to find out which purposes an existing and widely used substance is actually effective for. Or, as McGregor puts it, “the exact opposite of most drug development”.
CBD, a compound found in cannabis that does not have psychoactive effects, is now legal to sell over the counter. But don’t expect to find any in your local pharmacy yet. Photograph: Anatoliy Sizov/Getty Images/iStockphoto
“Y ou can have as much whiskey as you like, but there’s no whiskey available,” says Prof Iain McGregor, psychopharmacologist and academic director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, when asked to describe the rules around CBD in Australia at the moment.
“Now the challenge is the process of proving [the anecdotal evidence] … to list the medicine with an objective claim,” says Huppert. “It usually takes years and millions of dollars to bring a drug to market.”
Though ARTG registration is a high hurdle, there are huge potential earnings on the table. The director of Southern Cannabis Holdings, Tim Drury, believes the over-the-counter market for CBD oil will “exceed $200m per annum”.
Doctors who are Authorised Prescribers in Australia can legally supply unapproved medicinal products that may include CBD and THC.
There are some states, like Western Australia, that allows people in Perth to access legal CBD oil through their local GP without a specialist prescription.
Is CBD Oil Legal In Sydney, NSW?
Melbourne has one of Australia’s best medical cannabis companies and clinics. They provide legal CBD oil to patients with a medical condition that has existed for more than three months.
CBD oil is legal in Melbourne for Australian patients. CBD oil with THC requires additional approval from an Authorised Prescriber or the TGA government department.
The legalisation deciding how Australians access legal CBD oil is changing fast, so it’s always important to discuss medical treatment with your local doctor.
CBD is available in Australia & New Zealand through a special access scheme (medical cannabis program), but illegal in Papua New Guinea.
Verdict: Legal for Medical Use
4.83 / 5
In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates CBD as a controlled substance under poison and drug laws. The cannabinoid falls under the medical cannabis program.
Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean
Unlike Australia, New Zealand doesn’t require an import license for CBD products. Importing CBD that doesn’t fall under New Zealand’s CBD product definition is illegal.
NOTE: Although the Australian Capital Territory legalized recreational cannabis, laws around CBD haven’t changed yet.