CBD oils & THC
The regulations and legislation governing medicinal use of CBD oils and THC products in Australia are subject to change and updates, so it’s important for our clinics and referring doctors to stay abreast of new developments to ensure the highest quality care for our patients.
Table of Contents
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of plant chemical or phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant species. It has a range of medicinal actions in humans and can be extracted from cannabis plants or made synthetically. CBD is non-psychoactive so will not instigate feelings of euphoria or intoxication.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil can be extracted from the leaves, stalk, and flowers of the cannabis plant and manufactured with a carrier oil such as hemp, olive or MCT oil. CBD oil can be ingested sublingually, topically, in capsules or mixed with food or drinks. Globally many people choose CBD oil for its range of therapeutic and health benefits.
What are the benefits of CBD oil?
CBD oil has a diverse range of potential benefits and medical applications which have been showcased in human and animal clinical trials:
- Epilepsy: CBD oil has anti-seizure and anti-spasmolytic action that has been demonstrated in preclinical and human trials. Recent studies have revealed that CBD oil can reduce the frequency of seizures suffered by epileptic children and adults. CBD medicines have been used to manage symptoms of seizure conditions such as; Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES), tuberous sclerosis complex and others.
- Anxiety and Depression: CBD oil has been prescribed as a therapeutic medication for patients suffering from mood or psychological disorders. Investigations suggest that CBD can reduce subjective experiences of anxiety and may have mood-elevating qualities. More research is needed, but in the meantime studies and anecdotes provide a foundation for CBD oil in the alleviation of mood disorders.
- Insomnia: CBD oil has been used to aid in the treatment of insomnia in legal cannabis markets for many years. In the correct dose CBD (and some other cannabinoids) have been researched for its sedating effect, that does not impact next day cognition, unlike other pharmaceutical sleep aids.
- Chronic Pain: CBD oil has been approved by the TGA for access under the SASB scheme, for medical cannabis chronic pain patients in Australia. It interacts with chemical messengers in the brain that control pain sensations. So far human trials have shown enough positive outcomes to warrant further research. Medical cannabis and CBD oil are also being investigated for their opioid-sparing capacity, weaning patients off opioids for their pain relief to cannabis medicines with a significantly lower risk of dependency.
- Cancer: CBD oil has shown positive impacts on symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatment and is often prescribed to alleviate symptoms of nausea, anorexia and anxiety. There is also evidence suggesting CBD oil can reduce inflammation and regulate cell growth in cancer models, such research is still isolated to laboratories and animal studies, and results are far away from being a reality for humans, yet still promising.
- Other conditions where CBD oil is being researched include; Multiple Sclerosis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, appetite disorders, endometriosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons and a range of other inflammatory conditions.
Is the use of CBD oil legal?
CBD oil is a controlled substance under the Australian Office of Drug Control. It can be accessed for medical purpose via the same pathways as other medical cannabis products, the Authorised Prescriber pathways and Special Access Scheme.
Countries around the world have various restrictions on CBD products, it is vital to understand the laws specific to your location.
Where to buy CBD oil in Australia?
CBD oil in Australia is purchased via pharmacies following the prescription of a medical cannabis or CBD formulation by a medical professional. To legally buy CBD oil in Australia, purchase must be coordinated with the prescribing doctor and dispensing pharmacy.
CBD oil not prescribed by a medical professional at this time remains illegal. Buying CBD oil from online sources cannot be guaranteed to have accurate dose, safety or therapeutic benefits that are found with medical CBD oil.
How to use CBD oil?
CBD oil in Australia is used for a range of different conditions and it is the condition or symptom being addressed that determines how CBD oil is used or prescribed. With all cannabis medicines, it is always best to start low and go slow. Begin using CBD oil at a low dose and slowly increase until the desired therapeutic effect and symptom relief is achieved. This is always best done under the supervision of your prescribing doctor.
What does CBD oil feel like?
Depending on the dose and the condition, CBD oil can feel different for individuals. In circumstances where CBD oil is treating anxiety, it can initiate a feeling of relaxation, calm and enhance mood.
In terms of pain, CBD oil can act as a pain reliever eliciting much the same feeling as ibuprofen. Others describe CBD oil as offering a soothing feeling of relief from pain and tension, both physically and mentally, akin to having a warm bath.
CBD oil is non-psychoactive, thus it won’t make you feel ‘high’, euphoric or paranoid, as is the case for some individuals with cannabis formulations including THC.
How much CBD is in hemp oil?
Hemp oil sold as a food or cosmetic product is restricted to have less than 75mg/kg of CBD. This equates to 0.0075% CBD, thus legally available hemp oil in Australia is not a viable source of CBD. However, has nutritional and cosmetic value in its own right.
CBD oil medicines can be made with hemp oil as the carrier oil. This means medically prescribed CBD oil products will have much different CBD quantities delivered in hemp oil than food products with food grade hemp oil.
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